The International Hospitality Industry: In High Need Of Talent Management Innovation

5 February, 2018
  • 5 min read
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Without any doubts, human talent is the key to success in the hospitality industry. Human talent provides the personal touch, the essential genuine smile while technology will always be an important but supporting factor only. While human talent can still deliver a hospitable experience without technology, technology alone can take the guest journey a long way but it will be hard for technology to ‘catch up’ where human talent fails to meet guests’ expectations.

The hospitality sector is a fast growing sector consisting of a significant share of small individually operated hotels as well as a set of big multinational hotel corporations. Altogether the travel and tourism industry offers more than 250 million jobs around the world. And with growth estimated to reach close to 2 billion international tourists by 2030, the hospitality industry will keep on creating jobs and needs talent!

However, the industry does not have too good of an image when it comes to jobs. Turnover rates are high and the reasons for talents to leave the industry range from job dissatisfaction, poor pay, limited career development opportunities, lack of job security, high workload and poor work-life balance.

A recent study in the Dutch fine dining restaurants carried out by Hotelschool The Hague’s Research Centre found similar reasons for high turnover rates. The fine dining restaurants’ main concern was indeed how to attract talent and how to retain talent. In particular, fine dining restaurants were concerned about how to accommodate the demands and expectations of the ‘Millennials’. The study also found that this type of industry has a rather limited understanding of strategic talent management, talent management practices and how they can be implemented and applied to improve on talent attraction and retention.

Another study conducted in the international hotel industry showed that although international hotel companies may have relatively high-tech front-end technologies in place, technology-enabled talent management was rather poorly developed.

For a fast-growing industry that ultimately depends on the human touch, these observations are worrying and do not make the life of managers in the hospitality industry easier. More and better talent management solutions are needed. Solutions for better talent identification and attraction, for better strategic talent management, for better technology-enabled talent management tools and for work-and-organisation designs that enable talent and technology together to keep on maximising guests’ experiences. The hospitality industry is in high need of talent management innovation. Let HTH faculty and students together be drivers of that innovation.

Author: Huub Ruël
Professor of International Business and Global Talent Management Innovation
Hotelschool The Hague Research Centre

About the author

Hotelschool The Hague

Hotelschool The Hague was founded and funded in 1929 by the hospitality industry to create a central place where industry partners could gain and share new insight, skills and knowledge. Since its foundation, the Hotelschool has become an international school specialised in hospitality management offering a 4-year Bachelor's degree in Hotel and Hospitality Management. This degree course is also available as the accelerated International Fast Track programme. Our 13 month Master Hospitality Management programme is designed to deliver the next generation of hospitality innovators.

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