Students at leading hospitality colleges and universities share key insights for recruiters
Students outline what they are aspiring towards, what is important to them in a job and what they ultimately want to achieve from a career in hospitality.
As part of our ‘Step into Hospitality’ campaign to help hoteliers drive staff recruitment, Guestline spoke to hoteliers of the future, e.g. hospitality students and graduates, about their career goals. Guestline supports leading European hotel schools and universities with our operational software, Rezlynx PMS, including Shannon College in Ireland; the Business & Hospitality School in Lucerne, Switzerland and IU International University of Applied Sciences, in Germany, whose students shared some interesting insights with us:
Interest is still high
The hospitality industry has lost a lot of trust as a resilient employer over the last year. However, our survey with current hotel students at Shannon College showed that, for 80% of the students, their career plans hadn’t changed as a result of Covid – they are still interested in working in this exciting industry and want to pursue a career in hospitality. The competition from other industries is extremely high however, therefore it’s more important than ever that hoteliers position themselves as attractive employers.
Offer long term opportunities and career progression
When we asked students what their hospitality career ambitions are, the most popular response was “working my way up quickly”. 75% of the survey participants named promotion prospects as one of their most important aspects when evaluating their future role. Beat Wicki, Director of Business & Hotel Management School in Lucerne, agreed: “Most hotel school graduates know that they are likely to start maybe one or two positions lower than their qualification level, but they also know they can quickly climb the ladder if they want to. That’s why I think it’s important to offer young employees lots of opportunities for professional development and long-term prospects within the hotel or group.”
Developing career programs and sharing best practices that demonstrate the career paths (and successes) of their colleagues and team members can help position your company as a good choice with lots of longevity for a fruitful and promising career ahead.
Promote company values
For future employees, it is not only important which role they’ll be working in, but also what their employer stands for. Professor Dr. Gabriel Laeis and Professor Dr. Nicola Zech, members of the faculty at IU International University of Applied Sciences, point out the importance of strong employer values: “In the past, it was prestige and working for big luxury brands that drove young employees. Now, other values, such as sustainability or the purpose of their work, has become more important.”
This shift in values not only applies to the company’s corporate social responsibility, but also on how the employees are seen and empowered within the organisation. “The students have real desire for individualisation and differentiation. Diversity is crucial for hotels if they want to position themselves as attractive employers”, adds Prof. Dr. Laeis und Prof.Dr. Zech.
Demonstrate diversity in the workplace
Jan Fischoeder, Head of Career Office at IU, also highlights the high percentage of female employees in hospitality, especially in lower paid positions. He stresses it’s the responsibility of the employer to stand against any kind of discrimination, harassment or inequality. To encourage diversity within a team and to attract younger staff and returning staff, he recommends offering valuable and supportive benefits e.g. day-care support or flexible work hours.
Use social media as a recruitment channel
A great way to share your values and your stance on corporate social responsibility is on your social media channels. Everyone we interviewed mentioned the importance of social media channels for recruiting and our survey confirmed this with 60% of the students indicating that they use social media for their job search.
It’s also worth mentioning that the future generation of hospitality recruits is very tech-savvy and knows about the importance of good software solutions to assist with the operational side of the business. Check out our recent blogpost here on how hotel technology can help you not only recruit but also retain great team members.
"60% of the students indicating that they use social media for their job search"
"Values, such as sustainability or the purpose of their work, has become more important"
"Offer employees opportunities for professional development and long-term prospects"
- Kate Fuller, Marketing Manager, Guestline
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