Career change considered by 42% of industry staff

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Staffing fears: industry workers may be thinking about a different career but job satisfaction levels have risen (credit: Getty/Charday Penn)
Staffing fears: industry workers may be thinking about a different career but job satisfaction levels have risen (credit: Getty/Charday Penn)

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More than two in five workers in the hospitality sector are considering a career outside the industry despite job satisfaction levels increasing ‘significantly’ during the past 12 months.

A new report titled Getting Retention Right: Insights to Navigating Hospitality’s Top Talent Challenge​ that explores the experiences of today’s hospitality workers and reveals how better recruitment and technology can cut shortages and churn has been released from CGA by NIQ and Harri.

It found while job satisfaction levels in hospitality have increased significantly over the past 12 months labour shortages and high turnover remain major challenges.

The report also revealed operators and managers are looking at employee satisfaction with cautious optimism. Pay is up and wellbeing is a growing priority, however, more than two in five (42%) of employees are still considering a career outside of hospitality.

Optimism prevails

Yet, despite rising costs and staff shortages, 62% of industry leaders feel optimistic about prospects for their business over the next 12 months, and two thirds (67%) of respondents agree with the statement ‘hospitality offers a good and worthwhile career’.

Almost three quarters (74%) of employees in the sector feel satisfied in their current hospitality job role – an increase of 13 percentage points since the last survey in 2022 – and more than a quarter (27%) say they have actively chosen hospitality as their career path, which is four percentage points more than 12 months ago.

The numbers are a welcome sign hospitality businesses are improving their employees’ experiences, according to the report, and may also reflect widespread increases in pay in the sector over the past 12 months but recruitment and retention remain major challenges in hospitality.

“It’s good to see increasing numbers of hospitality professionals feel content and motivated but with two in five considering a change of career path, job satisfaction in this sector remains precarious,” said Tristan Spencer, Harri’s senior vice-president sales UK.

“Businesses know further improvements are needed at every step of their teams’ journeys, from recruitment and onboarding onwards. Investment in digital engagement solutions can help employees feel more valued and better at their jobs while substantially reducing the high costs of recruitment.”

Good progress

Other statistics unearthed in the report include 30% of staff say their employer supports a good work-life balance, up from 19% a year ago; and 41% of employees say they look for honesty, 35% want equality or mutual respect (34%) when searching for a job so employers that communicate positive values can get a head-start in recruitment.

Meanwhile, just 20% of employees think their business’s technology for staff is ‘very advanced’.

CGA by NIQ’s director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA, Karl Chessell, said: “High staff shortages and turnover have been a huge challenge for the hospitality sector in recent years but our research shows businesses are making good progress on their engagement strategies.

“It’s already paying dividends in improved satisfaction and, in time, should help to bring down turnover and overcome some negative stereotypes to finally earn hospitality the reputation it deserves as a great place to build a career.”

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