In order to stay competitive, hotels need to have employees with the right skills and expertise. However, finding and retaining top talent can be a major challenge, particularly when it comes to filling skills gaps.
Staff shortages are a known issue, with 350,000 fewer people working in hotels in late 2022 than there were in February 2020, according to the US Labor Department. There are thousands of openings currently for jobs at the world’s top hotel chains: there is a high demand for hotel staff across different roles and regions, and there may be many opportunities for career growth and development within these organizations.
What is Talent Mobility?
Many hotels are turning to talent mobility, the process of moving employees between different roles, departments, and even locations within an organization. It is a way for employees to gain new skills and experiences, while also allowing the organization to fill skills gaps and build a more flexible workforce.
Talent mobility can be particularly effective in the hotel industry, where there is often a wide range of roles and departments that require different skill sets.
How Talent Mobility Can Benefit the Hotel Industry
There are many benefits to using talent mobility in the hotel industry. These include:
Filling Skills Gaps
One of the biggest benefits of talent mobility is that it allows hotels to fill skills gaps without having to hire new employees. Instead, hotels can identify employees who are already in possession of the necessary skills, or have the potential to learn new skills, and move them into roles where those skills are needed.
This not only saves time and money on recruitment, but – where all-important on-the-job training is provided – also helps to build a more skilled and agile workforce.
Improved Employee Retention
When employees feel that they have opportunities to grow and develop within an organization, they are more likely to stay. Talent mobility allows employees to move into new roles and gain new experiences, which can help to keep them engaged and motivated.
Increased Collaboration and Communication
When employees move between departments and roles, they gain a better understanding of how the organization works as a whole. This can lead to increased collaboration and communication between departments, which can improve overall efficiency and productivity.
Enhanced Customer Experience
When employees have a broader range of skills and experiences, they are better equipped to provide exceptional customer service. Promoting internal talent mobility can help to build a workforce that is able to meet the needs of customers in a variety of roles and situations.
Implementing Talent Mobility in the Hotel Industry
While talent mobility can offer many benefits to the hotel industry, implementing it effectively requires a thoughtful and strategic approach. Here are some key steps that hotels can take to implement talent mobility:
Understand Skills & Skills Gaps
The first step in implementing talent mobility is to identify the skills, and skills gaps, within the business. This can be done through employee surveys, performance reviews, and discussions with department managers – but this is a very manual approach. Employees may not really know what skills they have; managers evaluating their employees can introduce unintended bias.
Speaking to senior talent leaders in the hotel industry, we’ve heard that the sheer volume of staff makes it incredibly challenging to understand what people can do (and could do) inside an organization. The ideal system for managing this skills data would be scalable, dynamic, and interoperable with other HR tools.
Your skills taxonomy and role architecture, whether built internally or with external help, must update dynamically as people learn, develop – and take on those internal projects to enhance their skills. It needs to integrate with the systems you already have (such as a Learning Management System, and the systems you use for hiring and assessments.) You need to be sure every tool is speaking the same language.
A dynamic skills taxonomy ensures that you are not only using a common currency within your organization, but skills are updated as people learn new things. We recommend using AI to enrich skills data, keep it up to date, and infer the skills that people don’t know they have, or are tangential to the skills they already possess.
A skills database also highlights where you have skills gaps – either for much-needed skills today, or those growing in importance for tomorrow.
Create Career Paths & Connections
Once skills gaps have been identified, hotel businesses are in a position to create career paths that allow employees to move between different roles and departments in order to fill critical gaps, and gain the skills they need to progress in their careers.
Again, this is not easy to do at scale, and it’s where some hotel groups are experimenting with a Talent Marketplace. An AI-powered Talent Marketplace is a platform that connects workers with opportunities, based on skills. With dynamic skills data, and explainable AI, relevant recommendations can be served to managers, HR teams or employees, with rationale as to why that recommendation was made.
For example, someone working in a front-line role, such as a guest service agent, may have the skills needed for, or the aspiration to learn more about, corporate roles, managerial roles, or more specialized roles (that are usually hard to fill). They could be shown training opportunities, ideal mentors within the hotel group, or open ‘gigs’, depending on where they need to upskill or reskill. They can visualize various career paths inside the organization – and these clear steps to success are updated, as they undertake part-time projects, learning programs, or new roles.
Provide Training and Development
In order for talent mobility to be successful, hotels do need to provide employees with the training and development they need to succeed in new roles. This might include on-the-job training in the form of internal ‘gigs’ or short-term projects, mentoring, and formal training programs.
It is important to communicate the benefits of talent mobility to employees and managers throughout the organization. This can help to build support for the program and ensure that everyone understands how it works.
Finally, hotels need to measure the success of their talent mobility program, in order to make adjustments and improvements as needed. This might include tracking employee retention rates, employee satisfaction, and the number of skills gaps that have been filled.
Ideally the platform you use to match people to opportunities, and serve up career path suggestions, can also monitor activity to help provide these insights. Is there greater demand for certain roles, or L&D initiatives, than you expected? Are there gaps that need to be filled externally, or by temporary staff? The skills intelligence you get can also power a workforce planning process.
Talent mobility can be a powerful tool for the hotel industry, allowing hotels to fill skills gaps, improve employee retention, and enhance the overall customer experience. Speak to Beamery to see how we can help.