2012 Hospitality Hiring Trends Forecast
In a nationwide survey of hiring managers across all industries conducted by Harris Interactive, 23 percent planned to hire full-time, permanent employees in 2012. These survey results are supported by a recent Businessweek article, in which economists predict that 2012 will bring the creation of the most new jobs since 2006, shortly before the economy began to decline. The outlook for the hospitality industry is particularly favorable.
According to The Outlook for the US Economy, released by Goldman Sachs in October of 2011, “Household finances are gradually getting healthier.” This is great news for the hospitality industry. The willingness of Americans to spend their discretionary income on luxuries such as restaurant meals, hotel rooms and vacations is dependent, at least in some degree, on their financial situation.
Unemployment, currently at 8.3 percent, is predicted to continue its downward trend. As more Americans re-enter the workforce, their discretionary spending will increase. This, in turn, should lead to a need for increased hiring in restaurants, catering companies, hotels, casinos, country clubs, cruise ships and other hospitality-related businesses.
This is good news for hospitality employers, but it may mean you have to put more effort into your recruiting. They days of receiving hundreds of applicants for a handful of open positions are waning and as hospitality hiring picks up, you might find yourself competing for top hotel and restaurant employees.
The hiring freeze instituted by some hotels the past four years is thawing. Hotels across the nation are expected to hire additional hourly staff in 2012. In fact, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the lodging industry has already seen an increase of about 50,000 jobs since 2009.
According to a recent Manpower Group survey, employers in the leisure and hospitality industry sector expect to increase their workforces by an average of 14 percent during the first quarter of 2012 alone. In fact, the hiring has already begun within the travel industry. According to the U.S. Travel Association, the industry has gained 224,000 new jobs since December 2009.
Hcareers.com has seen a significant increase in the number of hospitality job postings on our website. Employers posted 35% more jobs on the website in 2011 than they did in 2010 and we’re already seeing this upward trend continue into 2012.
In addition to hotel hiring, we can expect to see increased hiring in the restaurant industry. According to a National Restaurant Association News Release, 55 percent of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling in the next six months. This is the largest percentage of restaurateurs planning capital expenditures in more than four years.
Airline and travel industry analysts Atmosphere Research Group predict that cruise ship capacity is expected to increase by at least 5 percent in 2012, with a correlating need for new staff.
PKF Hospitality Research predicts that employment in the accommodations segment of the lodging industry can expect an average increase of 25,000 jobs in 2012. They also predict that demand for new workers will be highest in cities where new hotel rooms are being added, such as New York City, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Tucson and Fort Lauderdale.
As a hospitality employer, be prepared for increased competition for skilled managers and employees. You may be forced to do some strategic recruiting, especially for already hard to fill positions. Your best staff may be considering leaving for new opportunities that have opened up. Now is the time to take a good look at your recruiting and retention practices to plan for the rosier future ahead.