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3rd Mar, 2020

Sam Baldwinson
Sam Baldwinson
Job Title
Business Manager

Opportunities to upskill and progress exist in every sector – most people don’t realise that hospitality and leisure is no different. Understanding how to upskill your staff and allow them to develop is the key to finding professionals to fill senior roles and create a pipeline of experienced candidates in your business.

The UK’s hospitality and leisure sector is expected to grow to £257 billion by 2025. Visitors from North America and the EU are boosting the industry’s revenue, ever since the pound dropped in value following the Brexit result in 2016. Brits are also having more ‘staycations’ due to the unfavourable exchange rate, to the immense benefit of the sector. All this growth means there are many more roles that need filling.

Hospitality and leisure is an industry that allows you to work anywhere in the world. Many people have experience in the hospitality sector, yet don’t realise they are on the first rung of a career ladder which could take them all over the world. 

Providing your employees with the tools to develop will only add value to your workforce and, in turn, your business. Any investment this costs you will be rewarded in the long run, as talented professionals will want to work for you and will be loyal to your business.

Hire adaptable workers with the right potential

Thinking about how you can develop a candidate before you even hire them will enable you to find employees who can adapt well to any hospitality role. Technical skills are easier to teach, but soft skills are fundamental. The key skills for success in hospitality and leisure are being good with people and the ability to handle stress.

Candidates with hobbies like travelling could also have the potential to go far in the industry. That’s because these individuals often have the drive to get ahead and like to work flexibly.

Qualifications and experience aren’t always the most essential things when you first hire someone. As long as someone has the right potential and drive, they can accrue these over time and you can start developing them into the perfect employee. 

Encourage and support the development of your employees

Fewer people are entering courses related to practical skills needed in the industry. It would benefit you to encourage your staff to take part in relevant courses to their role, to show them the benefits of a long-term career in hospitality.

Technical skills needed in the industry can progress through being a good leader and guiding your employees every step of the way. Trusting people with more responsibility can give them the confidence to aim for a more senior position or improve productivity in their current role.

Opportunities – give your staff a chance to utilise their skills and reach their full potential.  

Experiencing a variety of tasks will allow them to understand which way their career could progress. For example, one of your reception employees might dream of being a chef and want to gain some experience in the kitchen. Allowing some time for this opportunity can create a loyal and multi-skilled professional. You could even find you have yourself an employee who is able to work across a variety of roles. These workers would be your biggest asset.

Alternatively, your kitchen staff might want an opportunity to improve their social skills – this could be achieved by letting them do some shifts, working directly with customers or guests. Professionals in the hospitality and leisure sector should have these skills, especially when aiming for senior positions.  Having experienced staff who understand all operational aspects will improve the way the whole team works, boosting your level of customer service.

Education – companies who can afford to invest in their employees’ careers and support them are more likely to attract the best candidates. They will also see a great return on that investment. Providing opportunities for them to join courses to upskill or gain some extra industry insights can create grateful employees and a good reputation for your business. 

Language courses can also be handy, for both personal and professional development in hospitality and leisure. In certain areas of the industry, especially working in a hotel, your customers and guests are likely to come from all over the world. Language skills aren’t essential to the business, but they can be valuable, and a good way to encourage your employees to be more personable with guests. Better communication will create better guest experiences.

Helping your employees with their education doesn’t just mean buying them a training course. It could mean providing flexible working hours to fit their course schedule, or even just some positive reinforcement while they study. 

Professionals looking for work in hospitality will flock to your company if you earn a reputation for encouraging a growth mindset and personal development. The key is asking your staff what they would like to improve about themselves and supporting them. You will not only boost your business, but improve skills across the entire hospitality and leisure industry.

​Are you looking for a hospitality and leisure professional, or your next career opportunity? Find your nearest Reed office now.