The hospitality staffing crisis is not exactly new news. Across Australia’s cities and especially in the nation’s regional towns, the industry is on the brink of a crisis. In Eating Out in Australia’s published report in 2017, it was found that the number one trend facing hospitality operators is staffing. Attracting the right talent to your restaurant, bar or events business can be a challenge. And it’s not smart to just put bodies on the floor and hope for the best. Having a half-baked recruitment strategy will always end in disaster.


Last year, the hospitality industry in Australia had a 28% vacancy rate, according to findings from Edith Cowan University. And a 2017 survey found that more than half of hospitality managers had difficulty hiring and retaining staff. Most young people dip their toe into the waters of hospitality for jobs while studying. But even as a stepping stone, fewer and fewer young people are embracing hospitality.

Labour turnover in 2018 (AI Group)

The Skills Forecast report found that employers in the hospitality & tourism industry identified the following challenges:

  • Recruitment and retention
  • Turnover – employees often move from one employer to another to realise career aspirations
  • Workers are increasingly working on a casual basis rather than in full-time employment
  • Workers tend to have mismatched qualifications that are not aligned to their job roles
  • Lack of relevant hard and soft skills in job applicants

With so many diverse roles within the hospitality industry, there is no one specific recruitment strategy to cover the hiring of all the employees that are needed to keep the hospitality sector running.

“Tourism and hospitality employ a combined 1.4 million workers and tourism alone is worth $40 billion to the Australian economy, so it is too important to get this (recruitment) right,” said Dr Lindsay McMillan, lead researcher for Reventure.

All of this comes down to a constant need for employers in the hospitality industry to look for great employees but, it’s not that easy.

Most hospitality businesses, up until recently, only outsourced recruitment for executive level and above roles, but if the success of your business relies on great staff across the board, why wouldn’t you invest in recruiting the best there is? As a good chef would say, “Don’t skimp on the good stuff! ”

If you struggle with recruiting and retaining staff and your business has an ongoing recruitment need, consider using a recruiter. It can bring you many benefits:

  • A bigger talent pool meaning you’ll always have candidates in the pipeline.
  • It’ll save you time and money.
  • Modern recruitment companies rely on technology and data-driven strategies to ensure you receive better employees.
  • It will reduce your turnover rates.
  • It should increase staff retention.

Employers in the hospitality industry already have a lot on their plate. And the hospitality industry is not going to slow down any time soon. The demand placed on managers to provide top service is only going to increase as more and more people need hospitality services.

The need to improve hospitality recruiting strategies is an obvious one, but it doesn’t need to be tough. Hospitality employers already have so many pressures placed on them… why add recruitment to the mix?

By Andrew Martin
360HR Solutions Hospitality Recruitment Specialist

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Based in Sydney, Andrew has spent years in the hospitality business and has decades of organisational and staffing experience; an asset when evaluating the staffing needs for your business.

Contact Andrew for your hospitality staffing needs – P: 02 4225 2223 | M: 0412 578 775 | E: