Attract and retain hospitality staff

The hospitality hiring market has never been more competitive, leaving many businesses struggling to stay fully staffed and attract talent. Attracting new talent and focusing on employee retention may seem like unrelated goals, but they go together.

Employees are now looking beyond the paycheck and seeking work-life balance and long-term fulfillment, meaning employers need to consider larger-scale changes from a cultural, technological, and compensation perspective in order to stand out. This is particularly prevalent in an industry like hospitality with the long hours and staff being on their feet all day.


Having a positive, friendly, and supportive company culture is a crucial part of making your workplace desirable to new talent, as well as keeping your current workers on board long-term. Investing in a culture that emphasizes the employee experience from the onboarding process to employee safety, wellbeing and advancement would is the most effective means of reducing turnover and thus attracting better candidates.

Changes that can be made to improve company culture include:

  • Prioritizing employee health and wellbeing, and safety measures, such as specific safety protocols, employee assistance programs, and organised processes.
  • Ensuring clear communication between staff and management. Staff should know the expectations of them, hours and shifts, and career progression opportunities within the company. Employees should feel empowered to bring issues and ideas to management.
  • Transparency around changes in the industry and how they impact business decisions like compensation, benefits, staffing, etc.
  • Recognition of staff efforts though ‘Employee of the Month’ type programs, celebration of milestones, and team events all help boost team comradery.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and other environmental, social, and government (ESG) efforts such as sustainability efforts and waste reduction


Signing bonuses have long been the go-to incentive for businesses competing for the same candidate pool. Offering a more complete benefits and incentives packet will hold more weight with candidates seeking career paths and long-term fulfillment. Benefit and incentive packages have also shown to improve employee happiness by making them feel more valued within the company.  It is therefore important to offer perks and incentives to both attract and retain talent. 

Incentives and benefits to offer could include:

  • Training opportunities for soft skills, professional development and mentorship opportunities. Encouraging and facilitating learning and career progression through workshops, courses, or subsidies works to dismiss the perception of the industry as not being as a long-term career path while provided staff with valuable skills and a sense purpose and identity within the industry.
  • Expanding your employee benefits packages to include employee assistance programs, additional insurance options, car broking, mortgage broking, financial planning offerings from your trusted advisor.
  • Holiday parties with your team, tasting sessions for new drinks and dishes so they know what to recommend to guests. All these small perks add up to make your workplace one that staff will want to stay at.
  • Offering higher wages or bonuses through sales incentives for selling certain items or getting guests to sign up for loyalty programs


Contrary to some, technology isn’t replacing people within the restaurant and hospitality industry, but rather changing the day to day of jobs.  Implementing technology can save time and make day-to-day tasks much easier. Technology may lessen immediate hiring needs in the short term by making the most of your current staff. In the long term, technology can help you attract a higher calibre of talent.

Improve the employee experience with technology that:

  • Facilitates the customer experience with self-ordering kiosks and self-pay technology.
  • Streamlines reservation, takeout orders, and other time-intensive and tedious back-of-house tasks like schedule management and time tracking.
  • Simplifies job applications making it easier for candidates to apply
       a. Facilitate customer experience

Recruitment methods

Consider how you are advertising vacancies if you struggling to find quality candidates. Changing your recruitment methods can impact on the pool of applications that you receive.

Ways to change up your recruitment includes:

  • Changing up where you advertise, try different platforms or websites to widen your search. Ask current workers where they would look for jobs and using this feedback to tweak your recruitment process.
  • Implement a referral program. Employee referrals not only save money per hire, but data shows referred employees are likely to stay in the role much longer than sourced talent. 

While the hospitality industry has faced many challenges the past few years and will remain highly competitive in the search for top talent for some time to come, there are plenty to do to make both hiring and retaining staff easier. Higher compensation, better work-life balance, professional orientation programs, and future career growth opportunities are the secrets to attracting the best candidates.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact Director of Business Services and Taxation Colin Samuel or your Prosperity adviser.

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