Will COVID Affect Your Chances Of Hospitality Employment?
I find myself thinking about whether COVID will affect your chances of hospitality employment. And I am sure you do too!
So much has changed since I started my own hospitality employment journey all those many years ago in 1825! Okay, of course I am joking about the year I first started my hospitality employment.
But actually, if anything, it has been the last 30-40 years which has seen the most rapid changes to hospitality and hotels. With the biggest changes being seen in technology, hotel designs, marketing techniques, and guest expectations and demands.
For all the changes I have seen, during my career, I have never before witnessed anything close to what has happened to hospitality with the onset of COVID 19.
So, how will the new order, or post-COVID, affect your chances of hospitality employment?
We know that COVID 19 has devastated the tourism, airlines, and hospitality industries. Nowhere more than in those countries or destinations which rely on it; where it is the main industry and source of employment.
It will likely take years for these industries to recover to pre-COVID levels, and that includes hospitality employment levels.
Countless employees are either on part-time shifts, furloughed or out of work. And with over 4 million people working in Hospitality and Tourism in the Philippines, that is a LOT of people. A lot of people out of work and struggling with no, or little, income.
So many businesses have remained closed during this pandemic. And it is expected that some will never open again. When MY RANGGO did a survey in September 2020, with hospitality and tourism businesses in the Philippines, 22% said they had closed their business permanently or would soon close it permanently.
The reality is that all hospitality and tourism businesses are now in the same situation.
Whether they are international brands or small family-owned businesses, every one of them will be STARTING FROM SCRATCH AGAIN! They will have to devise new working and operating methods. They may have new hospitality employment and staffing requirements. They will have to devise new marketing plans and come up with new revenue generation ideas.
So, what does that mean for the hospitality industry and businesses?
More importantly, what does that mean for YOUR hospitality employment?
- Businesses will likely scale down their pre-COVID staffing levels. This includes the luxury 5 Star names. Certainly, this is the case in destinations which are already open for tourism and it is set to continue until the industry is back to Pre-COVID levels. Hospitality employment numbers remain very low.
- Businesses will expect and demand that their existing, and new employees, are more flexible, adaptable, and are prepared for and capable of multi-tasking. This could see a significant change in hospitality employment protocols and recruitment processes.
- Businesses may be even more selective when recruiting new graduates. One area of selection criteria may be only employing people already living locally to them, in case of further lockdowns or operation disruptions.
- Customer service and safety will certainly be paramount, across all size properties from the largest 500Plus bedroom hotel to the smallest family restaurant. They will be looking for people who take this seriously and and carry it out diligently. There is no room for sloppiness, laziness, or rule-breakers.
What Can You Do To Increase Your Chances of Hospitality Employment?
There’s a couple of things you can do to boost your chances of hospitality employment, when the industry starts up again. But don’t be dis-heartened if it still takes time before you are recruited. There are a lot of people out there looking for work. Over 4 million people with your skills, or better skills and experience.
Yes, that is daunting but don’t panic!
- Update your resume. Make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. Make sure your contact details are accurate. Above all, add any new skills or experiences and any awards or recognitions you received in your last position.
If you took alternative employment, or started a home-based job, or your own business, make sure you include this. Employers will be impressed by your resourcefulness, however lowly you may think it is. It is still important to mention it.
The same goes for any voluntary or community work that you got involved with during the pandemic, or training courses. Even if they are not related to hospitality.
- Look Local. It is not just businesses who have recognized the benefits of taking on employees who live locally. Some of you have made a decision that you want to work closer to your home or family. Especially those of you who got stranded far from family as LSI’s (Locally Stranded Individuals), during the first Quarantine Lockdown period.
So now is the time to start researching Hotels and Businesses which are closer to home. Or at least ones where it won’t be a complicated or lengthy journey of Planes, Trains and Automobiles to get home if you need to.
Research them, check their website to see if they will be hiring, follow them on Facebook or Instagram so you can be ready to send in your resume once they start hiring again.
Heck! Email them your resume now and ask if they would keep your details on file for future hiring.
If you haven’t yet started your Hospitality career, if you were one of thousands of students coming to the end of your degree and college course, don’t be disheartened. Consider contacting Hotels and businesses, which you know are open, and ask if they are considering taking on graduates for an OJT-type placement.
Yes, no-one wants to work for free. But the chances are some hotels would welcome additional hands as they adapt to the “new normal”. It may lead to employment with them but, even if it doesn’t, it shows other hotel employers that you are resourceful and keen. It shows other hotel employers that you used the slow-period to gain more skills and experience. And that’s the type of employee they are looking for; Go-getters!
Feel free to let me know what you think, experiences you’ve had trying to find hospitality employment, or ask any questions. Just click on Comments.
John Savage is the author of “Get That Interview” and “Get That Job” both of which will be available for download, through the MY RANGGO Shop, soon.