It’s been four years since we entered The Great Recession. Now, at long last, optimism about economic growth in Leisure & Hospitality and Food & Beverage is taking root.

For operators this means finding leaders who have the skills and proficiency to do the job will become harder and harder. Sourcing values and character matches will be a monumental challenge.  Operators will need to step up benefits and retention strategies, and salaries will begin to rise again.

 Consider the following:

  • Hospitality human resources executives and experts acknowledge that by the fourth quarter of 2012 the labor market is going to be “really, really challenging” in this month’s Restaurant Management.
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows that Quits overtook Layoffs & Discharges considerably in 2011, and the gap is widening.
  • The U.S. hotel industry reported increases in all three key performance metrics in 2011, according to data from Smith Travel Research (STR): Occupancy rose 4.4%; ADR was up 3.7%; and RevPAR increased 8.2%. 2011 was the first time since 2008 that the lodging industry ended the year with better than 60% Occupancy and an ADR over $100.
  • The National Restaurant Association (NRA) has been reporting consistently-better data; its most recent Restaurant Performance Index report citing positive same-store sales for the second half of 2011 and operators’ positive outlook for sales growth.
  • Although economists have differing opinions, inflation should ease, overall unemployment stabilize, and US GDP will consistently rise as 2012 should be the first year of consistent quarter-over-quarter economic growth.
Quits versus layoffs and discharges, seasonally adjusted, December 2000 to June 2011

Note: Shaded areas denote recessions as determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and NBER.

Hospitality Employment Historical Predictors

Following the 2001 recession, the economy quickly recovered leading to solid growth and performance for lodging, restaurants, foodservice and travel from 2004 through 2007.  The ratio of Quits versus Job Openings has been falling dramatically since 2009 and will reach 2006-2007 levels this year.  Translation: 2012 will see a swing back to a “candidate’s market” such as in 2006 or 2007.BLS Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey - Leisure & Hospitality Sector

 Invest in Success

If your goal is to acquire the finest talent for your enterprise, then the best way to ensure your recruiting efforts are comprehensive is to engage Strategic Hospitality Search, a high-quality full-service search agency.  Here are just a few reasons why 97% of our multiunit clients are so pleased with our quality and service that they call upon us again and again:

  • We ensure a 360º recruiting effort by providing access to passive-market candidates; the gainfully-employed working professionals who will not see your job postings.
  • We save you time and money by supplying a “short list” of candidates who fit your qualifications and are motivated to work for your company.
  • We work efficiently. From engagement to offer acceptance, our placement process for management, culinary, multi-unit and sales managers averages four to six weeks.  Confidential mid-level and executive searches take longer, as expected.

Our fee becomes negligible when you consider the impact the perfect fit will make in your business. Don’t be afraid of success!  Invest in a partner with the values of initiative, responsibility and ethical practice who genuinely cares about your future. Invest in Strategic Hospitality Search.

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