Major Indian and global hotel chains and major fast food (QSR) brands are all experiencing staff shortages primarily due to layoffs created during the pandemic, people familiar with the matter said.
“Aggregating industry demand for skilled personnel is increasing post-pandemic with the opening and aggressive expansion of new hotels, outlets, chain restaurants and cloud kitchens,” said Rajan Bahadur, Director General of the Tourism and Hospitality Skill Council (THSC), an organization promoted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to help bridge the skills gap in the tourism and hospitality industries.
“We have already received a request for more than 300,000 workers for different positions in tourism and hospitality during the period 2021-22,” he added. “At present, the industry needs more than 350,000 workers at different levels to meet the demand in different departments across the country. This number is likely to appreciate as the industry is on a steady path to recovery from the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. »
Industry insiders said many workers who were made redundant during the pandemic have moved on to other sectors such as retail and banking, and are now hesitant to return as it is felt that the roles of welcome are precarious, not as rewarding and far too demanding.
Staff shortage is a “big challenge” and “almost all hospitality businesses are addressing it by emphasizing multitasking and also developing new talent,” according to KB Kachru, Chairman Emeritus and Senior Advisor, South Asia, at Radisson Hotel Group.
“We work closely with Skill India, which helps us in terms of talent development for different departments; whether it is housekeeping or maintenance, each area should be dealt with separately,” said Kachru, who is also the vice president of the Hotel Association of India (HAI).
Vikramjit Singh, President of
said with stress levels being “relatively low” in other industries, people are choosing them over hotels, adding that many have moved into hospitals, call centers, retail and real estate .
“After Covid, it became very difficult to get quality staff within the prevailing salary structures,” he said. “We are struggling to recruit front-line staff in departments such as reception, housekeeping and food service. Apart from this, it has also become difficult to retain resources in engineering, finance, IT and human resources as they change the sector to get decent salary increases. »
Sanjay Bose, executive vice president of human resources and training and development at
Hotels said with business rebounding faster than expected, the industry is under immense pressure to have a workforce ready to respond to the surge in footfall. “We are also seeing the phenomenon of large-scale attrition with organizations facing labor shortages by aggressively hiring competition. However, this should subside over the next 6-12 months,” a- he added. Bose said while this is an industry-wide issue, at ITC Hotels the impact is “minimal” as jobs, wages and benefits have been protected during the pandemic. and the workforce remained intact.
Strings such as
Company (IHCL), Accor and McDonald’s India North and East declined to comment on the matter. Others like Marriott International, Oberoi Group, Sarovar Hotels, and did not respond to emails seeking comment until press time.
Industry body National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) has partnered with recruitment and employment platform Kaam.com this year to launch a national recruitment, skills development and financial inclusion platform for all hotel industry workers. At an NRAI Town Hall this month to discuss staffing solutions for the restaurant industry,
Khiani, founder of Kaam.com, said attrition is a big part of the problem. “80% of people in the sector are migrants and reverse migration during the pandemic has led to a massive vacuum. A lot of people didn’t come back,” he said.
THSC’s Bahadur said the organization is currently engaged with more than 400 brands including large and small hotel and resort chains, restaurants, quick service restaurants, facility management companies and Travel agencies. “We have worked with large conglomerates from all subsectors,” he said. “We are constantly moving forward to increase the number of industry partners so that the gap between demand and supply can be filled through maximum placements in these organizations.”