Hi, welcome to another Coffee Time Chat

Today we focus on the challenges of hotel staffing and the ongoing crisis the industry faces, not only today but, more worryingly the trends for the future.

And this is where our guests Bill Scanlon and Lorraine Sileo step in to talk us through the recent Talent Study from Strategic Solution Partners, one of our Expert Partners

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Strategic Solution Partners started the Talent Trends Study in 2019, since then it has continually highlighted the workforce challenges – many of which still haven’t been addressed effectively by the industry.

Fewer people are entering hospitality and more are retiring earlier. For those working in the industry, they want quality of life and flexibility. The labor shortage is felt at all levels but most severely on property.

In this discussion we touch on a number of wide ranging topics, whilst focusing in around the foreboding trends, challenges for education institutions and how much responsibility actually lies at the door of the industry itself.

Here is a link to access the Talent Trend Study: https://bit.ly/3KhFGH4

Really hope you enjoy the conversation


I would say there’s simply not enough trained and motivated talent to allow the hospitality industry allow hotels to operate successfully for the future. You know, when we think of innovation, right, when we think about, you know, AI, all the technology that’s, that’s coming like a freight train, how does the hospitality industry stay ahead. So there’s simply just not the talent. And when we talk about talent, we’re talking about everything from the property level, in terms of maintenance, and housekeeping and all the way up to management level. So if people want more of a hybrid work opportunity, and working, especially on property, or even working for a chain working in an office and usually requires being in person, so that that is just in conflict with what workers are looking for. We’re looking at the overabundance of hospitality schools and hospitality programmes versus a demand. There’s hospitality schools opening every day, there’s just simply not enough students interested either they are not interested in going into hospitality, maybe they can’t afford the university tuition. So that’s another foreboding trend, just the fact that the demographics, we see that just fewer people going in to college period, and we’re also seeing an older population, immigration trends, that certainly is you’re getting work in some overseas, it’s been such an important element of building, hotel staffing, and that basically, slowed right over the past several years. So these are just some of the few foreboding trends that we recognised in the paper and trying to solve,

Bill Scanlon:
There’s a lot of talent out there. You know, it’s just a matter of where you traditionally would find the bigger brands going to the bigger universities that have had the larger hospitality programmes, those have shrunk, you know, they’re focusing on them. But there’s, you know, as we’ve done our research and reached out to two year colleges, community colleges, things along those lines, there’s plenty of talent out there, you know, we just need to kind of get over the bias of, well, I need a four year hospitality person, because again, is the demographic of the leadership, our industry has aged, you know, the philosophies and the business management philosophies have not necessarily aged with that.

Yeah, we need more mentors, we need more champions, you know, and Bill put it perfectly, you know, we need the industry to come together to do that. And as we discussed, this is a very fragmented industry, you know, and all the organization’s kind of have their own agenda? How do we get everyone together? How do we get leaders together? And I think, you know, at some point, it’s just going to be at a desperation like, you know, we have no choice. And I think we’re getting to that point.

Bill Scanlon:
It’s like, okay, let’s, let’s face facts for what they are, let’s let’s get together and as an industry and say, Okay, how do we fix our talent problem? We don’t respond to everything that’s being said, we don’t look at just those studies as being myopic. We kind of take them and say, you know, it’s, that’s not truly how the industry is. That’s not how people are being paid. That’s not what’s changing in the industry, you know, so any successful programme is really based upon accepting the reality of where you are, and then creating the appropriate solution for that.

You know, the Chicago Bulls were a terrible team. You know, you get it. You could say Phil Jackson did this, you know, the manager did that. And, but again, it was everybody coming together and saying, we’ve got a plan. This is the way we want to build our programme and this is what success looks like to us. And that’s where the creativity comes in. You know, it’s like you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You just need to reposition the wheel. Yeah.

Or you could invent the wheel like United did and said, look, we don’t have enough pilots. Let’s build a pilot school. Yeah, right.

WATCH NEXT (A few of our other videos)




00:00 Video start

00:00 Video Introduction
01:24 Guest welcome and introductions
02:57 Bit of history behind the Talent Trend Study
06:45 Big Picture – What is the big headline from this year’s study
09:54 Hey guys, we actually have a problem as an industry – is this too simplistic
16:05 What are the foreboding trends the study highlights
22:02 Does the hospitality education landscape need to change
25:49 Does the industry need to change where it looks for talent
29:30 How can the industry improve it’s reputation as a sector to build a career
34:15 What role does leadership lay in selling the industry
38:50 Creative solutions to find new talent
45:47 Final thoughts and summary
48:37 More videos and subscribe