Rise in hiring in the hospitality and retail sector

Hiring for customer-facing positions in sales and business operations as well as other divisions is gaining momentum in the hospitality and retail sectors due to growing demand and optimistic outlook for the upcoming holiday season.

Hiring is picking up at restaurants and hotels given revenge spending and plans to expand chains through new outlets and inventory.

“Ahead of the festive months, we are seeing a shortage of staff for customer service and kitchen roles. Since unlocking in March, the recovery has exceeded pre-Covid levels in many cases and now that the festive season is approaching, demand and consumption are expected to increase further,” said Kabir Suri, president of the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) which represents more than 500,000 restaurateurs.

“There is a talent shortage as many workers lost their jobs during Covid-19 and returned home or changed professions,” Suri added. “A lot (of restaurateurs) are now training raw talent, which is a longer process. We are also simultaneously looking at other industries such as retail or anything customer related. »

Retailers are also feeling the pinch of reverse migration that happened during Covid-19.

“A lot of them never came back. This has led to a shortage of staff in all segments of the retail industry because it requires a particular skill set where attitude is very important,” Kumar said. Rajagopalan, CEO of Retailers Association of India (RAI) “Because retailers are experiencing growth in sales, hiring has also picked up at all levels and this will continue until the festive season.”

Rajagopalan said retail sector hiring could break through pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year.

Nikhil Sharma, regional manager for Eurasia at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, said the company is expanding its sales team and hiring a sales and marketing manager in India, in addition to expanding its global sales team by adding additional resources in Bengaluru.

Arif Khan, regional vice president of human resources at Hyatt, said the hotel chain is on an “exponential growth journey” in India and the company is hiring people across business function roles and departments.

“One of the main changes brought about by the pandemic has been the digitization of businesses, and so we have introduced new positions in the digital and social media departments,” Khan said. “We have also created new sales positions to target specific markets and segments as we continue to expand in India and South West Asia. Additionally, we are also consolidating our cluster configurations distributed across the country to improve functional efficiency across all sites. »

Neha Rana Dutta, human resources director at Espire Hospitality Group, said the company currently has around 500 people, but the numbers will “comfortably double” by the end of 2022-23.

Espire Hospitality, which owns luxury resort “Six Senses Fort Barwara” and mid-sized resort chain Country Inn Hotels and Resorts, announced in April that it would launch a new luxury resort brand “Zana” in India.

“We will have 11 operational hotels and resorts across the brands by the end of 2022 and should be able to reach our target of 20 operational hotels and resorts in India by 2023,” Dutta said. “The recruitment approach is aggressive, but it is mainly to combat the positive pressure of the new openings planned for this year. The first resort of our new brand Zana Lakeside Resort, Udaipur opens in September,” she added.

Yogeshwar Sharma, managing director of Select Citywalk, one of New Delhi’s most popular malls, said hiring has definitely accelerated as new malls spring up. “As rental has also picked up with more brands looking to expand, malls need to bolster the sales team,” he added. Mukesh Kumar, chairman of the Shopping Centers Association of India (SCAI), said malls have returned to 100% staff but there is a shortage of staff, especially at lower levels. “We are hiring people wherever needed but there is a labor shortage,” he added.

Rajan Bahadur, chief executive of the Tourism and Hospitality Skill Council (THSC), promoted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to help bridge the skills gap in the tourism and hospitality industries, said hiring was on the rise at all levels of the hospitality industry due to tourism and revenge spending, and also due to the arrival of new supplies.

“Many restaurants had closed during the Covid-19 pandemic, but with the return of spending, chains have expansion plans and quite a few new restaurants are opening now,” he said. “We are also looking to train people for new roles in adventure tourism or food photography.”

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