Question Elaine Business & Management

HRM and the Hospitality Industry

What business issues will HR encounter in the hospitality industry? What kinds of strategies or practices are adopted by them?

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Answer Expert #27149

Managing a hospitality organisation’s HR department could be challenging even for experienced people, mainly because the industry is in a high-pressure and constantly changing environment (Boella and Goss-Turner, 2013). As the hospitality industry is all about service delivery, the HRM aspect of running a hospitality business is particularly important.

Hospitality HRM faces several problems which are not necessarily unique, but are often more emphasised for hospitality businesses (Rutherford and O’Fallon, 2010). The most common issues for hospitality HRM are employee turnover rate, constant recruitment need, inefficient staff training and low staff morale. The hospitality industry suffers from a high turnover rate - many employees leave prematurely, usually because employees are underpaid and are required to work at unconventional hours. Hospitality employees can find their jobs impossible to reconcile with other life commitments, so they eventually seek other jobs (D’Annunzio-Green et al. 2004). This is the reason that hospitality businesses often suffer from staff deficiency – not only it is hard to retain existing employees, but due to the sector’s low average wage and demanding working conditions, finding employees for the long-term is increasingly difficult.

Finally, as a combination of high turnover rate and constant need to recruit, training programs cannot be implemented well which presents a vicious circle for organisations (Sommerville, 2007). Strategies to remedy these issues include expressing appreciation of staff members, offering staff members career perspectives and implementing a recruitment and selection strategy that attracts only those candidates with a career aspiration in the hospitality industry (Boella and Goss-Turner, 2013).


Boella, M. J. and Goss-Turner, S. (2013) Human resource management in the hospitality industry: A guide to best practice. London: Taylor & Francis.

D’Annunzio-Green, N., Maxwell, G. A. and Watson, S. (2004) Human resource management: International perspectives in tourism and hospitality. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Rutherford, D. G. and O’Fallon, M. J. (2010) Hotel management and operations. Chichester, United Kingdom: John Wiley and Sons.

Sommerville, K. L. (2007) Hospitality employee management and supervision: Concepts and practical applications. United States: John Wiley.