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The hospitality industry is growing strongly. Storforsen is one of Norrbotten's many popular places to visit. View original picture , opens in new tab/window

How skills development can enhance the attractiveness of the hospitality

Published: 15 January 2021

The hospitality industry is a rapidly growing industry. At the same time, staff turnover is high, which complicates the industry's supply of skills. A new research project is investigating how the the hospitality industry can become a more attractive workplace by expanding and better marketing the opportunities for skills development in the industry.

–  The hospitality industry is very important as an entry-level industry for young people and migrants. It will certainly continue to be so. But employers also need staff who want to stay and continue to develop in the industry, says project manager Maria Ek Styvén, professor of industrial marketing.

The research project builds on a previous project on employer branding (how employers are perceived by potential, current and former employees) in the hospitality industry and in trading business.

Development opportunities attract

The project showed that an important factor in appearing as an attractive employer that makes people want to stay is that the work environment is perceived as developing and varied.

The results of the current project are important for three levels of target groups: individuals who work or are considering working in the hospitality industry, companies and organizations (ie employers) in the hospitality industry, and other industry actors and organizations.

The project's results will be presented in the form of recommendations for what employers can do to create good conditions for learning, creativity and skills development in their businesses and how these can be communicated to strengthen the organization's brand. This in turn creates positive effects for employees and for the hospitality industry in general.

Participatory observations

Within the project, data will be collected in several different ways, including through interviews with employees, former employees, employers and recruiters. In addition, observations are made of employees as well as surveys aimed at employees in the hospitality industry. A reference group with knowledge in the hospitality industry, learning and brands is attached to the project.

– The hospitality industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. Possibly, the project can also provide a picture of how the pandemic has affected the industry's brand, says Maria Ek Styvén.

In addition to Maria Ek Styvén, Anna Näppä, PhD student in industrial marketing and Karolina Parding, professor of work science, are participating. The research project is funded by the Visitor Industry Development and Research Fund, BFUF with SEK 1.7 million over a period of 2 years. BFUF is owned and financed by the Hotel and Restaurant Union and the employers' organization Visita.