Post pandemic surge seen in entry-level hospitality jobs

The post-pandemic surge in tourism has accelerated the hiring rate in the hospitality sector, with entry-level positions experiencing the most significant increase, according to the industry experts.

Industry head hunters report that while hiring has seen a notable uptick overall, the recruiting of apprentices and trainees at the entry level has witnessed the sharpest surge. TeamLease data reveals that apprentices and trainee hires have grown at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 54% in the last two years. Specifically, the hospitality sector has seen an astonishing 271% increase in hiring within this category over the same period.

Dhriti Prasanna Mahanta,VP, TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship, noted, “There’s been a sharp rise in hiring numbers across job levels, thanks to the tourism boom, with F&B seeing a 37% spike, and housekeeping jobs up 22%. More skilled jobs at higher levels have also seen an 8-10% surge, while the rest of the hospitality hire spectrum is up 18-20%.”

The surge is most pronounced at the entry level, and the tourism and hospitality industry’s contribution to total apprentices enrolled in India has grown significantly, from 0.4% in 2020-21 to 2.4% in 2022-23. Hoteliers view this as a positive sign of the hospitality sector regaining momentum. Sabu Raghavan, VP (HR), Hilton India, stated, “The surge in hiring in the organized hotel sector observed in CY23 is indicative of the sector’s resilience, growth potential, and strategic expansion.”

Some experts anticipate that this momentum will continue for an extended period. T Natarajan, Honorary Secretary of the South India Hotels and Restaurants Association, predicts that the trend of new hotel openings and job creation in the hospitality sector will persist until 2030, providing a boost to the Indian economy.

The post-pandemic rush for travel has spurred fresh investments in hospitality, as highlighted in JLL’s Hotel Momentum India report for July-September 2023. The report notes a surge in key signings and hotel inaugurations, with 34 hotels unveiled, contributing 2,400 rooms to the organized hotel sector. Over 80% of these establishments emerged in tier-2 and 3 cities.

Hospitality head hunters also report that the job spike comes with salary hikes. Mahanta added, “There has been a 15% increase in stipend to trainees, whereas for permanent and skilled employees, the cost-to-company hike has been 8-10%.”

Tourism hires in the entry segment, which were once seasonal, now see year-long activity. A recent report from the Hotel Association of India projects that the hotel industry’s direct contribution to India’s GDP will reach $1 trillion by 2047, with a minimum 25% rise in the need for a workforce.


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