Five Tips to Beat The Labor Shortage

As an industry-wide labor shortage continues to plague tourism, these tips can help savvy operators set themselves apart to attract the best team

As the demand for travel returns with a vengeance, labor shortages continue to put a damper on post-pandemic recovery and growth industry-wide. 

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), this “talent crunch” is expected to persist into 2023, with the sectors including “sightseeing transportation” (read: tours) and “recreation” (read: activities) projected to be among those most seriously impacted. 

In the U.S., one in 15 travel industry job postings will remain unfilled. In the EU this shortage rises to one in nine. (Here’s the full WTTC report.)

It’s a tough landscape out there for operators trying to attract and retain talented staff, and so here are five ways to “rock your employment recruitment strategy,” adapted from workplace communications company Beekeeper:

1. Make Sure You’re Mobile-Friendly 

Ensure your job postings and online applications are mobile friendly.  The majority of today’s workforce are “digital natives”—which means they aren’t applying for jobs in person or even on a laptop—yet many companies haven’t optimized their application processes for mobile. 

Bottom line: If your potential employees can’t easily apply on their phones, they might not bother to apply at all.

2. Speed Up the Process 

Make sure the application process is fast and easy for job-seekers, and make sure you respond quickly to qualified applicants. If you wait too long they’ll already be working for your competition.

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3. Encourage Employee Referrals 

The “holy grail of hiring,” employee referrals minimize your recruitment costs. What’s more, referred employees generally stay with the company longer, so creating an employee referral program can boost hiring as well as retention. Consider offering incentives to employees who refer successful candidates.  

4. Get the Word Out on Social 

Figure out where your ideal employees are and meet them there. Are they on Instagram or TikTok? You should be too. Consider short video job postings, posted as Instagram stories, Facebook reels, TikToks, as well as posting pics and videos of your team enjoying their jobs. Make sure you highlight job perks and company culture. 

Need some inspiration? Here’s a list of The 14 Best Recruitment Videos Of All Time.

5. Show Them the Money  

Signing bonuses are not just for pro athletes or executives anymore. They can help get your prospective employees through your door instead of the one across the street. Once they’re in, competitive wages, along with growth opportunities, free training programs, and a great company culture can keep them there. 

Want to dig deeper? Tourism HR Canada recently published an excellent resource: “A Guide to Help Employers Attract and Retain Workers in a Post-Pandemic Environment.” The freely downloadable guide contains expert tips, strategies, and practical checklists covering everything from recruitment and retention strategies to diversifying your workforce. 

You can also check out these Beekeeper articles on the topic: 

Join us at Arival Las Vegas for an in-depth workshop on hiring and retention in tours and experiences with TripSchool’s Alan Armijo.

Looking to hire, or be hired? Did you know Arival has a job board? Post a job, browse our talent pool, or upload your resume to join our talent pool!


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