A US whitepaper has found that current hotel industry employees are positive about the industry, saying they feel valued and have a strong sense of belonging, but would like to see some changes including better flexibility and transparency about pay.

The whitepaper, titled Overcoming the Talent Shortage in the US Hotel Industry, found that current employees are more likely to feel that employment in the industry is accessible, provides valuable skills development, and offers good opportunities to build a successful career.

Released by the NYU School of Professional Studies Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the whitepaper involved consultation with hotel industry leaders in the US, including the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), as well as a survey of over a thousand current, former, and prospective employees of the hotel, restaurant and retail industries.

The whitepaper addresses the most important factors when considering a hotel job by cohort, leading routes into the US hotel industry, and current employees’ perceptions about the hotel industry.

The research found that pay and flexibility were leading factors for entrance and retention of employees, and identified key reasons why former employees left the industry including compensation and benefits being the primary reason, followed by identity and self-development, workplace climate, and flexibility and workplace balance.

“We are, once again, greatly energized about the critical research the Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality and Boston Consulting Group have been able to conduct through this collaboration,” said Jonathan M. Tisch Chaired Professor and Associate Dean, NYU SPS Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, Nicolas Graf.

“The findings provide helpful insights to leaders in the hotel industry as well as a defined path for moving forward.”

The whitepaper found that the industry can become a far more attractive employer by taking action in certain well-defined areas.

“As the hospitality industry continues to rebound from the effects of COVID-19, it is especially critical that hoteliers understand and implement innovative talent acquisition and retention practices,” said Boston Consulting Group Managing Director and Partner, Tom McCaleb.

“According to our latest survey with the Tisch Center, a majority of hotel workers agree that the industry offers valuable developmental opportunities to help them succeed in their careers. That said, these workers are calling for more flexibility, transparency when it comes to pay, and clearer career pathways in order to maximize the appeal of work in the hotel industry. Our latest research examines actionable practices the industry can deploy to attract new talent while retaining the strong employees already in the field.”