Years of underpaying staff have come back to bite top European hotel chains as they struggle to meet post-pandemic travel demand. As a result, to overcome the staff crunch, the hotels are hiring workers without experience or even a resume.
Thousands of workers left the hospitality industry when international travel shut down during the Covid pandemic. Moreover, many chose not to return after finding better employment opportunities elsewhere, leaving hoteliers with a desperate staff shortage, Reuters reported.
In an interview with the news agency, Sebastien Bazin, Chief Executive of Europe's largest hotelier Accor said they are running trial initiatives to recruit people who haven't previously worked in the industry.
Accor, which operates in over 110 countries, needs 35,000 workers globally, Bazin said.
"We tried in Lyon and Bordeaux ten days ago and this weekend we're having people interviewed with no resume, no prior job experience and they are hired within 24 hours," he added.
For now, Accor is filling roles in France with young people and migrants while its limiting services.
"It's students, people coming from North Africa," Bazin said. "And basically closing restaurants for lunch or (opening them) only five days a week. There's no other solution."
The new recruits are trained for six hours and they learn the rest on the job, he added.
Staff shortages are particularly acute in Spain and Portugal, where tourism accounted for 13 per cent and 15 per cent of economic output before the pandemic. Hoteliers there are offering better pay, free accommodation, bonuses and health insurance.
"Many employees have decided to move to other sectors, so we are starting an industry from scratch and we have to fight for talent," Gabriel Escarrer, CEO of Spanish hotelier Melia said.
To attract staff, his company even provided accommodation. Sometimes, due to a shortage of rental housing near its resorts, the staff were housed in hotel rooms, he added.Read more: Travel Hacks: Tips To Crack The Best Hotel Deals For Your Next Holiday