Hcareers Survey: 86.2% Unemployed Plan to Return to Industry

CHICAGO—Hcareers, headquartered here, recently surveyed its audience on how they foresee the hospitality industry rebuilding, and what they think will change post-COVID-19. The company also asked what will be important for employees during their job search if they are planning on continuing to work or search for opportunities in the hospitality industry.

A total of 86.2% of respondents employed in hospitality plan to stay within the industry. Most of those who answered “other” elaborated that they are either waiting to see how the industry bounces back or are potentially seeking other types of temporary employment, and will reevaluate once business picks back up. Understandably, there are job seekers who will venture away from the industry due to immediate financial responsibilities and the availability of employment; 9.3% of those surveyed do not plan to continue to work within hospitality.

When it comes to education, 38.9% indicated they were less likely to return to school or pursue additional certification opportunities at this time, while 34.7% stated they were more likely to take this opportunity to explore those options. Many respondents provided additional insight in their written responses, stating that added training and education programs for hospitality company employees and new hires is necessary. With new safety and sanitation guidelines, those surveyed recognize it is imperative that all staff know how to keep themselves and guests safe throughout the full hospitality experience.

When asked what job seekers expect in terms of benefits offered by employers, 36.8% of respondents expect more benefits. Even though 50.1% do not anticipate a change in general benefits offered, healthcare appears at the forefront. With the current public health pandemic highlighting the importance of healthcare, 59.2% of surveyed job seekers indicate healthcare benefits will be more important to them when considering a job opportunity.

There seems to be a general consensus throughout respondents that companies will either cut workers hours, pay or extra wages—and possibly hire cheaper, less-qualified candidates—in order to recover losses. Although most predict that benefits will stay the same or increase, 50.9% think pay will stay the same, while 29.8% are expecting less pay.

Hcareers also asked two open-ended questions: “How do you think the hospitality industry will rebuild itself after COVID-19?” and “Are there any other insights you would like to share at this time?” The feedback was generally positive, as many responses stated the hospitality industry always bounces back. Respondents also acknowledged that it will not be business as usual due to the changes needed in order to ensure the safety of employees and guests. Here are a few of those responses:

“The hospitality industry is resilient and adaptive. I think that like most other industries, check-in lines will change, and dining and lobby seating will be restructured. We are a creative group and will work together to create a new and safe experience.”

“Safety of the guests and staff will need to have a higher priority. Paid sick leave and affordable high-end healthcare will be necessary. Filtered air, purifiers and/or ultraviolet/ozone purifiers should be run routinely. Restaurants should be more open air and with further distance between guests, with reservations preordered and available at arrival.”

“Hourly employees are the backbone of this country, so they need to be making a living wage.”

“I believe that if they intend to hire more after they have gotten all furloughed employees in, it would be less money and possibly a tad higher amount in healthcare benefits. I believe that for many employers, that will be their tag line in order to get new employees; how many new employees still remains the question.”

“Only the strongest employees will continue to work, so there will be more employment opportunities. In addition, pay rates and benefits will have to increase due to more health risks. The hospitality industry will always be needed, so it will become stricter, but it’s worth it to keep everyone safe.”