94% of hoteliers needs to hire executives with leadership skills, 89% needs staff with multiple tech skills and 86% is in need of scientists.


These are some of the essential findings of an international survey, carried out by Strategic Solution Partners (SSP), SearchWide Global (SWG) and SalesBoost, aiming at expanding the constantly changing landscape of the hospitality industry, as far as talent and economy is concerned. In the previous survey in 2019, the findings showed that the executives had started using external resources to fill in the talent gap in leadership and management, impelling the companies to join forces for the survey in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, in 2021, after an exhausting pandemic, the gap in acquiring and maintaining talents has increased, and the sector’s crisis has worsened, especially due to the great move of skilled, talented personnel to other sectors of the economy. Among other things, the 2021 survey includes data from hotel executives that had predicted this development. According to Bill Scanlon, the president of Strategic Solution Partners, the new survey is a continuation of the efforts to expand the staffing curve in the hospitality industry, since talent has an immediate impact on the income, on every level of the hotel. Hoteliers need to re-examine their recovery focusing on adaptability and on thinking “outside the box”, as far as staff is concerned.

Since executives expect to reach pre-COVID-19 staff levels, the survey includes statistical data and strategies, as well as the impact of the loss of talent in hotels. Furthermore, the main characteristics of and what to look for in new talent are determined, presenting the constantly evolving hospitality model, which is bridged with the results of the Gig 2019 study.

The great loss of talent

Specifically, the new survey ascertains that, among other things, the loss of talent was significant. The findings are as follow:

-95% of the hospitality teams experienced terminations/furloughs.

-49% of hotels lost more than half of their staff.

As far as reaching the pre-pandemic levels, the survey mentions the following:

-54% of hotel businesses is expecting to reach 75% of the personnel they had before the pandemic after the third quarter of 2021.

-30% of hotel businesses are not sure when they will reach this goal.

There is great demand for multi-disciplinary candidates

-62% of hotel businesses will prioritize multi-disciplinary hires so as to achieve the business’ readjustment in the best possible way.

-86% of hotel businesses answered that multi-disciplinary expertise is an important, very important, or necessary factor.

Mike Gamble, president and CEO of SearchWide Global, noted that the hospitality sector leaders know that they need to re-evaluate their increasing need for multi-disciplinary talent, and added that the search for talent will appear very different – innovatory solutions will be needed for the businesses, the teams and the goals, to recover and continue forward. According to Gamble, the hospitality business will recover, and the hotel businesses will come out of this stronger, more balanced and more resilient than ever.

The example of Cyprus

The Association of Cyprus Tourist Enterprises (ACTE), noted that in the past few weeks, during the effort of many hotel units to operate again, it became clear that there exists a serious problem in finding staff, adding that, for some jobs in particular, like maids, cleaners and dishwashers, it is a particularly big problem.

Referring to data, ACTE said that it seems that the problem has resulted due to three main reasons. One is that many people from the sector who have been receiving furlough pay have turned to other fields, some legally others illegally, and they are no longer willing to return to their old jobs. Another reason is, they add, that due to the long shut-down of the hotel industry, some employees moved to a different sector, while the third reason is that many European employees have now returned to their countries.