SEEK Employment Trends Australia: spotlight on the hospitality and tourism industry

Australia’s hospitality and tourism sector currently boasts the fifth highest average application rate per advertisement. Interestingly, SEEK’s Industry Insights data shows hirers often struggle to convert these highly-skilled candidates who are browsing their job opportunities into applicants.

To engage this talent, hirers need to clearly define their employee value proposition (EVP) and utilise a range of modern talent sourcing techniques to connect with these high-in-demand candidates. Modern techniques create a balance between recruitment efficiencies and candidate engagement by using video content, social media, talent search and application screening tools. All of which will be important as the sector continues to expand.

The hospitality and tourism sector is projecting a very healthy outlook and the Australian Government Department of Employment is predicting the creation of an additional 49,000 roles by 2017. However, these new roles are likely to attract a variety of candidates, from seasoned professionals to career switchers and those simply looking to supplement their income.

In the year to May 2014, Victoria led the pack with the most job ad growth (up 25%). This was followed closely by South Australia with an 18% increase. However, job advertisement views for hard-to-fill roles, such as travel agents, chefs and cooks, hotel and restaurant managers, currently favour Australia’s tourism hot spots of Queensland and New South Wales.

While roles for chefs, cooks and managers are receiving the highest volume of ad views (up to 80,000 views per month), they also received the lowest number of applications. Hirers looking to attract skilled workers or convert views into applications cannot afford to post vague job descriptions and must instead look to writing concise ads that showcase the opportunity.

Hirers should also take into consideration that more than 50% of visits to SEEK are now via their mobile device; requiring job ads to be concise and impactful.

Hospitality and tourism recruitment expert, Andrea Briggs, General Manager at Frontline Recruitment Group, agrees that candidates with hard-to-find skills currently have the upper hand and that a new approach is required from employers.

"Hirers are not catering to the new generation of candidates and, for many, their employment ads are falling on deaf ears. Today’s candidates are looking for transparent job advertisements that cover the essentials, but that also define the culture and lifestyle that can be achieved in the role,” says Briggs.

According to Briggs, employers must evolve if they are to secure the best candidates available. “We’re seeing really confident signs from the market. Hirers who don’t speak to the needs of the talent will struggle to be competitive,” concludes Briggs.

5 hospitality and tourism disciplines attracting the highest salaries

The top five role types attracting the highest salary offerings within the sector are:

  • Restaurant managers: $57,152–$69,552.

  • Airline customer support officers: $55,625–$68,749.

  • Gaming hosts: $52,500–$63,213.

  • Sous chefs: $48,757–$60,183.

  • Housekeeping managers: $47,342–$57,594.

5 most searched hospitality and tourism roles

  • Chef.

  • Kitchen hand.

  • Cook.

  • Head chef.

  • Receptionist.

Fastest-growing hospitality and tourism roles*

  • Wait staff: 41%

  • Bar staff: 35%

  • Tour guides: 30%

  • Chefs and cooks: 21%

* Year-on-year growth, May 2014.

Recommendations for attracting hard-to-find talent

  • Salary and compensation  tell the candidate what they will earn, if there are penalty rates or any perks that might help their pay go further (e.g. meals, uniforms, parking, staff discounts, e.t.c).

  • Career development – showcase your approach to learning and development and share career paths that others have taken.

  • Work-life balance – ensure candidates know what hours they will work, if the shifts are flexible, what the culture is like and what lifestyle they can expect.

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SEEK is the destination of choice for job-seekers and hirers in Australia, acting as the conduit between hirers looking to fill vacant roles and candidates looking for work across many and varied industries. SEEK's mission is to help people...

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