Business News

Hoteliers to step up hiring this year to fuel expansion plans

India’s hospitality industry is set to hire thousands of new workers this year even as layoffs shake the other sectors.

The plans are in line with new hotel openings and pipeline numbers, and the sector has moved beyond replacement hiring of staff that left during the pandemic.

Mandates are also out to hire more women across roles.

Rajesh Kumar, senior vice president for human resources at Lemon Tree Hotels, said the chain will hire at least 2,000 workers for new hotel openings this year.

“For financial year 2024, our objective is to hire at least 15% women in the overall workforce, and by financial year 2026, our target is to have 30% opportunity-deprived people in our workforce,” said Kumar. “These would be people with disabilities, school dropouts, orphaned people and widows. Currently, we are operating with close to 7,000 employees.”

A spokesperson from Leela Palaces Hotels & Resorts said the chain is looking to hire 800-900 associates to support its expansion plans this year.

“We are looking at enhancing our senior leadership portfolio with female general managers, executive chefs and department heads while continuing to strengthen overall diversity ratios across all hotels in all departments,” the spokesperson said.

Franchised hotel partners of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts in India are expected to generate over 500 jobs locally in 2023 for the chain’s newly opened hotels, said Nikhil Sharma, managing director for Eurasia.

“The majority of our hotels are independently owned and operated. Our hotel franchised partners look after hiring within their properties as per their requirements,” he said. “These are new positions that are expected to be created by our hotel partners in India.”

Akhil Arora, chief operating officer at Espire Hospitality Group, said the chain’s manpower will increase by 100% this year.

“Earlier this year, we opened our Country Inn branded hotels in Udaipur, Mussoorie and Chail. In the remainder year, we also plan to launch four more hotels under our ZANA and Country Inn brands, in Rishikesh, Ranthambore, Dehradun and Jim Corbett,” said Arora. “We are not replacing talent, but certainly hiring new talent, in line with our growth strategy.”

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the hospitality industry has demonstrated resilience and adaptability, with 2022 being the best year on record and 2023 showing continued promise, said Neha Jain, regional director of Michael Page India.

“Growth in the hospitality industry’s hiring needs is expected to be driven by a combination of new and replacement positions, with operational staff and middle-management roles being the focus,” said Jain.

“There is also an emerging demand for CXO positions and independent board of directors, highlighting the industry’s evolving skill set requirements,” she said. “The sector is also placing greater emphasis on technology expertise, with companies seeking to transform and enhance operations and customer experiences.”



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