Challenges to the Human Resource Department in the Hospitality Industry

Challenges to the Human Resource Department in the Hospitality Industry


In the midst of converting itself into a knowledge-based economy, the hospitality industry believes that constructing a knowledge-based labour force is vital, particularly in the hospitality sector. This is because hospitality accounts for one-third of the GDP and more than 80 per cent of most nations' trades, and donates considerably towards the economic growth of most nations.

As an effect of training and development of human resources in the hospitality sector is dynamic in formulating a proficient and capable workforce with the skill to meet present and future challenges by offering them with technical skills as well as critical intellectual aptitudes. This is because the hospitality companies believe that investment in human capital is crucial to the success of the company's economic growth. Though, notwithstanding the support, inducements and creativities implemented for HR, the fact remains that glitches or challenges to the operational management of HR can arise.

A practical indication from other developed and developing companies has acknowledged significant challenges to the management of HR. Nevertheless, there is an incomplete empirical suggestion of challenges in managing HR in most hospitality companies. Consequently, the objective of this research is to scrutinize challenges to the effective management of HR activities, mostly in hospitality firms. It is anticipated that the results of this study will give HR experts a clear appreciation of the numerous challenges to the effective management of HR. Henceforth, pertinent and applicable policies and measures can be advanced and applied for the effective management of human resources.

Human resource training and improvement in hospitality firms is a serious feature of the progress of a knowledge-workforce in the industry. The objective of this learning is to scrutinize challenges to the operational management activities in hospitality firms such as tourism industry (Henry, Butcher, Browne, Hinds & Jayawardena, 2004). In order to realize these objectives, in-depth discussions were directed with HR management employees' preparation and improvement, employing a purposive or critical sampling performance.

The research discovered major challenges to the effective organization. These comprise of a shortage of intellectual experts to manage undertakings, coping with the response for informed workers and nurturing learning and advance in the workplace. It is hoped that the results of this research will provide HR experts with a clear understanding and consciousness of the numerous encounters in managing effective training and growth. Hence, pertinent and appropriate strategies and actions can be advanced and executed for an effective HR management.


A range of challenges are faced by hospitality establishments and HR authorities in administration and executing effective HR, mainly in the climate of globalization, and the new industrial revolution starts with the status of human capital in HR practice, their teaching and technical preparation, and also their communication and language abilities (Mitchell, 1997). Human resources' learning and inspiration are also labelled as significant features of effective HR practices. Nonetheless, their insufficiencies in assisting the effectiveness of HR position a challenge to the growth, organization and operation of effective HR in hospitality organizations. Additionally, the staff's changing demographics are also seen to have an influence on HR practices, alongside the organization's HR approaches and investments in HR (Zopiatis & Constanti, 2007).

Pertinent Factors HR NEED to Consider in Hospitality Industry

Human Capital in HR Practice

The dominant factor in HR is the human resources or the human capital in an organization. They are seen as the motivating force for the accomplishment of most hospitality organizations as a result of their abilities, aptitudes, information and knowledge. Furthermore, it has been recommended that for the hospitality organizations to participate effectively in a global economy, it is vital to hire satisfactorily educated and skilled workers and offer them with lifelong education (Hayes & Ninemeier, 2009).

Nevertheless, these are some of the difficulties faced by companies and organizations and seen as a limitation to the effective organization, preparation and growth of human resources in global economies. In the explicit context of HR authorities, the literature has shown that there is a lack of HR experts who are accomplished and knowledgeable systems thinkers, and who have the capability to be able to cope with the vast and specialized function of HR across organizations. For example, it was stated through previous research that the absence of HR specialists in the hospitality industry in most countries is a key hurdle to the success of HR efforts. It has been claimed that difficulties also arise due to an absence of understanding and acceptance of HR on the part of administrators (Mathai, 2016).

Actually, some critics have claimed that HR authorities do have an essential role, as they own know-how in learning and in developing others to become specialists. Numerous small to mid-size hospitality corporations like hotels have become gradually aware of how an operational human resource leadership that can subsidize the accomplishment of the business's bottom line.

The following facts discuss how an operative HR leader and HR function can aid a Tourism company's bottom line, including mounting a positive and appealing work surrounding the company (Hayes & Ninemeier, 2009).

Recompense management

Reward expense is characteristically the second largest business disbursement next to raw materials or purchased goods. Contending with the challenge for talent on the foundation of remunerations alone is no longer cost-effective, and HR leadership must regulate the right combination of base pay, adaptable pay and benefits that motivate and preserves high performers, and supporting the salary program as well as inducement programs to performance markers for the Business, teams and personalities.

Welfares evaluation and management

Managing and guiding the snowballing costs of employee benefits while balancing the needs of the employees has converted into a very delicate issue, particularly with reference to health insurance. There are intricate problems to respond, such as whether to offer various benefit alternatives, how funding for the strategies should be divided between company and employee donations, and how much of the subsidy plan management should be run internally.

Staffing/talent gaining in the Hospitality Industry

Declining responsiveness in the hospitality industry among the younger age group is partly due to the opinion that hospitality is not as cutting edge as other businesses. The necessity to balance a long-lasting "core" full-time workforce with short-term workforces necessary to meet periodic or sporadic spikes in demand also makes hospitality jobs look less safe to most young people. These are industry-wide tests and it will take a creative, well-connected, convincing HR leadership to give your corporation an advantage (Sobaih, 2018). The skill to effectively recruit talent at all heights of the hospitality business in a cost-effective and timely means is critical.

Preparation and progress

The grade to which employees are engaged that is rightly committed to an administration's success against doing a job has a direct influence on profitability. HR leadership must be able effectively to succeed in all areas of preparation and improvement, whether through mentoring, contracting for off-the-shelf platforms and study options, hiring outside advisers, or leveraging train-the-trainer packages offered by contractors.

Performance assessment and organization

HR can plan and device the formal employee evaluation programs within the company or use external professionals to support with the progression to ensure that the procedure and tools are aligned with the establishment's aims and draw upon present best practices. In adding HR can provide line administrators with the provision and talents they need to effectively employ in these procedures so the business can realize the anticipated results.

Employee and labour relations

HR management in worker and labour affairs is particularly significant in hospitality companies. If the business is non-union, it usually takes much time and works to sustain this status. If unionized, employment consultations and on-going affairs with the union have a fundamental effect on most hospitality companies' financials as countless budget objects are items for the compromise including benefits, quality, layoff provisions have a major impact on the business (Karve & Dias, 2016). Company administration ought to assess how well their HR utility is equipped to deal with such situations.

Managing the Demand for Knowledge Workforces

While the most hospitality companies HR policies have been campaigning for employers and organizations to furnish employees with the expertise and knowledge to become knowledge labour force, the HR practitioners in these hospitality businesses are faced with the task of handling the demand for informed and proficient workers (Net, 2018). Three crucial factors will be deliberated to define the challenge faced by HR practitioners in coping with the demand for knowledge workforces:

  1. Employing and retaining technical proficiency and a capable labour force;

    The first crucial factor relays the issue hiring and preservation of technical expertise and a proficient staff (Siguaw & Smith, 2010).

    Corporations and HR practitioners are faced with challenges in employing official expertise and capable, informed employees, notwithstanding the fact that numerous technical and professional institutes have been established by the most Governments to back vocational and hospitality training. The contracting of skilled, qualified and knowledgeable workforces is progressively more difficult in the competitive hospitality industry, but at the same time, developing and holding these workers raises the challenges facing companies and HR practitioners (Rehman & Mubashar, 2017).

  2. The schooling level of the labour force;

    The burden for knowledge workers is not only connected with individual talents and competencies but also with the instruction levels of workers. It has been specified that current members of the labour force in the hospitality firms typically have a minimum qualification of and some have no credentials or are illiterate, predominantly in the case of employees' hospitality production workers (Chand, 2010).

These workers or hospitality hands are sometimes promoted regardless of education levels. Nevertheless, the low schooling level of these promoted supervisory staff is problematic to the HR. Without a doubt, difficulties with language and communication frequently emerge during teaching, mostly in communicating with instructors and mentors, as well as in communication and communiqué with organization employees (Mejia & Torres, 2018). The Hospitality firms and/or the private sector emphasize the use of English for formal communication and correspondence, but with the prevailing personnel having been principally educated.

This is corroborated by most studies, who contend that with the robust emphasis on the most local languages by the uneducated workers, English language abilities are failing very rapidly. As such, satisfactory factory floor literacy skills are significant basics for employee participation in HR activities Organizations with comparatively large numbers of workers with low elementary skills and learning may find it hard to get workers' full contribution and participation in training. Furthermore, it has been established that workers with relatively higher levels of learning are sought after in the workforce, mostly in the hospitality industry, and modern employers are hiring workers with at least a diploma and University schooling with required computer literateness (Jayawardena, 2002).

The rise in the ageing labour force

Thirdly, it was stated that a majority of older members of the labour force are testified to represent the big chunk of the labour force, commonly baptized ‘baby boomers' in the contemporary literature. Undeniably, it was discovered that the senior employees are not capable to cope with the escalation in the dependence on computers and fast technological development, and thus developing them to convert knowledge labours may pose a challenge or somewhat a waste of resources.

Largely, the above results suggest that HR practitioners are challenged with the task of employing, teaching, reequipping, holding and developing workers to become knowledge labours. Still, difficulties with the ageing labour force and their places within the corporation pose a major test in developing them to become knowledge employees, principally with regard to their levels of learning (PR, 2014). Following this notion, the literature has established that matters of changing demographics in the labour force, such as learning levels, connected with communication, linguistic and the ageing labour force, are working against companies and HR practitioners in many hospitality organizations.

Nurturing Knowledge and Development in the Works

It has been evidently indicated that HR actions are designed to change a person's behaviour and outlooks towards their job and business, but HR practitioners are challenged with problems linking employees' behaviour and outlook ("Problems Faced by HR in the Hospitality Sector", 2018). Firstly, it was established that top executive, senior bosses' and line supervisors' have uncooperative behaviour towards HR which had a noteworthy effect on the efficiency of HR.

Secondly, workers' negative attitudes can be harmful and challenging since behavioural variations, performance development and organizational effectiveness may be affecting HR practitioners in the hospitality firms.


In overall, the challenges confronted by companies and hospitality organizations in the effective management of HR varied from concerns about the lack of intelligent HR specialists to coping with the request for knowledge-workers and nurturing learning and improvement in the factory. The essential and principal challenge is the lack of knowledgeable HR specialists in hospitality firms, and this suggests that companies viewed HR as a function subordinate to other departments and perhaps reflected it as being of lesser significance. This inference could lead to the unsuccessful application of HR actions and increase vagueness and let down in effectively managing as a whole.

As well as the major task existing by the lack of HR experts, HR practitioners are presently being met with the challenge of managing with the demand for knowledge-workers, with issues concerning employing, teaching and retaining of an accomplished and capable labour force ("Problems Faced by HR in the Hospitality Sector", 2018). The ageing employees and their places within the corporation also pose a major challenge in terms of developing elder workforces to become knowledge labours, mainly with regard to their levels of schooling.

Nevertheless, the issue of "how HR practitioners cope with an aged staff, to develop educated and expert labours to attain knowledge-worker status" necessitates further investigation (2018). Additionally, the lack of guarantee towards teaching can be seen through most hospitality organizations, from top administration to lower level employees. The top executive and decision-making level staffs are found to be obstinate towards HR efforts, whereas lower level workers lack the assurance to contribute in preparation and expansion activities (Madera et al., 2017). This suggests that workers may have entrenched pessimistic outlooks towards teaching and be basically unaffected by the change.

Of Assignment, the occurrence of change is frequently repelled, as it needs persons to take aboard new education and accept new skills and skills. In point of fact, companies and HR practitioners in these hospitality companies are seen to be challenged with the singular employee-negotiated personality of education rather than the resources essential to upkeep such education. Certainly, these extents in education are said to be a significant alteration with detail to fostering education and growth in the hospitality industry.


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