Tue 19 Jun 2007 - TMS Asia-Pacific (TMS) has roundly applauded Federal government moves to improve the tourism industry's ability to attract staff from other industries and overseas.
The recruitment and executive search specialist’s comments follow the release of a report released on Monday (18 June 2007) by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Workplace Relations and Workforce Participation.
In essence, the ‘Workforce Challenges in the Tourism Industry’ report, calls for sweeping changes if the travel industry is going to be able to address the current industry staffing crisis.
The report stated that while government campaigns to boost international and domestic tourism had been successful, there had been little attention on selling the tourism industry as a career choice for potential employees.
The Committee said the tourism industry had struggled to maintain its competitiveness in the employment market with other sectors that had the capacity to offer higher wages and other benefits.
It (the tourism industry) also faced a major public image problem and was seen as an industry with an employment “culture of turnover” and should do more to promote the long-term career and training opportunities available, the report said.
The report also said unless the industry could improve its recruitment and retention performance, it would be unable to meet the growth of the sector or the service quality expectations of travellers.
TMS General Manager Mandy Scotney said the government initiative was extremely timely in addressing the current industry staffing crisis.
But while applauding the recommendations as a “major step forward in winning the war for talent”, Ms Scotney cautioned that while the offer of attractive remuneration packages played a major role in luring candidates, employee retention levels were not driven by salary alone.
“Well thought out staff retention strategies will be key to attracting and retaining talent in an ever intensifying competitive market if organisations truly want to win the ‘war for talent’” she said.
“The industry also needs to consider flexible approaches to the workforce – be that implementing progressive HR strategies to draw women back into roles after having children or attracting ‘Baby Boomers’ who represent, potentially, one of the best sources of available candidates for years to come.”
Ms Scotney also underlined the need for organisations to ensure that they implement the appropriate human resources policies required to both attract and retain talented personnel.
Organisations, she said, need to be more flexible in their HR approach and begin looking beyond candidates starting out in their careers as the only potential talent pool.