Talent Acquisition

New Training Programs for Hotels to Attract Employees

The hospitality industry is still recovering from losing so many employees over the last few years. But there are new training programs for hotels that can help attract employees from other industries.
A recent survey of over 200 hotels conducted by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) revealed that 87% of hotels in the United States are still short-staffed, with more than 115,000 hotel job openings across the nation still unfilled. While some hotel staff has returned, the competition for them has intensified and they now have more choice of where they want to work. The incentive for staying with one industry over another has presented more obstacles for hoteliers urging them to think of more creative ways to attract new recruits and retain their valued employees. This has led to many hotels creating new training programs that can entice new employees to choose the hospitality industry over others.

Developing new career paths

Although the promise of more money and benefits has attracted more workers to open roles, experts that study recruiting trends agree that the promise of a path to career development and advancement has been the most successful way to increase and retain staff. In fact, most agree that charting a career path for new hires and upskilling valued workers encourages a stronger sense of belonging within the company and deepens an employee’s trust in management.

Training programs for hotels lead to success

Hoteliers can provide training opportunities through various mediums, such as reskilling, cross-training, continuing education, mentoring, and other related programs. The beauty of these growth opportunities is that they are designed to appeal to a diverse group, from front-desk workers to housekeepers to engineers to maintenance workers. Emphasizing career-development programs has increased from 2% pre-pandemic to 8%. But that means there’s still a long way to go in the industry. Let’s look at the innovative ways some hotels are implementing special training programs to equip their workers with new skills opening a pathway to success and advancement.


According to the Wall Street Journal, hotel operator Nath, Inc., who owns Radisson, Ramada and Holiday Inns, has created a successful career track program with cross-development opportunities and leadership programs for their staff. NATH says their training programs are geared toward entry-level hotel staff and more senior and experienced team members. Workers are offered a career path that could potentially take them from entry-level positions like a housekeeper to head of housekeeping to managing their own hotel.

Collaborative training

The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association has instituted a new $1.1 million training program in association with the N.C. Department of Commerce geared toward anyone in the state of North Carolina interested in the hospitality industry. The best-in-class program is designed to upskill and advance the careers of those already employed at various hotels throughout North Carolina as well as attract new recruits. The program is supported by the American Rescue Plan Act and represents one of several projects designed to address the impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality, tourism and leisure industry.  In September 2022, the American Hotel & Lodging Foundation (AHLAF), the charitable arm of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, announced a new partnership with U.S. Job Corps to attract newly graduated Job Corp. students to open hotel roles. The program promises graduating students more than 200 career pathways and growth opportunities to choose from and access to the AHLAF’s coveted flagship apprenticeship program. The AHLAF is a key component in helping to address the nationwide hospitality staffing shortage and advance hospitality careers.

Leadership training

Ongoing skill-building and reskilling are most important to forging leadership career paths. One such progressive hotel chain, The Four Seasons Hotels, routinely offers pathways for career advancement for entry-level employees to current staff. Their “Manager in Training Program” provides a path for hospitality workers fresh out of college to acquire leadership training within a luxury hotel environment. According to a Four Seasons spokesperson, “MITs are exposed to all aspects of the leadership experience, assigned a strategic project, partnered with a senior leadership mentor, and provided with feedback throughout the program.”  Another example of a progressive leadership program run by Omni Hotels & Resorts is a valuable career advancement program designed to help develop leadership paths for soon-to-be graduates. The program was established to help transition entry-level workers into management roles. The popular program employs various training methods, from hands-on and virtual to mentoring to helping with career placement at hotels within their nationwide chain.

Educational training

Educational training is another vital aspect of career development within the hotel industry. Hilton Hotels recently launched a program called Guild Education, which explores continuing education as a means to attract and retain employees across many diverse industries. They offer over 2,200 courses, which include everything from high school certificates to professional certifications in culinary, IT, and college degrees for hospitality. The hotel estimates that nearly 5,000 of their team members want to continue their education with an eye toward management roles. The popular program may soon expand to include other resort properties. Rosen Hotels & Resorts, another well-known hotel chain that employs a diverse staff, recently teamed with UCG Global to implement an 8-week program of English language instruction to help international employees who struggle with the language become more fluent. Rosen Hotels allows them to attend classes during the workday without any interruption in pay. According to Jennifer Haddad, M.Ed., Program Director, UCF Global Engagement, nearly 64% of the participants in the program expressed an interest in career advancement. ‘The result of the language instruction is a step towards the goal of higher earning potential for workers and value-added retention for employers,’ she says, 

Mentorship programs

Mentoring provides new and current employees with a foundation of strong support and guidance and has been found to improve employee retention. A study by the American Society for Training and Development revealed that 75% of executives attribute mentoring to their success, and that employees who receive mentoring training are more likely to remain with their employer for longer periods. Best Western® Hotels & Resorts successfully hosted a 6-month mentorship training program from June 2022 through Dec. 2022. Supporting the growth and development of his Best Western Family, Executive Mentor Greg Adams, SVP & Chief Digital Officer of Best Western Hotels, touted the program as a valuable experience for participants to grow and develop themselves as leaders in management positions. The program allowed participants to make lasting connections with their colleagues and explore their career potential.

Invest in Employee Growth & Development

Taking the time to train and reskill employees affords them new opportunities for career growth and keeps their company satisfaction high. If given a pathway to leadership, employees may choose to move into management or different roles within the company, making them even more valuable. When employees perceive they are a valued part of a leadership team that cares, it incentivizes them to stay — keeping your business on track. New training programs for hotels give new employees career growth opportunities, additional education and mentoring will attract the diverse talent you need and help increase retention with less turnover.  Wizehire is a 5-star-rated hiring solution that can help your hotel business thrive. Our experienced hiring coaches review your job ads to ensure you are using the best practices to find quality candidates. Each job ad is posted on over 100 job boards, and our easy-to-use applicant tracking system keeps track of all your candidates in one place. If you’d like to learn more about us, check out our pricing page here, or contact a hiring strategist today!  


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