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Expert’s Voice: Why the hospitality industry needs to care better for its talent

by | Jun 28, 2019 | Experts

Finding talents in hospitality is a tough yet important task.

Chris Sheppardson, managing director at EP Business in Hospitality, explains how hospitality needs to be opened up to different talents in order to be a truly world-class industry.

Over the last few months, we have been developing an argument and campaign that forwards the need for new frameworks and thinking about how companies develop their talent.

Talent acquisition managers and heads of human resources make a valid case for their wariness of resumes filled with one to two-year stints. They question applicants’ motivation, skill level, engagement on the-job and ability to get along with other colleagues.

However, we need to find new answers. We know there is a lack of trust in business ethics and in leadership so this needs a key bridge for rebuilding. Trust lies at the heart of strong culture, talent growth and retention. Whilst there is such weariness, then we will just continue on a negative cycle that has been eroding more and more each year.

Every leader knows that they need the trust of their teams. It was one of the most spoken about attributes back in the pre-tech age but tech advances have allowed for corners to be cut. There is no coincidence that only 13% of employees are enthused about their work compared to 70% in the most successful organizations.


1. There is a need for human asset development to change as the statistics emerging on the development of team are simply not good enough. Our argument is that:

  • There needs to be a more positive focus on managing and caring for the human asset within companies.
  • There needs to be a developed process that focuses on the mental side of working life – a process that coaches mind-set and also supports stress and anxiety. The figures on stress and mental health should not be seen as acceptable.
  • A stronger focus on learning and development (L&D)

2. There should be no barriers to talent whether they possess a degree qualification or not. We need to allow all talent to feel that they can have aspiration and believe that upward social mobility is a real possibility through hard work and achievement.

All about learning & development

There is a very strong factual basis to support these arguments. Young talent clearly needs nurturing and companies should work to create a framework that can support this development. Our belief is that teams in the future could have the triple focus of having an L&D programme coupled with a coach supporting culture and a personal approach to supporting talent.

On top of this, the industry should aim to create a framework that really does seek to create “academies” that can support all talents regardless. Hospitality should be a home for all talents. The industry needs to have a culture that welcomes and supports the development of all if it truly wishes to be world class.

The talent is there. It exists all around us but it needs a new approach, a new philosophy to see it emerge and become leaders.


Chris Sheppardson

Chris Sheppardson

EP Managing Director

Experienced managing director with a demonstrated history of working in the hospitality industry working at EP Business in Hospitality. Strong business development professionally skilled in catering, negotiation, business planning, operations management, and executive search.


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