Recruiting qualified professionals from abroad for companies in the hotel and catering industry (the hospitality industry)
It is becoming increasingly difficult for hospitality companies in Germany to fill any open employment positions. Recruiting qualified professionals from abroad can help counter the growing problem of filling vacancies in the industry. Learn here what options are available to do so.
The need for qualified professionals in the hospitality industry
The Covid-19 crisis led to a sharp drop in employment in the hotel and catering industry, despite the fact that the furloughing scheme played a key role in stabilising employment subject to social security contributions. No other field of work has experienced such a sharp decline in the number of qualified employees as jobs in the hospitality industry. The German Economic Institute (IW) estimates that the number of people employed in this industry fell by 59,290 from June 2020 to June 2021, a decline of 10.3 per cent .
At the same time, the industry is finding it increasingly difficult to fill vacancies, given that hospitality companies were particularly hard hit by lockdown measures during the pandemic. According to the last DIHK-Fachkräftereport (Report on qualified professionals by the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry), 66 per cent of companies in the hospitality industry were finding it difficult to fill their vacancies in autumn 2021 – more than twice as many as in the previous year (31 per cent). In many cases, employees turned their back on the hospitality or tourism industry during the pandemic and decided to pursue a new career. Now there is a lack of replacements.
There is also a shortage of junior staff. The industry has had problems filling vacancies on the apprenticeship market for years. As of 30 September 2022, there were around 5,600 unfilled apprenticeships in the hospitality industry. Such difficulties in finding junior staff may, in the long run, also go hand in hand with the further increase in skills shortages for training companies in the hospitality sector.
Previous labour migration in the hospitality industry
Even now, foreign nationals make a significant contribution to meeting the demand for (skilled) labour in the hotel and catering industry. According to current figures from the Federal Employment Agency, the number of foreign employees subject to social security contributions in this industry increased by 8,450 to a total of 367,946 people in March 2022 compared to the previous quarter. As such, this group accounts for 37 per cent of all employees in the hospitality industry. It is therefore one of the industries represented most frequently by foreign (skilled) labour.