Hospitality: Solutions and Approaches for an Effective HR Strategy in Ireland

To cope with the current and worsening risk of hiring the wrong person for the job, hospitality professionals in charge of recruiting are raising the bar. The costs and risks of a poor hire have become so high that the sector can no longer afford to make mistakes.

The most effective hospitality companies’ bread and butter remains great hiring and retention. The hospitality sector will continue to place a high emphasis on identifying, cultivating, and retaining exceptional talent. Not only in the coming months and years, but for the far future.

With this in mind, it’s critical to consider what works, what doesn’t, and what the most efficient (and cost-effective) HR solutions to an increasingly tight labour market are.


Be Culture Conscious 

Culture is one of those terms that gets thrown around a lot. However, the fact is that this trendy business word is on everyone’s mind for a reason: culture matters. Not in a flimsy, feel-good way, but in a practical, bottom-line effect kind of way.


Culture awareness is the single most effective way to minimise labour costs. Not only in recruiting, but in all aspects of your company. This begins with identifying and recruiting applicants who are a good match for your company’s professional culture, as well as actively nurturing and promoting the kind of long-term company culture that attracts and retains quality talent.


To be specific, culture includes more than inspiring wall art or a monthly employee brunch. Culture is more than just “perks” or slogans: it’s a much broader and more profound concept. Flexibility in work hours and work/life balance can be advantageous, but the aim is to help and accommodate the team without jeopardizing continuity, face-to-face team-building time, or productivity.


One question that hospitality executives should be asking themselves is, “What would make my team feel connected?” Although precise answers can differ by organisation, culture and communication must be reinforced on a daily basis with realistic concepts, concrete projects, and effective team-building. Here at Opal People Solutions, we recognise the importance in every organisation of company culture, where we can identify the need to improve your employees engagement or change organisational culture.


So how do I begin?

Although new efficiencies will be required in the long run, and incorporating new tools and innovations that improve rather than subtract from the guest experience can add real value, there is a limit to how much effect technology can have in an industry where personal interaction is so important. Outsourcing concepts may help alleviate some of the effects of the worsening labour shortage, and decision-makers may be more selective and creative in evaluating potential positions for applicants—even though they applied for a completely different position.


However, hospitality firms within Ireland will be unable to continue approaching owners and requesting additional investment in their hotels or restaurants. There is a limit, and broader systemic and economic trends will move to the point that hotel management companies will have to radically change their organisational and cultural trajectory. Better hiring and retention will be a part of the solution alongside an effective HR strategy, as it will be more strategic on how and where to spend available (and, in many cases, diminishing) capital. Retention is by far the region where the industry has the most potential for growth.


As the hospitality sector in Ireland continues to grow and evolve, so does the need to develop a HR Strategy aligned to your business growth. We will explore a number of strategy options e.g. recruitment & retention, engagement & culture, reward & recognition, talent management & succession planning, employee well-being and Corporate Social Responsibility to create a HR strategy which will work for your business.


An effective HR strategy and positive culture can help to build an employers brand within hospitality. One of the key challenges in hospitality is attracting talent at all levels, and the industry reputation of low pay or unsociable hours can be off putting to candidates, as well as the fact that enforced closures throughout COVID-19 have meant that skilled hospitality staff have looked to other industries to earn and it may be difficult to tempt them back. An effective HR strategy which overall recognises, rewards, allows flexibility of working patterns and supports employee wellbeing etc will support the employer brand internally with employees to not only increase retention but allow current employees to be advocates for the business and more likely to recommend working there to others, to build a brand where people want to work.


Your HR strategy is one of the most effective levers in achieving your business goals, but the effect takes time to develop and the connection is difficult to create and maintain. We will help you make the connection by working closely with you to build a simple, concise, owned, and actionable HR plan that will support your company in the long run.


We consult closely with you on your HR plan so that you are completely engaged in and accountable for the process and performance. It’s about being sure you have a plan in place that can help you achieve your objectives and that you can put it into action quickly and smoothly. In a nutshell, the right strategy is ready to execute.


To find out more about how we can help you with your HR strategy watch our video series, send us an email via or schedule  a free 30 minute consultation with myself click my Calendly link: Calendly – Louise McGeady

About Opal People Solutions:


At Opal People Solutions, we pride ourselves on delivering results for our clients.

We Believe in Making a Difference! We are a comprehensive Human Resources Agency situated in Co. Antrim, N.Ireland and we work across the island of Ireland as well as GB.  Our extensive experience in the HR industry means that we protect your business by providing professional advice and support and working with you to deliver the best outcome for you and your people.


Whether you are looking for ongoing support or some assistance on a one-off project basis, we can offer you over 20 years’ experience in the people management field.


Our services provide a flexible and versatile solution. Our consulting services, which are available on a project-by-project basis, cover the broad range of HR needs that many companies fail to meet. We begin by learning about your business and understanding your challenges, and then we work with you to find a solution that meets your company’s specific requirements.

Click the link for full range of our HR services: