HotelSwaps aims to solve hospitality’s retention problem

An innovative new solution called HotelSwaps has been set up, with organisers claiming it will solve some of the problems involved in hospitality recruitment.

The scheme works by rewarding those employees who perform well with stays in hotel rooms, and organisers claim it will work as a much more effective tool in staff retention.

Preben Vestdam, the managing director of HotelSwaps, believes that one of the main problems in the hospitality industry is ensuring that staff stay within the sector, rather than being attracted to other professions.

The firm reports that 70 per cent of hotel general managers across the world feel human resources is the most challenging issue for the industry.

"Staff retention, as we know, is one of the main challenges of the hotel industry," Mr Vestdam said.

"So much money is lost in recruitment and training of employees who then move on. It is vital that the industry works out how to incentivise and retain staff in an affordable way and I am confident that HotelSwaps is an effective solution to this issue."

The programme has been a year in the making and Mr Vestdam feels there could be other benefits that come about as a result of staff staying in other hotels, especially if there are unoccupied rooms available.

He said there could be a number of "spin-off benefits" to hoteliers, aside from simply holding onto staff, including additional revenues, qualitative feedback and the sharing of best practices.

The scheme will work primarily by hotels with less than 25 rooms paying £395 for a membership. This fee rises to £1,950 for a hotel with over 100 rooms.

Once a hotel has signed up to the scheme, organisations can then start to deposit their rooms and receive points in return.

These are based on the seasonality and quality of the hotel so as to ensure a fair exchange between scheme members.

Mr Vestdam concluded: "We look forward to affiliating many quality hotels to the programme and seeing HotelSwaps become a key partner to the hospitality industry for years to come."

Berkeley Scott is a leading London hotel recruitment agency

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