News & Events

Hospitality Hiring Predictions for 2018

By: The TalentServed Team of Recruiters

Happy New Year! By now, you’ve probably sat down and made your list of New Year’s resolutions. And, if you are like nearly 45 million other Americans, you may have included “Get a New Job” on your resolution list. But, before you get ahead of yourself, check out what our team of recruiters had to say about their predictions for hospitality hiring this year.

Eric Bohlander

1. There will be more candidates.

More confidence in the market, will lead many to ‘take the chance’ on a new job. There will not only be more candidates; but, those candidates will be looking more actively to find the right, new role.

Jennifer Bryant

2. It’s the end of the counter offer (or so I hope).

Perhaps it’s wishful thinking on my part, but my intention is to bring awareness to the dangers of accepting a counter offer. It is not surprising that in today’s competitive employment market, companies are anxious to hold on to talent and may offer an employee a salary increase to stay. The employee may need to ask themselves why they started their job search in the first place and if their current job conditions will still exist should they choose to stay. The feel-good haze of that pay raise could wear off quickly after passing up a new opportunity; and, it’s possible they’ll find themselves back on the job market.



Joe Kelly

3. Market demands will overpower the talent shortage.

With a booming economy, younger generations are choosing to spend more on dining out and trying the latest restaurant concepts. At face value, this is great for the restaurant industry; but, it also leads to another challenge and trend – the talent shortage. We’re going to need more managers and chefs to fill the demands of many markets (including Atlanta). There’s a high chance we may even see a growing gap in the demand for talent verses supply available in several markets


Abbie Lutz

4. Relocation will become more common.

Restaurant scenes across the country are exploding with hundreds and hundreds of new openings on the horizon. This has caused a very competitive market and talented, local candidates are getting snatched up fast! More and more restaurant owners will need to weigh the long-term benefit of top talent against the relocation expense.


Jacqueline Caso

5. It will continue to be a ‘candidate’s market’!

Employers will have to work harder than ever to attract and retain quality talent. Structured training and development programs, with clear benchmarks of achievement and promotions, will incentivize ambitious, goal-oriented candidates to join their brand. Perhaps even those who would not have considered working in the hospitality industry before. Restaurants will have to offer increasingly stellar benefits like continuing education and certifications to attract the best talent.


YJ Ransdell, PHR

6. The Employee Value Proposition will matter even more.

As the economy continues to strengthen with more employment opportunities for candidates, companies are forced to compete for good talent. Establishing a strong Employee Value Proposition is essential now more than ever. A strong brand strategy (including a company’s vision, mission and culture) will not only attract consumers but also extend to attract stronger candidates.


Shannon Lee

7. There will be new roles for professionals in HR and Training.

In the wake of widespread workplace sexual harassment allegations in the headlines and even in the hospitality industry among others, companies will be looking for human resources and training professionals to be proactive in creating and maintaining safe and inclusive workplaces where employees at all levels feel respected and can thrive.

Kristine Stern

8. Off-premise sales will spark growth for Catering and Sales Managers.

With off-premise sales predicted to be a hot trend in the industry this year, we’ll be seeing more and more full-service restaurants entering the space through the development of new catering, take-out, curbside and delivery programs. Consequentially, new positions will need to be added for unit-level Catering and Sales Managers, Coordinators and Area Sales Managers. I’m already seeing the uptick in requests for well-connected, experienced sales professionals to launch and oversee these programs.

Kendra Martin

9. Health-conscious chefs will be in demand.

There will be a growing need for chefs with a diverse skill set. Customers still want a great tasting meal; but, with the increased popularity of specialty diets, even more restaurants are focusing on changing their menu items to meet the growing needs of more health-conscious customers. As existing restaurants update their menus to be more transparent and the number of new restaurants focused on sustainability continue to open across the country, now will be the time for chefs who haven’t worked in scratch kitchens to gain experience creating food that doesn’t just taste good but is also good for you!


Steve Gibson

10. Corporate hiring will be lively.

Despite predictions that we may be nearing the top of a ‘restaurant bubble’, capital continues to aggressively flow into the hospitality industry. The acquisition and subsequent growth of successful independents, small groups with viable concepts and even established brands continues to be the focus of many private equity firms. I disagree that there’s a ‘bubble’ and maintain that we are merely going through an evolution in the preferences of consumers dining out. For every concept in decline, there are three more that are growing rapidly and achieving enormous success. Hiring for corporate positions, especially support staff, vice presidents and C-level roles, will be essential for the new enterprises to achieve their growth objectives. For candidates seeking a move to a better career opportunity, this coming year holds great promise.


While we don’t claim to have a crystal ball, we do have an ear to the ground and eyes always affixed on the horizon. Whether introducing undiscovered opportunities to leaders considering a move or scouting out the very best talent for our clients, we’re listening and looking for the perfect match. And, we predict 2018 will be an exciting year!

Check one resolution off your list early this year by connecting with our team of recruiters nationwide. We’ll help you get your career back on the right track!