Attracting and retaining the right staff has emerged as a key issue for tourism operators due to the high staff turnover rate in comparison to other industries. While those working in the industry understand the scope and diversity of tourism career pathways, there is an incorrect perception that the tourism industry offers only transitional employment with little opportunity for career progression.

Tourism operators and employers have a role to play in breaking that perception by fostering talented tourism professionals and providing clear career paths for those working in the industry.

In this section, you can access information on staff training and development, and connect with recruitment providers who can help you find the right staff.

How to find the right staff
Staff retention
Building local networks
Business mentoring


How to find the right staff

Recruiting new team members is an exciting but time-consuming task. Not taking the time to do it properly, however, can result in even more downtime going through the whole process again. Staff turnover in the industry is estimated to be about 50% and it can cost up to 20% of payroll. There are some tricks to finding the right staff and some people who can help you.

People Excellence
Want to know more about how to attract and retain the right staff? People Excellence External link is one of the modules under Tourism Excellence that provides tourism operators with advice and information about human resource management.

Job Services Australia
Access free recruitment advice and support through your local Job Services Australia (JSA) provider. There are more than 2,000 JSA providers in Australia that can connect you with staff in your local area that meet your recruitment needs. You may also be eligible to claim Government wage and training subsidies. Find your local JSA provider here External link

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Staff retention

The link between good people management and a business' bottom line can often be overlooked. However, staff turnover in the tourism industry is estimated to cost operators up to 20% of their entire payroll. Keeping employees satisfied in their role means less time recruiting and training new staff and more time for you to run your business.

See the links below for more information about up-skilling your staff and providing genuine career guidance.

People Excellence
One of the myths attached to keeping staff happy is that it is all about money. Study after study has proven that while remuneration is important, other factors such as job satisfaction, a positive working environment and work/life balance are actually more important to employees.

People Excellence is one of the modules under the Tourism Excellence program that provides tourism operators with advice and information about human resource management. There is a whole section dedicated to staff retention and developing career paths External link for employees.

Victorian Training Guarantee
The Victorian Training Guarantee (VTG) External link provides Government-subsidised training for your staff to help meet the skills shortages within your business. The VTG is available for businesses looking to train staff into supervisory or management roles to take their business to the next level.

VECCI Short courses
The Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) is closely aligned with the Victorian Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) and delivers an extensive range of human resources courses to help businesses build, motivate and retain an effective workforce. Details about courses and the extensive range of training VECCI offers employers can be viewed here External link

Australian Tourism Accreditation Program
Are high staff turnover rates becoming costly for your business? The Australian Tourism Accreditation Program (ATAP) External link offers online modules in human resources and staff development that will help you provide rewarding career pathways for your employees.

Learn Local
The Victorian network of Learn Local External link organisations offers a range of training options that can reward your employees with a nationally recognised qualification. Training can be tailored to your workplace skills requirements and Government subsidies are available.

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Building local networks

Building local networks is a great way to share ideas and get insights from other tourism operators in your region who understand the local industry and issues faced with staff recruitment and retention.

Tourism Industry Leadership Program
The Tourism Industry Leadership Program is delivered in some Victorian regions and aims to give people with a demonstrated interest in tourism the opportunity to grow as leaders. The program is delivered by local destination marketing agencies and is an excellent opportunity for tourism operators to network with other operators in the region.

Find more information on the Tourism Industry Leadership Program in your area:
Melbourne Tourism Industry Leadership Program External link
Goulburn River Valley Tourism Industry Leadership Program External link

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Business mentoring

While no one knows your business better than yourself, an external business mentor can be a valuable asset. The Victorian Government offers a number of programs that provide practical advice, guidance and support to small business operators.

Small Business Bus
Operated by Small Business Victoria, the Small Business Bus External link visits Melbourne and regional Victoria as a 'travelling office on wheels'. It offers friendly, professional assistance from an information officer and specialist advice from an experienced business mentor from the Small Business Mentoring Service External link

Small Business Mentoring Service
Improve your business or new business proposal using a mentor from the Small Business Mentoring Service (SBMS). The SBMS has helped over 2,200 businesses to achieve their business goals last year.

The benefits of business mentoring:

  • Identify business issues that may impact overall performance
  • Assist with applications for financing
  • Determine the strength and viability of a business proposal
  • Review pricing and costing
  • Build sales and help you to find new customers.

Mentoring will help you to get on the right track so that you can take your business forward in a clear direction. Mentors offer pragmatic, real-world and totally independent suggestions which are detailed in an Action Plan following each meeting. Book an appointment External link

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Last Updated 18th July 2017