How can you increase the diversity of your H&L workforce?

Hospitality and leisure businesses deliver experiences and the quality of those experiences will depend on the talent, skills and enthusiasm of their people. Ideally those employees will represent the cultural diversity of the location, business environment and clientele they are serving. But many business, not just in H&L, are grappling with the issue of diversity and inclusion in their workforce, especially now the challenge of finding and retaining talented people has never been greater.

Here are some practical suggestions you could try in your business:

Diversify recruitment sources:

Look beyond traditional sources and networks.  Reach out to diverse communities and new opportunities, both geographically and in the way you find potential hires, (the methods and media used to advertise). Visit careers fairs in new places. Partner with diverse organisations and colleges in your local area, consider how to use apprenticeships to offer opportunities to under-represented groups. Target underrepresented groups such as the older generation, those with disabilities and women returning to the workplace after having children.

Ensure inclusive hiring practices and train your managers:

Make your process simple, remove unnecessary criteria that may disadvantage certain groups and consider disabilities. Hiring managers should be trained to recognize their unconscious biases and use objective processes that remove discriminatory hiring practices.

Provide equal opportunities for advancement:

Review your internal path to progression. Implement objective performance metrics and good feedback processes, offer training and development programs, and provide mentorship opportunities. Train your managers to spot talent and coach them with the skills for progression, giving all important confidence that they can achieve the next step.

Promote Diversity, Equality and Inclusion:

Make this known at all levels of the organization, talk about it and tell employees what you plan to do and how they can contribute.  Create DEI groups with representation from employees to promote the help they need, provide training to all employees, especially managers, and ensure all policies and practices are inclusive.

Create a welcoming workplace culture:

A culture that is inclusive and respectful of all employees. This can be achieved by promoting and celebrating diversity, creating an open-door policy, providing feedback and recognition for good work, ensuring fair and equitable pay and creating an environment where employees feel valued and respected.

Provide employee support:

See if you can help to meet the unique needs of diverse groups. This could include offering support for language classes, equipment to help disabilities such as dyslexia, a fully accessible workspace for those with mobility difficulties, providing culturally sensitive food options, recognising differences in the holiday calendar and celebrations, creating employee resource groups that provide support, networking and mentoring opportunities for employees from different backgrounds and at different stages in their employment lifecycle.

Offer flexible work arrangements:

Such as varied shifts, part-time work or job-sharing, working from home, all of which allow working parents and those with disabilities or health conditions in particular to manage their work and family responsibilities.

Increase representation in leadership:

Strive to increase representation in leadership positions so that everyone can identify “someone like me” higher up the career ladder. This can be achieved by implementing diversity targets for leadership positions, creating leadership development programs, providing mentorship, sponsorship and apprenticeship opportunities.

The opportunity to be proactive and accept the challenge that EDI brings has never been better timed and more essential for success.  Improving diversity is not only the right thing to do, but also very good for business.

Learn more about how Menzies People Solutions is helping our clients with their EDI initiatives in our article below:


Our ‘Survival of the Staffed’ whitepaper discusses the challenges of recruitment and retention.


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