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Is the hotel and restaurant industry really struggling to recruit in France?

According to Pôle emploi, the number of jobs in the accommodation and food sector increased by more than 25% between 2005 and 2017. In a booming industry, is labour easy to find? What profiles are you looking for? Why is it so difficult to find staff?

Where are the most important needs?

In France in 2018, the Besoins en Main d’œuvre survey counted 286,642 recruitment projects in the Accommodations and Foodservices sector. Although the requests are spread over the entire territory, some regions, more touristic than others, have greater needs.

Not surprisingly, the department of Paris, which exceeded 23 million hotel arrivals in 2017, has almost 20,000 recruitment projects. Job seekers in this sector in Paris have the double advantage of having many offers and few of them are considered seasonal. This makes it easier to find a year-round job in the capital. The same is true in the Rhône, where only 24% of its recruitment projects are seasonal.

  TOP 10 departments that recruit the most in accomodation and catering in 2018


On the other hand, in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes a large workforce is required (12,799 and 12,828 recruitment projects) primarily on a seasonal basis: 80% for the department that includes the destinations SaintTropez and Toulon and 69% for the latter one that includes Cannes and Nice as holiday destinations. Finding a job during the summer season is therefore easier, but the opportunities will be much fewer the rest of the year. In addition to coastal areas such as the Bouches du Rhône and Hérault, it is also worth noting the strong seasonality in departments in the mountains, where 76% of recruitment projects in Savoie and 64% in Haute-Savoie are seasonal.

Professions with the greatest need for manpower

The most sought-after profession is that of “Café restaurant waiters” with 80,887 recruitment projects in 2018. This profession consists mainly of young working people (56% of them) and nonuniversity graduates (88% of them). TOP 10 of the professions that recruit the most in accomodation and catering in 2018

The professions with the highest demand are those in the kitchen (almost 130,000 recruitment projects) and especially those of “Kitchen helpers and apprentices, general-purpose restaurant employees”; this profession is mainly carried out by profiles with a vocational degree or Bac (48%) or without a diploma (42%).

An industry that provides jobs but is made up of trades where it is “difficult” to recruit

The accommodations and catering sector therefore has significant staffing needs, but is it easy for recruiters to find employees? According to Pôle emploi, the obstacles for recruiting are high, especially for the kitchen jobs, which are perceived by employers as the most difficult to fill (53.5% compared to 37.5% for all trades in 2017). One of the most complicated challenges (69.2%) would be to find the right person to be a “kitchen chef”.

On the other hand, “socio-cultural professionals”, a profession that is less specific to the hotel and catering industry, are among those for which it is least difficult to find staff (34.4%).

What are the demands of the hotel and restaurant industry’s professions that block job seekers from applying for jobs in this industry?

Pôle emploi has identified two important areas for recruiters in the industry: stress management and flexibility in schedules.

Indeed, 90% of employers consider that knowing how to manage stress is an essential skill for “Cooks and employees, supervisors in the hotel and restaurant industry”. And 81% of them report working on Saturdays, 62% report working on Sundays (Dares, 2016).

Would these two conditions that impact life at work prevent  the unemployed from joining this industry?

Multiple hiring opportunities today and for years to come

According to work by the Prospective des métiers et qualifications (Outlook for trades and qualifications), 137,000 net job creations between 2012 and 2022 are expected, representing a faster growth rate than all trades together. The hotel and restaurant industry is and will remain an industry that provides jobs in the years to come


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