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How Long-term Internships Can Help Improve Employee Retention in the Hospitality Industry

Hospitality Management News & Articles Internships & Jobs 1 min read

It’s no secret that the hospitality industry has a high turnover rate. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hospitality industry had a 130.7% turnover rate in 2020. Even before the pandemic, the rate was 78.9%, a significantly high percentage. With such a high turnover rate, it’s no wonder that the hospitality industry is always looking for ways to improve employee retention.

So, if you’re looking for ways to improve employee retention in your hospitality business, consider offering long-term internships. These internships will allow interns to learn their job and develop strong relationships with co-workers, leading to higher satisfaction and decreased turnover.

Benefits of long-term internships for the hospitality industry

Employers who invest in their interns’ development are more likely to have a pool of qualified candidates to choose from when positions become available. This is because interns who have completed a long-term internship will have a better understanding of what the job entails and will be better equipped to perform it effectively.

Benefits of long-term internships for the hospitality students

The hospitality industry is a notoriously challenging one to break into. With so many qualified applicants competing for a limited number of positions, it can be difficult for new graduates to get their foot in the door. One way to improve your chances of landing a job in the hospitality industry is by completing a long-term internship.

For interns, long-term training allows them to learn about the industry and gain practical experience in their field. It also allows them to build their network of contacts and develop professional relationships. ESDP (Employability Skills Development Program) at COTHM Dubai ensures students enrolled with us are equipped with the right skills and knowledge to be successful in the industry.

Challenges of implementing long-term internships in the hospitality industry

While long-term internships can help improve employee retention in the hospitality industry, some challenges need to be considered when implementing them. These include:

  • The cost of implementing long-term internships can be prohibitive for some hospitality businesses, particularly small businesses.
  • There is a risk that interns may become disgruntled if they feel they are not making progress toward their career goals.
  • Hospitality businesses need to ensure that they have the resources and capacity to support interns during their placement.
  • Internships are typically time-limited and may not be renewed or extended beyond the initial agreed-upon duration. This can cause feelings of uncertainty or insecurity among interns, particularly if they are hoping to secure a full-time job at the end of their internship.

Best practices for implementing long-term internships in the hospitality industry

There are a few best practices to keep in mind when implementing long-term internships in the hospitality industry:

  1. Make sure the internship program is properly structured and well-run. An effective long-term internship program will have clear goals and objectives, fidelity to the industry, and be properly supervised.
  2. Be clear about what the expectations are for interns from the outset and make sure that both parties are clear on the objectives and goals of the internship program. Interns should understand what is expected of them in terms of hours worked, tasks to be completed, etc.
  3. Pay interns a fair wage. Unpaid internships are illegal in many jurisdictions, and even if they are not, they are not considered best practices. Hospitality employers who want to attract and retain the best interns should pay them at least minimum wage.
  4. Provide feedback to interns regularly. Feedback helps interns understand how they are doing and what areas they need to continue to work on.

Offering long-term internships is just one way that the hospitality industry can improve employee retention. However, it is a proven method that can help to attract and retain top talent.

Both employers and students can leverage COTHM Dubai’s global internship and placements program.

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