The Future of Irish Hospitality – Attracting & Retaining Talent

Development of Hospitality Personas

This report identified 6 hospitality personas:

  1. Persona A: Future Star – With a positive outlook and a keenness to maintain their work-life balance, they have the potential to mentor and develop junior staff and new entrants.
  2. Persona B: Career Committed – Personal development and enhanced management skills can keep this persona motivated.
  3. Persona C: Family Ties – To keep them engaged, their acquired skills need to be recognised and their leadership/people skills enhanced.
  4. Persona D: Career Seeker – To keep them in the industry, they need career guidance and opportunities to upskill.
  5. Persona E: Career Mover – Recognition of prior learning and micro-credentials to acquire qualifications may make them more interested in staying in the sector.
  6. Persona F: Career Entrant – They need confidence building and to be shown a purpose and progression opportunities. Develop their people skills to encompass dealing with colleagues, bosses and customers – listening, patience, taking feedback and correction.

Each segment’s persona tells its story creatively, summarising their current role, perceptions, values, staying power in the industry and the requirements to train and retain them.
Key demographic classification points are included where relevant to a segment profile. However, note that socio-demographic characteristics are not differentiated across every segment.
To aid in distinguishing and communicating them, each segment was given a name that describes or encapsulates their positioning. The following overviews were developed to bring the personas to life.

Persona A: Future Star is in the middle of their career and has the
capacity to grow and develop into a key player in the business. They
have a positive outlook and are keen to maintain their work-life

Recommendations for Future
They have the capacity to mentor and develop junior staff and new
• Executive coaching to provide mentoring skills and cultural diversity skills
• Gain knowledge and skills about Further Education & Training to develop junior staff.
• Gain people management/ human resource skills through mentoring exercises to use on their career progression/opportunities within sector (and prepare them for the next career/life stage).
• Role-specific training in revenue/accounts/finance and/or food and beverage

Persona B: Career Committed is at the top of the career ladder but
needs to be kept motivated and challenged.

Recommendations for Career Committed:
• Continuous professional development and upskilling opportunities to add to their repertoire, such as language skills, culture and history.
• Management styles, leadership skills.
• Role-specific skills in computers, IT, payroll, budgeting and financial

The role of Persona B is quite diverse across the industry. There needs to be clear understanding of the individual needs of those in diverse businesses in the hospitality sector, as needs will vary between owners of small businesses and managers of international brands.

Persona C: Family Ties is more likely to work in a family business
and play different roles as required. This can lead to stress and the need to take a step back.

Recommendations for Family Ties:
How does the industry keep them
• Recognition of prior learning (on the job experience) to boost self-esteem.
• Certification that has currency (micro-credentials) to open up a career path.
• A professional qualification in business specific areas.
• Conflict management, influencing skills, leadership, communications and social skills will enable them to better manage their team and workload.

Persona D: Career Seeker is the least career-focussed persona and views their current role as short-term.

Recommendations for Career Seeker:
They need to find their place in the industry.
• Show them the opportunities in the sector; they would value an opportunity to upskill.
• They need career guidance as they cannot see a route to progress if they stay locally.
• Through Skillnet training and Further Education Training, they can gain skills and certification to allow them to progress.
• On the job training, certification and qualifications.
• In conjunction with adult career guidance, this would provide a stepping-stone to other opportunities within the sector, even if not in their locality.
• Customised training specific to their role would include food skills, food
safety, interpersonal skills, marketing and budgeting.

Persona E: Career Mover has no or low hospitality qualifications
but lots of experience and confidence in their own abilities.
They tend to move around as they haven’t found the job they love.

Recommendations for Career Mover:
• Personal development plan incorporating recognition of prior learning and the skills they have already acquired.
• Micro-credentials to acquire qualifications to make them more interested in staying in the sector and make them more attractive to other
employers in the sector.
• They could move into a management role and are the ideal candidate to
mentor new entrants into the industry.

Persona F: Career Entrant at the bottom of the ladder lacks confidence and self-esteem.

Recommendations for Career Entrant:
• Needs to be shown their role is important and that their current skillset is essential to the role.
• Personal development plan must start with self recognition and self-care to build confidence and self-esteem.
• Confidence building to acknowledge and address skills gaps, and see a
purpose and progression opportunities.
• People skills to encompass dealing with colleagues, bosses and customers – listening, patience, taking feedback and correction.
• Needs specific to the role such as food/bar, customer service, computer skills and hotel skills.