Introduction Since the “open door” policy was promulgated in 1978, Chines economy conditions have changed fast and appear a rapid increasing. At the same time, China tourism industry also increases rapidly. In last decades, China has become the top five tourist destination in the world since 1999 and will be top one in the world by 2020 (Wong & Liu, 2010). There so many opportunities in China hospitality and tourism industry. In this situation, the competitions of hospitality industry become keenly because of international franchising, government investment and local hotels increasing (Qu, O'Neill, & Wang, 2008).
These also promote the development of China hospitality industry. But in this rapidly developing, there have exposed some challenges, such as high turnover rate, long working hours, employee dissatisfaction, especially the shortage of high qualified employee. No qualified employee, the service industries’ quality will have influence. So how to solve the high qualified employees’ shortage will become the most important thing among of several challenges.
Maybe, some hotels will think about where they can find requirement employees, and how they can sustain these employees. In China, because of recently policy support and global tourism environment influences, there are so many hospitality management universities are built, and so many students study in this major. So China hospitality management university students may be a good way to help Hotel Company to relieve the shortage of high level qualified employee.
If hotel want to try to use university student who are in this major, they may want to know what kind of advantages these students have. Or what kind of things will hinder them to achieve this goal? And how the hotel can go over these obstacles? This study will focus to try to answer these questions and give suggestions about how to go over obstacles in using students to relieve the pressure of high qualified employees’ shortage.
High Quality Employee Supply: China Hospitality Management Major Students
1. Rapid development of hospitality industry in China. Hospitality industry is a very important component of service industry, and the development of service industry is an important index of development of country (Lin, Horng, Chen, & Tsai, 2010). From the Taiwan’s service industry study, the service accounted for more than 70% of Taiwan gross production, and the population of employees has reached 57.97% of total employees of Taiwan, this means that Taiwan’s economic has changed from manufacturing-oriented to service-oriented (Lin, Horng, Chen, & Tsai, 2010).
From Taiwan’s situation, when economic continue to develop at a certain level, service industry will develop and occupy a big part of whole economic industry. In China, since the “open door” policy was promulgated in 1978, Chinese economy conditions have changed very fast and appear a rapid increasing. During these 30 years development, every industry has good development and from data of china GDP has surpassed German to be the world’s third largest economy after 2007, and it has reached 49,847.3 dollars in 2009.
According to the data from World Travel & Tourism Council, the development of tourism in China implies that about 17.4 million workers are required in direct H&T industry jobs, with a further growth of 3.1million jobs expected by 2016, by which time the figure would represent 2.5 percent of China’s total employment (Wong & Liu, 2010). In this high economic increasing situation, Chinese service-oriented changing is obvious.
At the same time, China has been increasingly recognized as a dominant and essential component of global tourism, has become the top five tourist destination in the world since 1999, and China will become the top one tourist destination in the world by 2020, will arrived numbers predicted at more than 173 million a year by then (Wong & Liu, 2010). Because the opportunities in hospitality and tourism industry, Chinese local hotel and international hotel increase their rapid to occupy the Chinese market, from only 137 hotels in 1978 to 10,888 hotels in 2004 (Qu, O'Neill, & Wang, 2008), include the hotels which invested by government to satisfy the nation’s dramatic economic and tourism development since 1970s.
Meanwhile, the international hotel brand chain use a new model in china, developing upscale or luxury hotels with joint venture and management contract or franchising to take advantages in China hotel market. During this strong competition, and global tourism environment influence, Chinese hospitality industry accelerate the speed of development.
2. Challenges of Chinese hospitality industry in rapid development Although Chinese hospitality industry has rapid growth, there also expose some challenges. For example, increasing competition between the local hotel and international hotel, some multinational franchisor in hotel chains develop and seek their potential marketing and expand their international markets to Asia, especially in China (Qu, O'Neill, & Wang, 2008).
And Information technology crisis management in hotel sector to suggest that Information technology crisis needs to be prepared in hospitality industry (Lu & Law, 2009). Those Chinese overbuilding hotel will also become a big challenge and threat to Chinese hospitality industry in the future because of high rapid development requirement after do the SWOT analysis of hotel reform (Kong & Cheung, 2009). working hours, conditions, use of expatriate labor problems, qualified and availability of skilled staff, awards and benefit problem and so on (Fabio , 2009).
Among of these challenges, the most serious challenge is the shortage of high qualified employees because of high staff turnover rate in hospitality industry and unwillingness of university graduates to enter the industry, and the international hotel is hard to find the proper employees or need more time to train to reach their standard, all of these are the human resource problem about qualified employees demand in industry rapid development (Kong & Cheung, 2009; Ferreira & Alon , 2008).
How to relieve the challenge of qualified employee shortage in hospitality industry in China? Persuading more and more hospitality management major students and improving their willingness to enter the industry may be a good way. In the follow, the present study will discuss about what advantages of hospitality university student have and what will be obstacles of using students to relieve the challenge of qualified employee shortage. And hope to make sure students will be the good choice to relieve qualified employee shortage challenge and find the ways to using university students as high qualified employee supply.
3. Students fill shortage of high quality employees 1. Advantages of using students At first, huge number of graduate hospitality management students in China, there are 852 hospitality and tourism undergraduate university, and 498.4 thousand students in this major (National Tourism Administration of The People's Republic of China).
When the service-oriented is appeared in China, the important of tourism and hospitality industry are more and more obvious in China economic and employment contribution. Chinese government takes more attention to tourism and hospitality industry, and some policies to this industry come into existing such as “During the State Council executive meeting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (Bobik, 2010) announced “tourism will be emphasized as a strategic pillar industry in the national economy and listed it on the top of the agenda of the national economic and social development in November 2009”.
With national motivation policies in hospitality and tourism industry and the economic motivation, it has been noted that Chinese mainland and Taiwan’s hospitality college has increased dramatically rapidly (Teng, 2006), more and more undergraduate school offer this major. The course knowledge and system of this major go into perfect in recent years.
In China, the number of colleges with hospitality and tourism management (hereafter HTM ) programs and students enrolled in HTM programs in the year 2002 show an increase of 61.5 percent and 113.9 percent compared to those in the year 2000 and 2001, respectively (Kim, Guo, Wang, & Agrusa, 2007). There are some famous tourism and hospitality management school such as Hong Kong polytechnic university, institute of Macao tourism, tourism management in Beijing international studies university and so on. And there are also some new built hospitality management schools in undergraduate university, the Tianjin University of Commerce and Florida international university cooperative school is one of them.
So from the quantities of human resources supply, the hospitality management major students will present the first advantages. In China hospitality management university, its course system and knowledge are trend to perfect and comprehensive; the students will practice their language skill and study knowledge in different aspects includes finance, marketing, operation, management and others economics and management programs. These will provide student a perfect foundation in principle of major and practice them how to become managers in hospitality industry. At the same time, these colleges will require enough internship. These internships will help students get more and more industry experience, and learn how to use their course knowledge in practice.
After four years study and practice, these great numbers of hospitality management students have enough capability to be as high-quality employees and perfect managers not only in major knowledge, but also in work experience. So the university students from hospitality management major will present basic capability and knowledge that industry required. That will be the second advantage of using university students. At the same time, there great number of overseas hospitality management major students will come back China to support industry with cross culture knowledge.
From data of study (Kim, Guo, Wang, & Agrusa, 2007), among in the students who studied HTM at University of Nevada, Las Vegas (VNLV), with a total student population of 1929 in HTM program of 1929 in fall 2003, Chinese students was 2.7 percent at the undergraduate level, and in graduate level, Chinese student was 5.4 percent. Another example, students who study HTM is in the UK at the University of Surrey with a total student population in the HTM program of 1237 for the spring 2005 semester. Chinese students make up 2.418 percent at the undergraduate level, whereas Chinese students make up 50.5 percent at the graduate level. The using of overseas education students is the third advantage of using students to fill shortage of high qualified employee in China hospitality industry.
2. Obstacles of using students The hospitality management major students have some advantages to relieve the shortage of high qualified employee when hotel use them because of their huge qualified human resources number supply, good knowledge about industry and cross-culture background, but from past studies, there many obstacles will also be exposed when hire and train the university students to enter the hospitality industry, these obstacles have to be considered and cross over if hotel want to choose university students. As people know that university graduate ceremony will on June every year, and the university graduate students in china will make their internship at last year.
This period there are so many students’ human resources to supply to hospitality industry; on the contrary, the hotels are difficult to hire university students except this period. So the special time in students’ human resource supply may be the first obstacle that hotel need to consider. As past study mentioned that the students’ job aspirations will be effected by the disadvantages of job characteristics and poor working conditions in some hotel department (Teng, 2008).
So the second obstacle is emotion problem to work According to Lin, Horng, Chen, & Tsai (2010), past studies divide the human resouces influence factors in three categories: organization, industrial and micro-economic factors (Lin, Horng, Chen, & Tsai, 2010). And through their study about Taiwan hotel human resource demand, and Lee & Warner (2006) mentioned in study, the industry factors such as unexpected events like SARS and other epidemics and expected events like tourisim-related polices, will cause obvious change the structure of human resource demand and supply (Lee & Warner, 2006). the hospitality management university students will also choose their career carefully when they are confronted with big event of hospitality industry.
And the third obstacle may be the industrial event that will influence the university students’ career choices. China parents play a important role in China hospitality management university students’ job selection, because the Chinese special structure of the family and traditional culture (Wong & Liu, 2010). And the attitude about “perceived parental supports of the hospitality and tourism career” and “perceived parental career concerns about welfare and prestige” are the two most important attitude from Wong& Liu, (2010) study because of many political and history reasons in China.
If hotels need to attract more hospitality management university graduate to enter the industry, the parental influence have to be considered. Perceived parental influence will be the fourth obstacle. The hotel need to cross over these four obstacles and to attract the hospitality management university graduates from special period supply, sentiment about personal job aspiration, trends of industrial factors and paretal influences, so that the hotel high qualified employees shortage can be relieved. But how to cross over these obstacle, here are some analysis and suggestion based on past studies.
4. How to cross over the obstacles 1. Time period obstacle From hotel human resource demand point of view, hotel employee demand is always directly relate to the organizational operation. The hotel’s room size, room numbers, the level of hotel, the number of restaurants that hotel has, the labor turnover rate, productivity, employee’s working hour and so on will affect employees’ requirements, but the number of rooms is key index (Davidson, 2006).
When hotel want to use hospitality management university students to fill the shortage of high qualified employees, the hotels need to considered their employees demand to leave the positions to these graduates in June in order to attract enough potential good employee for hotel, and then equipping the higher level skills to improve the quality of whole level employees. The hotels are also need to build a good relationship with hospitality management school, when the graduation period, hotels will get the best time and position to make campus recruitment. 2. Emotion obstacle
The disadvantages of job characteristics and poor working conditions in some hotel department are also affect the different students’ job aspiration (Teng C.-C. , 2008). Some hospitality management university students will lose the interesting to work in the hospitality industry because of its low salary in beginning level staff, informal working hours, high working pressure and lack motivation in certain hotel. Some of them cannot find their own value, because they get their dislike position in hotel, and focus the disadvantages on certain department.
These will make the poor emotion influence. After realizing these sentiment problems due to the conditions of working or job characteristics, the human resource department needs to consider their hiring procedure. Because employees will be higher satisfactions and lower turnover rates if the employees’ traits match work environment highly (Silva, 2006). Maybe that is the time to provide good opportunity to get right positions or promotion for employees.
According to the book “discovery the soul of service”, a powerful formula is hiring entry level people + sharing the company’s value+ performance+ leadership potential, and then promote them into position of great responsibility. This powerful formula is for leader promotion, but it also can give some good advice to cross over the emotion obstacle. When student first enter the hospitality industry, every hotel needs to give their strong beginning about company value, let them have the sense of belonging, and then make them have the ownership attitude, these are the investment in employee that every success company need to do. It is same as in hospitality industry.
If university graduates employees own the good potential of leadership, own good company value, but the performance are still bad, maybe it is because of job characteristic or showing the complaint about promotion opportunity. Hotel can choose change a job for them or consider a promotion opportunity if they have very good performance before current situation. In these ways, the hotel will across over the condition affecting obstacle to sustain more and more hospitality management graduates students. 3. Industrial obstacle Industrial factor is another obstacle that obstruct hotel to attract hospitality management university graduates to enter the hospitality industry.
The most important influence is seasonal changing in hospitality industry, Hospitality industry marketing has a very heavy seasonal pattern and most marketing-mix models will tend to confound marketing effectiveness with seasonality (Ataman, Heerde, & Mela, 2006). As common know that the marketing strategy will give a great guide to employee planning.
The hotel will have different demand for employees; the students in hospitality management major will also know that. And different place will have different peak period and off season, when university graduates meet the off season, and know the hotels don’t need so much employee in industry, they will find others job to instead of entering hospitality industry, so the hotel will lose these high quality potential employee. To go over this kind of obstacle, the human resource departments need to make good manpower planning according to their marketing strategy.
They have to make earlier communication with university and make scholarship planning to get proper students. At the same time, the industry unexpected event can also be an obstacle such as SARS or other epidemics; they will cause obviously changes in the structure of HR demand and supply (Lee & Warner, 2006). In this situation, some hotel’s employees will choose leaving, and university students will also consider carefully whether enter industry at this time. In certain period, the fix employee will limited, beside the poor outside conditions, these fix employee will have more opportunities to be allocated different department, and do cross training. The fewer employee need to do more jobs in this time.
So the high qualified employee shortage will expose more obviously. For avoid this situation to make more pressure on shortage of high quality employee, the hotel can make good relationship with university, and have long-term cooperation to help hospitality management major education, so that hospitality education can provide enough high qualified students increased training in different area to increase their flexibility in job marketing. And then, it will help hotels to across over the obstacles to using students under crisis situation of high quality employees’ shortage. 4. Parental influence obstacle
After “one child” policy are implemented in China, most of family’s structure are four grandfather and grandmother, two parents and one child, this is a upside-down rectangle structure, the whole care of family will give on child, the most of child’s decision will be made by his or her parents. Chinese parents play a very important role in all aspects of Chinese students’ life, including critical decision-making point such career choice. If the hospitality industry need to solve the shortage of high quality employee by using university student and attract them enter industry, some attitude of Chinese parents will be some obstacles.
From the Wong & Liu ( 2010), there are six aspects attitude of the parents will influence highly to HTM students choosing hotel and tourism industry (hereafter H&T industry), but the two of them will be outstanding, they are “perceived parental supports of the H&T career” and “perceived parental career concerns about welfare and prestige” (Wong & Liu, 2010). The first is “perceived parental supports of the H&T career”; it will be obstacle to influence H&T major students’ career choice before they begin their choosing. In Chinese traditional perspective, the hospitality job is a service job; there are some prejudices to this major. Some parents feel this industry’s jobs are as servant, those are an inferiority work.
They parents don’t want to get some information about this industry or talk about this industry with their child (Wong & Liu, 2010), and even encourage them to study economic or other “high level” major and to be official. Under this situation, the hospitality loses some high capability and excellent students. It will be obstacle of using students to relieve shortage of quality employee. In order to struggle excellent students in hospitality management major, the hotel’s human resource manager need to build a relationship with college, the hotel company can provide a “parent’s day” to introduce the hospitality industry and its bright future to students parents. And do some communication with potential students’ parents frequently to gain their support. In this way, hospitality industry will call back more and more H&T management students to enter the industry.
The other situation is some of students have no real understanding of the types of work available in the industry and with little idea of the employment conditions in the industry (Richardson, 2009); they will get a shock when they find out hospitality operation when they do internship, and their perception about hospitality industry are also deterioration as their course process (Teng, 2008). At the same time, and the whole family has no interesting to H&T industry. But some of them work in hospitality industry because of high pressure of graduate student employment in China. These students will lack loyalty to this industry, and they will influence the quality of hospitality industry. The high turnover rate will not be changed because of their participation.
On the contrary, these students hinder the relieving the pressure of high qualified employee shortage, because they make hotels lose chances to get high level employees. So the hotel managers need to build up a new recruitment strategy which focuses on student employees as well as their parents’ attitude in order to avoid using bad loyalty student employee. Another important attitude from parents is “perceived parental career concerns about welfare and prestige” (Wong & Liu, 2010).
The reason is the structure of Chinese family on current situation after “one child” policy and the background of Chinese special history and political factor in last several decades. Nowadays, every child will support two parents when they are into their old age, and current parents know that they will live longer and maybe less health than previous generation.
Chinese parents naturally hope that their children’s job will generate substantial income and benefits, stable enough to cover necessary life expenses and to free them (the parents) of worries about medical care, housing and other basic human needs. And at the same time, Chinese parents’ generation lived in unstable society and economic situation; some of them lack the security to their life. So they don’t want their child live insecure as their life, they want their child to find a stable job with good welfare. In the meanwhile, in condemnatory China, the child is an honor to gain the respect from others, the families always choose high prestige career.
Because this generation students are only child in family, they will almost follow their parents’ attitude. In hospitality industry perspective, if we want to obtain the excellence hospitality management major students’ human resource, we need to pay more attention in employees’ welfare and prestige, hotel need to transmit some industry achievements to students and their parents to improve the image of hospitality industry, and give a good benefit to trainee or part-time job students, let them feel the rich welfare of hospitality industry.
And then the parent may realize the hospitality better and better, and believe that hotel will also can let them get esteem and let their children to live under secure and enough benefit. Through the good actions to penetrate the parents’ attitude and get their support, the obstacle from parental influence will be crossed over in the future, and using university students to solve hotel high pressure and shortage of qualified employees will do better.
5. Summary The first part in the study is to research and analysis the Chinese hospitality and tourism industry rapid development based on the development of Chinese economy after “open door” policy. At the same time, the hospitality market’s competitions also accelerate the speed of hospitality industry development. Then under this high speed development, the hospitality industry also exposes some challenges. But the most outstanding one is shortage of high qualified employee, and introduce the hospitality management university students to fill the shortage challenge of industry.
The third part is researching what advantages of the student will have that the hotel can use them to relieve the shortage of qualified employee. The forth part is realizing what kind of things will become the obstacles to block that hotels use students for solving this kind of shortage. In the last part, how to go over these obstacles will be discuss and provide some suggestions that hotel can try to use when they want to relieve the pressure of shortage by using students.
6. Conclusion The research findings indicate that, overall, the Chinese hospitality management major students have the good quality to fit the requirement to relieve the shortage of high qualified employee. And if the hotels can cross over those four obstacles, more and more hospitality management university students will be persuaded back and improved the willingness to enter the industry, so that hotel will can use the enough good quality university students to relieve the challenge of high qualified employee shortage.
Furthermore, there are some suggestions to help human resource manager to over obstacle and sustain the good university graduates. The study analysis begin from the background of the Chinese economics rapid development, and describe the hospitality industry is a very important component of service industry, and it’s also an important index of development of country.
Through analysis service industry accounted percentage of Taiwan gross production and population percentage of total employees of Taiwan, get the service-oriented changing fact in Taiwan. And then analyzing Chinese GDP, economic factors, and tourism industry in current situation and the prediction, China will be the top one tourist destination in the world by 2020, there so many opportunities in hospitality and tourism industry. But the competition in hospitality and tourism industry was also becoming keenly. Local hotels, government investment hotels and international hotels compete for Chinese market. But it also promotes the development of hospitality in China.
In the rapid development, there are exposed some challenges in hospitality industry, like the high turnover rate, unwillingness of university students to enter the industry and so on, the most outstanding one is shortage of high qualified employee. Because of there so many universities open the hospitality and tourism major with so rapid development of hospitality industry. Maybe the students will become good resources to relieve the pressure about shortages of high quality employee if hotel can improve their willingness to enter the industry. So the research is from two parts. The first part is to understand what kind of advantages that the students can be used to fill the shortage.
And the second part is to realize that what will become the obstacle if using the student resources to fill the shortage. In first part, first advantage is that the huge number of Chinese hospitality and tourism management university students will provide many potential high quality employees, the data from National Tourism Administration of The People’s Republic of China, there are 853 hospitality and tourism undergraduate university, and 498.4 thousand students in this major. And the good micro-environment from Chinese government support will give the bright future to hospitality education, so the hospitality management university students will be enough in quantities as the good qualified employee pool.
And from the researches about hospitality and tourism universities’ courses process and requirement, the hospitality management university students’ knowledge and skill which are provided by courses process will be second advantages to fill shortage in hospitality industry. There are also analyzing the overseas hospitality management major students’ quantities and their characteristic, if those more and more overseas undergraduate and graduate hospitality management major students with cross culture knowledge can be attracted to come back China, it will be the third advantage of using students to fill the shortages.
The second part to realize what will be obstacles when using students. The study realize that the students’ human resource will be provided on June every year, and some students lose their job aspirations because the disadvantages of job characteristic and poor working conditions. Those bring two obstacles, time period obstacle and sentiment obstacle. And through discussing Taiwan’s case that unexpected events in industry will cause obvious change the structure of hospitality human resource demand and supply, realizing the third obstacle to using students is industrial factors.
The last obstacle is realized by analyzing the China family structure and parents’ important role in students’ job selection, the parental influences will be the fourth obstacle to use hospitality management students in relieving pressure of high quality employee shortage. So the hotels’ managers have to consider how to across over these obstacles, in order to using hospitality management university students to fill the shortage. Based on the findings and researches, there some suggestions can be tried in the industry for using student resources.
The hotels can do a long term preparation for hiring hospitality management graduates in June, and make a good relationship with hospitality management school; so that hotels will get the best time to do the campus recruitment and hire best students. To emotion obstacle, the hotels’ managers need to consider the reasons of presenting poor emotion suddenly, maybe his or her traits do not fit the current job or others, and give the promotion timely to sustain the high qualified students or let them keep the hope when they see others getting proper and timely promotion.
And good communication with university and make some scholarship planning to potential employee students to get proper ones. The hotels need to consider that the risk or unexpected event may happen in uncertain day, for avoiding the more pressure of high quality employee supply shortage, hotel need to have long-term cooperation to help hospitality management major education, such as providing some internship chances or part-time jobs. Parental influence obstacle will be an important one that needs to be crossed over when plan to use students. Hotels can provide a “parent’s day” to introduce the hospitality industry and its bright future or industry achievements, in order to gain the parents’ supports.
And hotel managers also need to build up a new recruitment strategy which focuses on student employees and their parents’ attitude; it will avoid using bad loyalty student employee. And hotels pay more attention to employees’ welfare and make good information communication about good benefit policy with potential student employee and their parents. Hotel also can use the great events or achievements to improve the prestige of hospitality industry. And then get the students’ parents acceptance.
After going across these obstacles through these suggestions, and with the several advantages of Hospitality Management University students, the shortage of high qualified employee will be relieved by using students, it means the Chinese Hospitality Management University students could be as high quality employee supply to relieve the shortage of high qualified employee. Limitation of the study include there are only for obstacles of using students, the really cases need to be considered more complex. And there are several suggestions need to be texted in real operation environment, so that it can be made sure to get ideal success results.