As retail and hospitality industry employers head into the summer season, their top concern is staffing and wage issues, far outpacing the geopolitical and economic turbulence that has been crunching supply chain operations in recent months, according to a survey from workforce training technology provider Multimedia Plus.
More than half of the respondents (52.80%) indicated that staffing and wage issues were their top concern, followed by global events (9.60%), banking sector concerns (8.80%), and new store openings (6.40%).
The results came from the seventh annual “Operational Impact Research Survey” conducted by New York-based Multimedia Plus. The survey sampled 125 senior executives between March 27 and April 6.
Respondents cited a difficult hiring environment for store-based roles, with just 30.63% of respondents saying that positions are about the same to fill as compared to this time last year, compared to 24.32% who reported that positions are harder to fill than last year, and 11.71% who said that they are much harder to fill. “Despite the news headlines of layoffs, over 36% of our respondents in the retail and hospitality industries are finding positions harder to fill than last year. Having an adequate number of well-trained staff in place and retaining them is a key priority,” David Harouche, CEO & CTO of Multimedia Plus, said in a release.
Under those pressures, respondents said their technology budgets will probably not grow this year. When asked about the impact of the current economic environment on their technology spend for 2023, more than half of the respondents (54.81%) reported that their technology spend will remain the same, and only 13.46% of respondents said they plan to increase their technology spend by more than 10%.
Overall, the survey results suggest that staffing and wage issues continue to be a major concern for business owners and executives, while technology spending is expected to remain stable for the year. “While the macroeconomic environment continues to present new challenges, organizations realize that their frontline staff plays a vital role in their growth and customer acquisition. The level of talent and training directly impacts their ability to conduct business efficiently,” Harouche said.