Developing Sustainable HRM Practices for the Recruitment and Retention of Early Career Professionals in the Dutch Hospitality Industry


Despite Dutch Hospitality industry’s significant economic value, employers struggle to attract and retain early career professionals at a time when tourism is forecasted to grow exponentially (Ruël, 2018). Universally, hospitality management graduates are shunning hospitality careers preferring other career paths; stimulating the Dutch Hospitality to find innovative ways of attracting and retaining early career professionals.
Following calls from the Human Resource Management (HRM) community (Ehnert, 2009), we attribute this trend to personnel being depicted as rentable resources, driving profit’’ often at personal expense. For example, hotels primarily employ immigrants and students for a minimum wage suppressing salaries of local talent (Kusluvan, et al 2010, O’Relly and Pfeffer, 2010). Similarly, flattening organizational structures have eliminated management positions, placing responsibility on inexperienced shoulders, with vacancies commonly filled by pressured employees accepting unpaid overtime jeopardizing their work life balance (Davidson, et al 2010,). These HRM practices fuel attrition by exposing early career professionals to burnout (Baum et al, 2016, Goh et al, 2015, Deery and Jog, 2009). Collectively this has eroded the industry’s employer brand, now characterized by unsocial working hours, poor compensation, limited career opportunities, low professional standing, high turnover and substance abuse (Mooney et al, 2016, Gehrels and de Looij, 2011).
In contrast, Sustainable HRM “enables an organizational goal achievement while simultaneously reproducing the human resource base over a long-lasting calendar time (Ehnert, 2009, p. 74).” Hence, to overcome this barrier we suggest embracing the ROC framework (Prins et al, 2014), which (R)espects internal stakeholders, embraces an (O)pen HRM approach while ensuring (C)ontinuity of economic and societal sustainability which could overcome this barrier. Accordingly, we will employ field research, narrative discourse, survey analysis and quarterly workshops with industry partners, employees, union representatives, hotel school students to develop sustainable HRM practices attracting and retaining career professionals to pursue Dutch hospitality careers.





D.W. Brannon

Verbonden aan

Hotelschool The Hague


01/02/2019 tot 31/12/2020