Spa Industry needing Massage Therapists, Aestheticians, Spa Managers. Is there really a Labor Shortage?
By Susie Ellis, SpaFinder Insider
Networking sometimes leads to “ah ha” moments. I guess that is why most conference feedback polls show networking as the number one reason people attend.
At the recent Australian Spa Conference, held in Hobart, Tasmania, I had breakfast with Jacqueline Le Sueur who lives in Singapore. She is the Managing Director of Creative Health & Training. We had never met before although both of us have been in the spa industry for quite a long time. It was fascinating to compare experiences and points-of-view.
One thing she mentioned during our discussion really made me stop and think. It was concerning our industry’s current “hot topic” – the labor shortage. The spa world has seen exponential growth in the past decade, and many spas are scrambling to fill vacant spots for therapists, aetheticians, and spa management. I know some spa managers who have moved around almost every year because they are continually being offered more money to go elsewhere. Recently I heard about a spa manager who didn’t want any publicity for the therapist on her staff who had won an award for fear that it would lead to the therapist being “poached” by a competitor. These days it is in fact a rare therapist or manager who does not get recruited regularly for a new spa opening or an older spa expanding. This staff merry-go-round costs everyone (and ultimately the consumer) a lot of money.
Jacqueline however was very adamant at looking at this challenge in a totally different way. As she said, “Our industry does NOT have a labor shortage. What we have is a shortage of spas willing to invest in training.” Gulp.
With more than 6.5 billion people in the world (current coverage of the Olympics in China is a good reminder of dense populations), it is certainly worth considering that there should not be a shortage of available people to work in the spa industry.
More on this topic tomorrow…
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