Empowering Employers by the Destination – How an Alpine Tourist Resort Commits to Attract the Staff

The Austrian winter and summer resort Wilder Kaiser recently started a joint campaign for its stakeholders to attract potential job seekers. This Tyrolean area, like most tourist resorts in the Alps, works as an association of hotel/shop/restaurant owners, cable cars, transportation companies, event organizers, etc. and is not uniquely privately hold. Thus, the case illustrates how a semi-public organization decides to interfere in the Employer Marketing of its participants.

A dedicated staff card for the “holiday designers”

Job seekers of Wilder Kaiser are welcomed on its homepage as “Holiday Designers” , followed by uplifting arguments why they would be essential and important. A short glimpse at the benefits looks quite convincing: discounts on ski passes and free sports programs and workshops, while the Club of the most attractive Employers will pamper them with a workplace of high quality. A dedicated Staff Card for employees of the destination allows the free use of transportation, to participate to the free staff leisure program with meditation courses, language learning and wine workshops. The entry fees to most attractions are reduced, rentals and shops welcome them with special discounts and what can never miss: dedicated staff parties! Basically besides offering work, the so-called Club of the most attractive employers in Wilder Kaiser will go the extra mile to amuse their staff, to encourage further education, to keep them fit and healthy, to provide them with sports equipment and access to facilities of all kinds.

Making the destination competitive as an employer

This all sounds amazing and it seems as if you work at Wilder Kaiser, you would be better off than anywhere else. However, the seemingly excellent initiative could not be the solution to the core problem. Gernot Riedel, CEO of Kitzbühel destination, which is certainly also a competitor resort, says that in Austrian tourism there is a lack of a job seekers’ market. Thus, if destination organizations start attracting job seekers with such a strategy, this would just result in a competitive fight for… the very few candidates that are left. Or, even worse, in headhunting professionals that work for the competitive destinations. He states in the Austrian Tourismuspresse that according to him, possible solutions would rather be to work together on a national basis and first and foremost to generally make jobs in tourism attractive again. After all, the young generations would rather opt for an academic career and consequently the jobs in tourism will remain unoccupied. Only if economics, politics and education work together, the problem of the empty job market can be tackled.

Going the offensive way

All in all, the initiative taken by destinations such as Wilder Kaiser, is undoubtedly justified. Considering this choice for an offensive strategy in Employer Marketing, the destination surely does not say no to any additional measures taken top-down like from politics, economics or education. But relying purely on them, would mean to remain passive for who knows how long. Maybe by then, that ship would have sailed.

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