State of Talent Trend: Development, Reskilling, and Upskilling Gain Importance

New skills continue to be in demand as technological change and commercial strategy accelerate. Management upskilling now must also include human resource skills, team leadership ability, and soft skills development. The HSMAI Foundation identified staff development, reskilling, and upskilling as one of the top talent trends this year.  

Generalists or Specialists?  

Perhaps the biggest challenge of 2023 for teams will be that question. In 2019, as the outlook was strong, specialists were rewarded. The pandemic’s wholesale staffing reductions favored the generalists – those who could fill two or three positions or cover several properties, and who would take on operational duties if needed.  

As collaborative teams become more common and RevPAR moves ahead of 2019, specialization has become desirable. Gallup estimates that only about one in 10 people naturally possess high levels of managerial talent associated with excellence in the role. Seniority and skill in a non-management position are the typical qualifications for promotion to management. Selection, training, and support of new managers requires skilled development specialists and dedicated coaching.  

Making new teams more effective takes more than skills, it requires new behaviors.  

Managers and leaders must encourage and support: 

  • Agility 
  • Critical thinking 
  • Emotional intelligence 


Cross-Training gives teams flexibility to address complex challenges. This is especially crucial as commercial strategies drive technology choices and data availability. Internal mobility across commercial departments and across the organization can increase innovation and promote understanding.  

Development opportunities are also a terrific way to retain valued employees and support potential gaps in staffing. Developing existing staff allows for growth in capacity in this tight labor market. Employee retention is enhanced when employees have internal mobility either through being promoted or moving to a new position at the same level, according to LinkedIn Talent Solutions research.  

Without internal mobility, 35% of associates will still be employed within three years, with mobility, that 53% will remain.  

Automate What You Can 

Technology is developing to do more of the mundane work which frees up professionals to do more highly skilled analysis, research new markets, and locate emerging opportunities.  

Calls to Action 

  • Get your team members certified, then celebrate AND REWARD their successes.  
  • Make every meeting a training and development opportunity.  
  • Be constantly on the lookout for opportunities to grow your team’s capacity and capabilities.  
  • Link upskilling to career pathing to bolster retention. 

To read more about the top talent trends, download  The State of Hotel Sales, Marketing, and Revenue Optimization Talent 2022-23: HSMAI Foundation Special Report. 


Categories: Talent and Leadership Development
Insight Type: Articles, Reports