New industry research to be revealed at the World Spa & Wellness Convention

The UK Spa Association is currently carrying out research into the industry-wide staffing crisis, in collaboration with three other international spa associations.

The Spa UK Focus Survey covers issues related to what spas do to attract and retain great staff, including any rewards and incentives offered.

The Spa-A association in France, Asia Pacific Spa & Wellness Coalition (APSWC), and International Spa Association (Ispa) in the US are carrying out similar surveys.

The findings from the four associations’ surveys will be presented as part of a panel discussion at the World Spa & Wellness Convention (WSWC) in London in February. 

Liz Holmes, vice chair and international links at the UK Spa Association, said: “We’re increasingly hearing about the challenges faced by spa businesses in recruiting and retaining competent and qualified team members.

This has a direct impact on revenue and also challenges the long-term sustainability of spas and salons. We want to understand the extent of the issue and seek out best practices around recruitment and retention – on behalf of our members.” 

Jean-Guy de Gabriac, conference coordinator for the WSWC, which initiated the research, commented that “the staffing crisis is one of the burning topics in our industry”.

He added: “The Global Wellness Economy Monitor, carried out by the Global Wellness Institute and published this month, projects that 2.8 million people will be employed by spas by 2018.

An additional 70,000 spa managers/directors will be needed by the industry by 2020, alongside to 400,000 trained spa therapists. With such as deficit of spa applicants compared to positions, it’s essential to call on the experience of industry leaders for tangible solutions that work”. 

The survey findings will be presented during the Lead your Industry session on day two of the WSWC, at 10am on Monday February 27.

The session will be led by Liz Holmes, with a panel featuring Aldina Duarte Ramos, president of Spa-A; Andrew Jacka, chairman of APSWC; and Michael Tompkins, past chairman of Ispa.

Holmes said: “We hope to get three things from the survey. Firstly, a more detailed picture of what success looks like and why some spas are attracting new recruits and retaining their talent more easily. 

Secondly where the issues lie and finally what we, as an industry association, can act on to ensure we’re supporting our members [on this].”

The topic of recruitment and retention, and of getting staff engaged in the industry, will also be discussed at the Education Forum on Monday February 27.

A one-day conference, the Education Forum is held as part of the Professional Beauty trade show at the ExCeL exhibition centre in London, which the WSWC is also an element of. 

The forum will include a session entitled How can you enhance your beauty therapy pathway to help recruitment and meet the needs of the spa sector, presented by UK Spa Association general manager Helena Field.

Field said: “I’m passionate about ensuring that the spa career pathway starts off positively at college level.

If we get students engaged in the ethos of the spa industry and can break down some of the preconceptions at this level, we will see more students choosing spa as a career.” 

The World Spa & Wellness Convention takes place on Sunday February 26 and Monday February 27 and attracts senior spa industry professionals from around the world.

Other speakers and chairs at the two-day event include Andrew Gibson, vice president of spa and wellness at FRHI Hotels and Resorts; Tracey Woodward, chief executive of Aromatherapy Associates; Anna Bjurstam, vice president of spas and wellness at Six Senses Resorts & Spas; and Trent Munday, vice president of Steiner Spa Consulting. 

A one day pass to the convention is £195 + VAT and a two day pass is £285 + VAT. To find out more about the World Spa & Wellness Convention, including the Lead your Industry session, and to register for a pass, click HERE 

For more on the Education Forum, click HERE