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GWS spa careers initiative unveils website partnership with Leisure Media

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A breakout discussion forum entitled “Galvanising career development, mentorship and internship programmes” took place on the second day of GWS, highlighting the need to attract people to work within the spa and wellness industry to meet the growing global industry’s needs.

Leaders of the careers-focused initiative, including Lori Hutchinson of Hutchinson Consulting and CG Funk, VP of industry relations for Massage Envy, have partnered with Leisure Media – publisher of Spa Opportunities and Spa Business magazines. Leisure Media has developed the website www.spaandwellnesscareers.com , which is now live – providing readers with information on how to get into the industry and develop a nurturing career.

Funk – who is a 25-year spa veteran – started working with Massage Envy a decade ago to promote careers in the spa industry and offer great career growth opportunities. The brand now has 1,100 locations in the US.

“There are more job opportunities for therapists than ever before in US history,” said Funk, comparing the employment offerings when she began her career in massage therapy, when the only vacancies were seasonal or as a private practitioner.

“Massage therapy, in the US, was named number 5 in the fasted growing careers in the US out of 40,000 careers,” added Funk. “Massage therapy was on the best jobs list for career growth in 2014 and the Bureau of Labour statistics tell us that it will continue to grow 20-30 per cent annually through to 2022. However, while the number of opportunities grows, schools struggle with low student populations, there’s an ever-increasing decline in high school graduation rates and therapists are leaving the industry at a higher rate than they are entering it.”

Consumer demand for these services is at an all-time high and people understand what these services bring to their life. According to Funk, however, there’s a PR problem in that a career in the wellness industry is not seen as financially rewarding.

“No one is using the term ‘wellness career’ in the human resources world, so we want to own this and harness it,” said Funk. “Neither schools nor the industry are promoting the richness of a career in this industry. We’re going to create marketing information cards to hand out about spa careers and packages for high school career counsellors that mean spas will go to schools and give demonstrations. We are also going to host 15-second testimonial videos by members of the industry on the site Leisure Media has created for us.”

A number of existing committee members for the careers initiative are stepping down, including Lori Hutchinson and Jeremy McCarthy (group director of spa for Mandarin Oriental), so Funk is seeking replacements from within the spa and wellness community.

Leslie Lyon spoke, during the career breakout forum, about the global internship programme. This initiative’s voluntary members also include Amanda Al Masri, group director of spa for Starwood, and Ginger McLean, director of Spa Operations at Walt Disney World Resort. This internship-focused team is developing surveys at the moment to gather successful methods from reports of existing internships. Lyon appealed to operators to provide their internal internship metrics to enrich this global initiative.

Jean-Guy de Gabriac of Tip Touch International led the next discussion about the third career objective: the global mentorship programme. De Gabriac has led a project to connect spa managers with spa directors from different firms, so that spa managers can have access to advice from external professionals with more experience. Read more

here.

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A breakout discussion forum entitled “Galvanising career development, mentorship and internship programmes” took place on the second day of GWS, highlighting the need to attract people to work within the spa and wellness industry to meet the growing global industry’s needs.
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