Read the response from Diana F. Mestre, part of Spa & Wellness MexiCaribe’s Expert Panel
In recent years, the spa industry has adopted certain stereotypes regarding its employees, rejecting the hiring of male staff or those who are overweight or over a certain age. What has caused the industry to be less inclusive when hiring employees?
The Haciendas, a Luxury Collection By Marriott
Diana F. Mestre
Mestre & Mestre Spa & Wellness Consulting
Since the creation of the first beach spa in 1996 in Mexico, things have changed a great deal. Therapists were often hired without any type of certification. Little by little, new spas with higher standards opened. During this growth we have seen an evolution in world class standards such as Leading Spas of The World, Forbes, Virtuoso, Small Luxury and AAA Five Diamond.
The competition and pressure to achieve international recognition and awards has led the industry to seek an employee profile consistent with the theme of wellness and beauty; believing that an employee who appears healthy, beautiful and slim will perform better.
The vision of having a comprehensive team of employees, not hired based on appearance, gender or age, has been lost. An overweight, older man may be an extraordinary therapist or may not have the qualifications required. With the issue of sexual harassment, resorts have experienced lawsuits for alleged inappropriate behaviors and therefore, many have decided not to hire male therapists. This is a great loss of valuable personnel – essential due to the talent shortage.
It is important to have professional training, one or two languages coupled with psychometric tests and confirmation of the studies, skills and experience of candidates for all positions, regardless of gender, age or appearance.