Breakfast with the RAH
On the 27th of October Hospitality Jobs UK organised its very first ‘Breakfast with the RAH’ that brought together a group of leading internal hospitality recruiters to discuss their current challenges, share best practice and lead us on what we can do more of as a business to help them in their roles. Here’s just a few highlights of what was discussed.
What are currently your biggest challenges?
Candidates not turning up to first interviews. This seemed a consistent issue amongst the entire group. A text message the night before via WhatsApp was deemed the best way to achieve a reply. Even if this did mean they wouldn’t be attending, at least they were more likely to let them know.
Experienced candidates and Chef positions were hardest to fill. Entry level was not such a problem however filling management positions with those that had the right experience plus chefs in any position is very tough. This has led to large increases in pay, with many surprised just how much chefs are being offered. A ‘Refer a friend’ incentive has worked particularly well for one business in helping secure mid-level / entry but not so much for senior staff.
Since the pandemic a big shift to people wanting to work office hour days. Very tough when you need people in evenings / weekends and causing arguments in-house. Potential for different salary grades dependent what hours of the day they worked? Another way to ensure this is not an issue is being very clear in advert that weekend / evening hours is an expectation. Students who study in the day were a good source for evening / weekend shifts.
Who offers a graduate training programme?
The only person in the group offering formal graduate programmes was from the hotel sector. There was a lack of understanding around what is expected from a graduate programme and how to set one up? It also takes a lot of work speaking to multiple universities which is a project HJUK is working on and will be announced soon.
They have a really bad reputation but ‘give the people what they want’. One business does hire on zero-hour contracts and is normally for those that work in the arts and may need two weeks off at a time if they are on stage or shooting for tv. They would rather have people contracted but if this is another way to fill shortages why not!
Recruiting for Christmas
One business has run a number of open days and has seen considerable success but for another, this is a time to focus on retention and set targets and offer financial incentives to be paid at the end of January to retain staff. They feel that it is not the right time to bring in any new starters however one uses this time as an opportunity to bring in lots of new starters on a seasonal basis to see what they’re made of and those who are really good will be asked to be made permanent.
Refer a friend was brought up again with more of a push to be hiring all year round. One business offers £500 if the person they recommend is hired and stays four weeks and another £500 after six months.
A big thank you to Monika Majka – Honest Burgers Ltd, Jennifer Earland - Hawksmoor, Nathaniel Powell Assoc CIPD - Zizzi Restaurants, Paul Walsh - BURGER KING® UK, Chance Fisher - Beds and Bars Group and Kirsteen Raitt - Firmdale Hotels PLC for joining us and being so willing and open with your views. We absolutely loved it and cannot wait for the next one. Thank you to Searcys at The Gherkin for hosting us. What an incredible meeting space.
If you’re an internal hospitality recruiter and would be interested in joining our next Breakfast with the RAH email; firstname.lastname@example.org