An interview with James Tamlyn, Recruitment Partner for Five Guys (for recruiters)

06 Feb 2023

06 Feb 2023

We caught up with James Tamlyn, Recruitment Partner for Five Guys, to discuss his biggest frustrations, the important of having an ATS that works for you and the benefits offered to employees at Five Guys.

What do you offer your employees to help them develop skills and progress their careers?

Our Training Team and Learning and Development do an incredible job of looking after the training, learning and development of our employees' careers – we have tailored workshops and courses designed to support with career development and progression within the business and this is for all levels of role, these courses take place in our Five Guys Academy next door to the Support Office.

What type of person do you try and attract to work in your business?

We want to attract people who are looking for somewhere where they can learn and grown their career with us. The culture at Five Guys is all about supporting Crew and Managers with their development and rewarding success, so we do try to attract people who want to grow as we continue to open new restaurants.

We are also open to attracting people who are ‘career curious’ and perhaps haven’t explored hospitality as a career choice in the past – we have lots of examples of people who joined us as a Crew Member to earn some money and are now senior leaders within the business!

What additional benefits do you offer your staff?

Five Guys rewards are good for the sector and we feel the pay we offer is very competitive at all level of roles and it’s something that is constantly under review to ensure we are rewarding our people internally as well as remaining competitive externally.

One thing our people really love is the Secret Shopper Bonus - anyone who works in a Five Guys Restaurant is eligible for this, we have two visits a week at Five Guys and the Crew and Managers receive a bonus just for doing all the right things when we pass those visits. On average this can add up to £2000 per year on top of someone’s salary – or an additional £1 per hour for our hourly paid Crew.

Our benefits vary depending on the role, be we have benefits such as enhanced maternity & paternity leave, paid breaks and free meals on shift, access to wellbeing support and employee assistance, employee discount programmes, life assurance, private medical and more.

How many employees do you look after?

I don’t have any direct reports but the Recruitment Team is made up of three Recruitment Partners, a Recruitment Advisor and the Head of HR & Recruitment. Overall, Five Guys has approximately 4,700 employees in the UK.

What’s your biggest frustration in your role?

I wouldn’t say so much of a frustration but more of a challenge – it is no surprise that finding talented people to work in the hospitality industry isn't getting any easier but we need to be more creative in our approach to finding and retaining our talent.

Would you recommend any technology that helps you in your day-to-day role?

It is a bit of a no brainer when it comes to Recruitment but having an ATS that works for you is super important and integrating where possible with HR systems – we have recently gone through lots of integrations to streamline the hiring and onboarding process for our new hires, and hiring managers to make sure we are giving a good candidate experience, as well as improving efficiency for our managers.

Having an ATS that can integrate with job boards (HJUK cough cough ;)...) is also a big plus!

What’s your worst vs best experience working in hospitality?

My worst moment in hospitality was Covid and the uncertainty, not just for Five Guys but for the hospitality industry as a whole and the amazing people in the sector – the guidelines were ever-changing and not knowing what was ahead made making decisions on hiring people really tricky. But, one of the best moments has come from coming out of the pandemic and being able to help those effected with career opportunities at Five Guys. Also seeing the resilience of the hospitality industry – no matter what happens we know we are in it together!

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