If you are currently assembling your post-pandemic hospitality team, then get ready for a new kind of recruitment process.
Catering and hospitality employees faced massive uncertainty, as employers endured a year of disruptions. This has had a significant impact on those working in the industry and, subsequently, the general attitude towards recruitment.
Talented individuals have been left wondering about the future of their careers, while hospitality business owners have struggled to get staffing levels right and plan for the future. And these events have been a catalyst for an unprecedented recruitment crisis.
Today we explore how hospitality recruitment has changed and how to side-step the potential difficulties in finding the talent you need to reopen this year.
The New Recruitment Process Risks
In a recent article, recruitment expert Greg Savage explained that the shift we have seen in recruitment would harm many businesses.
He stated, “This year, we will see a disturbing rise in candidates accepting counter-offers. They will ghost recruiters and employers alike, accept multiple offers simultaneously, not turn up on the start date, inexplicably ‘go silent’ in the middle of a job search collaboration, only to re-appear as if nothing was amiss.”
This is a nightmare scenario for any hospitality business, especially here in the UK, where many are preparing for their grand reopening this year.
Never before has excellent hospitality talent been in such high demand, yet the ‘normal’ recruitment processes that businesses once used were under threat. You can expect to see changes such as too many applicants for some roles, not enough for others, and difficulty getting hold of quality candidates in your recruitment process.
A Dwindling Talent Pool?
For some former catering and hospitality employees, the pandemic was the catalyst for leaving the industry altogether. The year of restrictions meant that furloughed employees or those who had sadly been let go had no other option but to look for work in a different sector entirely.
The Office for National Statistics found that the number of employees in the hospitality sector who were made redundant in 2020 rose by 58,000 to 171,000. These redundancies represent a third of all job losses associated with the pandemic.
With such a significant number of individuals losing their hospitality jobs, it is understandable that many have gone on to find employment elsewhere. Will employees be willing to return to hospitality positions after such a difficult year? Only the employers who can offer excellent employment packages will be able to tempt the best candidates into their roles.
But the pandemic has reduced the overall hospitality and catering talent pool – some employees understandably couldn’t live with the uncertainty. And we are seeing this playing out already.
Hospitality and catering businesses that are planning to reopen and are looking for employees now are struggling to find the high-quality candidates they need to open with aplomb this year.
‘Ghost’ candidates – who disappear during your recruitment process, or even sometimes shortly after their contract begins – have been a problem in the sector for some time.
We wrote an article about this growing problem before the pandemic, which you can read here.
But this issue has now escalated significantly.
As I mentioned, the hospitality sector made nearly 60,000 redundancies due to the pandemic; and now we are seeing the tide turning. As the route out of lockdown allows businesses to start making plans to open up again, there is a recruitment drive happening in our industry on a mass scale.
There will undoubtedly be candidates applying for several vacancies at once, and we already see this. One of the top reasons our clients work with us is that they need employees they can rely on to deliver.
It is incredibly disruptive when an unreliable staff member doesn’t turn up for their shift, which can happen when you hire the ‘wrong’ candidate. Imagine this happening on the opening night of business after the pandemic.
What Can Hospitality Employers Do?
When embarking upon your hospitality recruitment for your post-pandemic revival, it is essential to recognise that things have changed.
Your recruitment process this year needs to see you get closer to candidates than ever before. Take more time than you would have before the pandemic to get to know your candidates and build relationships with your talent pool.
How much time per week do you spend on social media building your brand presence? For many employers, this task is often low down on their list of priorities, but it will be essential for your Covid recovery.
When was the last time you changed up your interview process or questions? Consider adding in extra stages to refine your approach and ensure that every candidate who stays the course is serious about your vacancy. But not so long that the process begins to drag out – it’s a delicate balance.
For any hospitality business, recruitment is going to be a critical part of your success this year. Hiring quality staff is necessary, yet it will be a challenge, and this is where we can help.
As expert recruiters in the hospitality sector with 30 years’ experience, we help businesses plan their recruitment and find the talented, reliable staff they need. If you would like to know more about how we can find the candidates you need – call us today on 0121 314 9365 or contact us here.
About KSB Recruitment
KSB is proud to be a Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) member, accredited investors in people, and both Data Protection and Home Office Compliance registered.
We specialise in roles in Birmingham, Staffordshire, the West Midlands, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Northamptonshire.