In line with the vast changes we have seen globally over the last decade; the world of work has also changed beyond recognition – and hospitality has not escaped this.
Hospitality creates a stalwart assumption in the minds of many – synonymous with long hours, a fast-paced nature and changeable staff.
While elements of these fundamentals will probably never leave the profession, there have been several changes introduced by a younger workforce who have a very different set of standards to those of yesteryear.
Hospitality recruiters are seeing candidates who expect a better employment package, and they are unwilling to accept some of the more negative aspects of the job that would once have seemed part and parcel of the role.
As recruiters of hospitality staff, this article talks about the main issues we see as to why hospitality staff are leaving their jobs now more than ever.
The allure of hospitality, for many, is that it allows people to travel and see the world, while working in some of the most exciting and interesting places in the UK and across the globe.
Many – especially younger – people are still attracted to working in hospitality as a vehicle for their travels, and because of this they have been prepared to put up with the rough in order to get the smooth.
In return for working in a top restaurant, a sous chef might be offered room and board in the adjoining hotel, a seasonal worker embarking on a holiday resort will usually be enticed with the attractive package of a day or two off per week to enjoy the resort.
But the package hospitality staff are offered can often be a lot different to what greets them when they arrive in their new role. Two days off a week ends up being one (or none), their room is sub-standard and has not been updated for years, the facilities are not what they were promised.
Hospitality staff are often regarded by managers as being able to put up with some frankly tough circumstances and still get on with the job. Maybe in the past, but this is all changing.
With around 750 new restaurants opening last year in the UK, our appetite for eating out has never been bigger.
This is great news for the economy, but also for the army of hospitality staff who fuel the industry. There are now more opportunities than ever to change job roles and adopt the ‘see what sticks’ philosophy of finding a new position. Hospitality staff have a reputation for being flighty and unreliable, but it really is a chicken and egg situation. Staff are treaty badly, so they up and leave. They are then considered to be unreliable, so they are treated badly still. Which came first is anyone’s guess but what we do know is that this scenario is prevalent throughout the industry, and it only fuels the staffing problems.
We are in a skills-short market, meaning that at any given time, there are thousands of jobs across the country that employers cannot fill. It is in the interest of hospitality businesses to be mindful of this current situation and is no doubt one of the reasons why we have seen such a shift in workplace culture.
Mental Health Movement
It might have seemed like a buzz-word when the world talking about mental health just a couple of years ago, but this movement is here to stay. With the rise of the social media age, it has become less of a taboo, and with statistics showing that as many as 1 in 6 people suffers from a mental health condition, this has meant employers are now taking mental health much more seriously. It is in an employers best interests now to look after their staff properly, and many who feel that a demanding but low-paid role is putting a strain on their mental health are not prepared to put up with it.
Within the hospitality sector, the role of the chef is undoubtedly the most demanding. Chefs have the highest expectations put upon them and they often get the raw end of the deal when things go wrong. It is up to them to ensure the entire kitchen runs smoothly and the reputation of the business can hang on the quality of their work.
Head chefs usually have years of experience under their belts and can cope with the stresses of the kitchen, but their team members can find it hard to navigate their way up the ladder. A sous chef or chef de partie are at the mercy of the head chef, and this expectation can vary wildly between restaurants. Some practices that are common in one establishment can be a total no-no in another, and it can be hard to navigate the kitchen because of this.
Tempers are often frayed in the kitchen – the heat and the fast-pace can be a catalyst for this, but there is much truth in the fiery chef caricature made famous by Gordon Ramsay. The reality of the situation is that the younger generation who are now coming up through the ranks are not willing to accept this kind of working environment any more.
At KSB Recruitment, we are on the front line of placing hospitality staff in roles which are right for both the candidate and our clients. We have recognised the shift in needs of both employers and employees in recent years and have reacted to the market.
If you are looking for the right staff to fill your hospitality vacancies, we have a great talent pool from which we find you the perfect match. Contact us today to find out more.