Big Hospitality focuses on Recruitment

In a series of special articles this week Big Hospitality has focused on the issue of recruitment in the industry, something that is very close to our heart. As the hospitality industry grows and grows, and the unemployment rate falls, a new challenge for pubs and bars will be finding enough skilled workers to fill their roles.

Hospitality is the fourth biggest employer in the UK and often first time workers who do not see the industry as somewhere where they could pursue a rewarding career fill these roles. It is therefore important that the industry works together to make hospitality an attractive career path not only to new recruits but also to those already in the industry.

Lee Redding, hospitality specialist at recruitment firm Barrett Clark says in the article: “When recruiting outside of the UK and from previously working in America there’s a real positive vibe from the public about the industry and hospitality professionals are considered to be great achievers, such as they should be.

“The UK needs to recreate this attitude through training and schooling as the hospitality offers an exceptional employment opportunity and brilliant career.”

In order to attract new recruits a number of employers are increasing their web presence to attract candidates and to promote the career opportunities. Carluccio’s have witnessed the new application system on the website attracting a higher quality of candidate applying for roles within the company.

“We are getting more applications coming through which shows that the website is making it more attractive,” says senior recruitment manager Marcus Weedon.

He also explained that Carluccio’s were trying to keep an open mind when recruiting candidates, saying the personality must meet the Carluccio’s brand. “You could have a great head chef who just isn’t for us,” he says. “One thing we are trying to do is be more flexible in terms of the backgrounds we’re looking for.”

The Jamie Oliver group has also started running networking events where potential candidates can meet current employees and learn about the opportunities that are on offer.

Big Hospitality also focused on the issue of staff retention, one of the biggest challenges faced by the industry. Labour turnover within the sector is at 20% with staff often citing low pay and unsociable hours for the reason they leave.

Making staff feel involved in the wider running of the company, and making career progression paths clear to employees was also highlighted as crucial.

Recruitment Director of Cote, Scott Williamson ,who demonstrate a retention rate of 68% among the 2,000 staff employed, said, “Our staff retention is very strong, we’ve got members of employees at all levels who have been with us for an average of three years or more, a lot of of whom have really grown into their roles within the business.

“We offer training at all levels and it’s quite personal and individual,” he adds.

The importance of keeping an open mind when selecting candidates was stressed, whilst candidates were encouraged to show their personality on their CVs and in interviews.

To read more of the Big Hospitality’s articles on recruitment visit

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