Tips to stand out from the crowd when recruiting for your hospitality business

Written by Vic Hamblin

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be sharing with you some tips on how to recruit in a competitive and often aggressive market, how to retain your staff whilst using the best technology to optimise your team’s productivity and support your business.

In this article, we will be looking at recruitment.

The hospitality recruitment crisis is deepening, with every new statistic released casting a darker shadow on the sector.

With nine in ten hospitality businesses finding it difficult to recruit, how you can stand out from the crowd and attract the right staff for your business?

Below, we have shared some tried and tested tips for you to consider:

Make your online presence attractive to recruits: 

Hospitality companies have embraced websites and social media to promote their business.

However, very few utilise these platforms to promote their working culture and company values to attract new members to their team.  On your careers page, rather than just list your job vacancies, take the time to inform potential recruits what it is like to work for you. What are the benefits?  What can they expect from training, potential career progression? Most importantly, ask members of your team for testimonials.

Ask them to talk about “the team/environment”, “Why do they enjoy coming to work each day”?

Great team culture and having fun at work are often must-haves for potential recruits. Written testimonials are a good start, but if you can provide video endorsements even better.

When recruiting you can then use these anecdotes to help you stand out from your competitors by posting online to support your recruitment activity.

Introduce a referral programme:

Offer financial rewards for staff referrals (after completion of probation).

Not only is this cost-effective, but by recruiting via referrals you are more likely to attract staff who will understand your working environment have insight into what it’s like to work for you and gel with your current team.

You can also encourage your staff to write positive reviews on suitable platforms, whether that is on recruitment sites such as indeed, glassdoor, or on Google my Business.

Where are you advertising your roles?

Take a step back and think about how you can enhance your recruitment strategy.

Look to your current team and recent recruits:  ask what social media they use regularly? Where do they hang out when not working? And what are their interests?

You can use this information to support your recruitment activity, promote your business where you will reach like-minded people. Using your staff testimonials with your recruitment advertising will be a valuable tool in attracting the right kind of applicants.

Benefits / incentives

Many hospitality companies are trying new techniques to attract staff, Eat a Pitta in Bristol are currently offering £250 signing on fees on completion of probation.

Other benefits that you should be shouting about are:

  • if you offer flexible hours
  • meals on shift
  • staff discounts
  • on the job training
  • internal promotion programmes.

Recruitment process

In a recent survey, 26% of Millennials said that the time it takes to complete an application is a big factor when applying for jobs.

Keep the application process simple and as easy as possible for candidates to apply.

Before starting the interview process have a clear understanding of the skills and attributes you are looking for.

Keep the interview process as short as possible (depending on the role, one stage interview should suffice),  get the right hiring decision-maker(s) in the room and move fast with an offer once you have made your decision.

Candidates will be on a natural high after an interview and if you can capture this, they are more likely to accept the offer and stop pursuing existing applications/applying for new roles with your competitors.

Build your reputation within the local community

A slightly longer-term strategy. If you are often looking to recruit hospitality graduates, contact local technical colleges and start to build relationships with lecturers and students. This could take the guise of sponsoring events, competitions or offering to be guest speakers on aspects of the industry. Not only will this give you direct access to potential new talent, but will often lead to some great community PR and social media content for your business.

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