Tag Archives: recruitment

Inspiring the next generation

Inspiring the next generation

What has the Olympics got to do with recruitment or inspiring the next generation?

OK, despite my comments at the start of the Olympics, I tune in every evening. Apart from watching our amazing Team GB, I loved seeing the video clips of kids having a go, and improvising with various household props.

A couple of weeks’ ago I wrote about some of the lessons I believe we can take away from the Olympics, or sports, in general and apply in business. If you missed this, you can read the blog post here: https://www.naturallyloyal.com/encourage-your-team/

Now the games are over, there are more lessons to learn relevant to so many industries right now, not least hospitality.

At nearly every meeting and on every discussion for hospitality lately the number one topic has been the challenge of recruiting staff. And I don’t believe hospitality is alone in struggling to find good people to recruit.

So many people have got used to the idea of having complete flexibility in their day, so the thought of returning to a full-time role and potentially unsociable hours has been far from attractive. People’s time on furlough or working from home has also given them plenty of time for reflection, and consider what’s really important to them. Even some of your most loyal team members may have had other thoughts about their career.

This coupled with Brexit has left many businesses so short staffed they’ve had to rethink some of their offering.

So, what lessons can we take from the Olympics to help with recruitment?

When you hear interviews with any of the competitors, so many of them refer back to someone or something that inspired them. And their enthusiasm and success has a knock-on impact on inspiring others. Just look how popular cycling has become since the London Olympics.

So what can we be doing to inspire others? If not for today, for the future?

Role models

It might be an entire team, or just one or two individuals who inspire others. So, who are the role models for the positions you find so challenging to fill? Gordon Ramsay as portrayed in Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares probably isn’t the best role model nor the best advertisement for encouraging youngsters to train as chefs! If you can’t think of any inspiring role models, why not become one yourself?

Start young

Many (but certainly not all) medal winners have been pursuing their dream for a very early age. Trying to get someone to change their ideas about the type of career they want to follow when they’re about to leave school is probably leaving it too late. The earlier we can engage people and open their eyes to the possibilities in the industry the better.

Getting into schools and educating, not just the pupils, but teachers and parents alike, with inspiring stories of people’s career path and experiences. Getting kids into the workplace to see for themselves. Involving kids in industry related projects.

Shout about success

The lap of honour, the medal ceremony, the hero’s welcome home, don’t just impact the winners, they make us all feel good and inspire others too.

What is your business doing to shout about your successes; whether it’s winning awards, or simply receiving some glowing feedback from a customer?

Do you share your successes in your local paper? Do you recognise individuals within your team, so they feel proud of what they do and share this with friends and family?

All this adds up to impacting, not just your employer brand, but boosting the spirits of your existing team too, and helping turn them into advocates.

Long term future

In most sports people can see a progression; what’s the next level to aspire to.

Demonstrate there’s potential to grow and develop in your business, so you’re more likely to attract people who see this as a potential longer-term career move, rather than somebody who is simply desperate for any job or sees it simply as a fill in until they get a ‘proper job’.

Share case studies and success stories from your team, their career journey and what it’s mean to them.

The full spectrum

Most sports have more than one category. A good runner isn’t just a runner; are they better suited to the marathon, 1500m or 100 meters? And every sportsman or team has an entourage behind them.

Just because someone doesn’t see themselves as the next Raymond Blanc or Tom Kerridge, shouldn’t be a reason not to consider a career in hospitality. Promote the potential breadth of careers available, apart from operational roles. E.g., marketing, finance, HR, training, sales, etc.

If you only do one thing:

Let’s be honest here, this is a not short-term solution, but even if the best time to have done this was 20 years’ ago, the next best time is now! What can you do this week to towards inspiring the next generation, or simply getting one person inspired to consider a career in hospitality (or your industry)?

Kathleen Dawson hopes to inspire next generation 

Attracting New Recruits

attracting new recruits

On last week’s UK Hospitality Forum Clubhouse discussion, I was asked about attracting new recruits.

Why is this important now?

For many businesses, plans are now underway for re-opening; which is brilliant news. But it would be naïve to think we can just pick up where we left off.

Team members who have been on furlough for anything from 4 months to maybe even 14 months will be experiencing all sorts of emotions.

Whilst some will be relieved they have a job to come back to, or looking forward to  seeing all their colleagues again, others may be suffering from survivor’s remorse, be worried about how the job has changed, or sad to leave new-found ways of spending their time.

Before I get onto the subject of attracting new recruits, the main part of the conversation centred on engaging your team post lockdown.

With this in mind I am running a free webinar next week on

How to Re-engage Your Team After Furlough

Wednesday 10th March, 10.30 – 11.15

If you’d like to get ahead of the game and start getting your team ready for their return join me then by registering here via Eventbrite:



Attracting New Recruits

The past year has given people plenty of time for reflection. It’s possible some of your most loyal team members have had other thoughts about their career. Is their current role (or redefined role) really what they want?

If this is the case you may find yourself needing to recruit, either now or as you get back to full capacity.

So, back to the question: how to attract new recruits?

Here are 8 factors to help you get started with attracting new recruits and getting the best fit for your business.

1. Be a place people want to work

You can’t create a culture overnight where the best employees will want to work, but ensure you are doing everything to retain your reputation as a good employer.

Your existing team should be your greatest advocates;  if they feel valued they are far more likely to recommend you to others and spread the word that it’s a great place to work. So, continue to maintain communication and engagement with your existing team.

What does it mean to work for you? Ask your existing employees for their perspective of what they value about working for you, so you can share this with prospective employees.

2. Your purpose

You’ll want to attract people who will fit well into your business; people who resonate with your purpose and values. The more you can demonstrate these in your recruitment process, the more likely it is to get a good match.

It’s quite possible this has changed over the last 12 months; now is the perfect time to review this, and of course share this with your existing team too.

3. Career path

Demonstrate in your recruitment there’s potential to grow and develop. This means you’re more likely to attract people who see this as a potential longer-term career move, rather than somebody who is simply desperate for any job.

4. The role

It’s all too easy to focus on replacing like for like. When you have a vacancy it might be an ideal opportunity to restructure to open up opportunities for your existing loyal team members, and potentially giving you more flexibility in terms of potential candidates that can fulfil the new role.

Even if you keep the role as it is, upskill and cross train your existing team, so you have the flexibility amongst the team, and you’re not left in the lurch if you can’t recruit straightaway.

5. Transferable skills

What other industries employ people with suitable transferable skills? Rather than focusing on experience in similar roles, put the emphasis on these transferable skills, so you can widen the net to attract people from other industries.

Introducing some fresh blood can bring some fresh perspectives and ideas.

6. Be specific

There are certainly plenty of people at the moment looking for work. So there is a potential danger you will be inundated with hundreds of applicants for any one role. But if none of those are suitable, that doesn’t really help much. So be specific about the attributes and attitudes you want for the role, so you are only attracting the most suitable candidates.

If you want someone enthusiastic, dynamic and lively make your ad enthusiastic, dynamic and lively too! You’re not looking to attract anyone who’s desperate for a job; make it clear what you’re looking for and who fits the bill of the ideal candidate.

7. An inside job

Let your existing team members know of any positions you’re recruiting for.

Even if this is not a step up, it may present a new challenge for one of your existing team to keep them motivated or stretched.  And people know people like themselves, so they are well placed to share details of the vacancy.

If you do have internal applicants treat them in the same way as your external ones – acknowledging receipt of their application, interviews, offer letters, salary details, etc.  If internal candidates do not get the job ensure you give feedback to help with their development and to encourage them to apply for future positions.

8. No regrets

Start your induction process at the point they accept your job offer. Let them know how much you are looking forward to them coming to work for you.

Drip feed information that lets them know that they’re going to get a warm welcome. This might include a background to your business, your values and what’s important to you, current topical information, your reopening plans, an invitation to any team building/events/social activities happening between now and their start date, a copy of their induction programme and the point of contact for day one.

Doing all this before they start will make them feel more welcome and minimise that risk of any second thoughts.

Take Action

If you only do one thing: Talk to each of your team members well ahead of their return date to check how they are feeling and if they have any concerns about coming back to work.

Related article:  How to Attract, Recruit and Retain Great Staff

Do you recruit hospitality staff on attitude or aptitude?

What most people think about is what the job is and what are the skills that are needed.

I’m not saying that the skills are not important. Of course if you are recruiting a chef, you need someone with the right skills and experience.

And you’ll be looking for someone to complement your existing skills set.

You’ll also want people who will fit in with your values and your philosophy and your beliefs. If you have a particular value that you stress as part of your hotel offering, then it’s important to people who will tie in with and reflect those values.

But hospitality is about people. You can teach how to work to your systems, but having the right attitude, is absolutely essential. So rather than always thinking about the skills that you want to recruit for is to think about the attitude you need to recruit for.

And to my mind there are three things to consider here:

Having a passion for the business. That can be difficult to assess, particularly if you are recruiting someone who so far has very little experience within the industry. But do they how an interest in food, or any inclination towards wanting to work in hospitality, rather than it being ‘just a job’.

They need to like people. Hospitality is all about being welcoming, making people feel at home, and if they don’t have that aptitude, and that interest in wanting to make people happy, and liking people, they are not going to be a particularly good match.

And we all know this is an industry that requires hard work, and graft, so having that willingness to work hard is something that is going to be important to you.

There is a challenge here, and that is, how do you measure these things? So, when you are going out to recruit somebody do think about what are the ways you are going to measure these less specific or less tangible aspects; those attitudinal things. You may ask about their past experience, where they’ve worked before, how they’ve handled specific situations, or ask them to describe their own examples of when they have gone that extra mile for someone, or handled a particularly challenge.

Even with a school leaver look for examples of things they have done outside school to demonstrate taking on responsibility, working as a team, and so on.

Know what you want beforehand, think about what might demonstrate those attributes, and then don’t take their word for it, test it, challenge them and look for real examples. Better to find out in the interview if they haven’t got what it takes than after you’ve hired them.

All this and more will be covered in depth on my new on line Leadership Coaching Programme for Hoteliers being launched in September. Register here to attend the free tele seminar, receive more information, and be eligible for the early bird bonuses.

Caroline Cooper