Tag Archives: staff 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 

What we can do to get kids hooked to the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry


OK, I’m hooked

If anyone had suggested to me a month ago that I’d devote the best part of a sunny summer weekend to watching road cycle racing in preference to gardening I’d have thought them mad! But that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.

Seeing our boys in the Tour de France was the start, and then having the opportunity to be a part of the Olympics right on my doorstep all for the cost of a train fare was too good an opportunity to miss.

The day on Box Hill was perfect; an amazing atmosphere, great weather, brilliant view and not one, not two, but eight chances to see the action on the loop.

Needless to say I was hooked, and was glued to the telly for the entire ladies race on Sunday, despite a hundred and one jobs to do in the garden (and despite what was seen on TV it was actually sunny in Sussex most of the time!).

So what can we learn in business and in particular hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses from this surge of interest in cycling and other sports? 

One of the biggest problems I hear is the concern for a lack of young talent joining the industry. So what can we do to emulate the success of attracting new talent to cycling, athletics, or rowing?

There have certainly been some fantastic role models for the next generation. And what an inspiring idea to have youngsters nominated by some of these past winners to light the Olympic flame.

But the sports have gone far beyond this; rather than waiting for the young talent to come and find them, they’ve been out into schools to find them.

We need to follow suit. And not just leave this to the likes of Springboard. We all need to be doing our bit to fly the flag for the industry and inspire youngsters to want to be a part of it. It won’t happen overnight – most of the youngsters competing for the first time this year have been in training for years. Not all will make it of course, but the earlier we can introduce youngsters to the industry and all it has to offer the more likely we are to leave them with a positive perspective and attract new talent.

Parents, teachers, college lecturers, and careers advisers all have a part to play in influencing future careers. What perception do they have of the industry? Let’s do all we can to educate them and ensure that hospitality, leisure and tourism management is given the profile it deserves.

Establish ambassadors who can generate the passion. Offer work placements to schools and colleges, and make these fun and informative. Organise ‘A day in the life’ and open days for schools, colleges and careers advisers for them to get a real feel for the roles and opportunities, and a chance to talk to those who do the jobs.

Offer work placements for universities that give a structured programme and a really in depth view of the options within hospitality management so once they graduate they stay the course. Feedback from graduates who have experienced work placements in a particular segment of the industry are invariably drawn back to the same disciples on graduation. Without this connection it’s all too easy to stray into other industries if a job of their choice is not immediately forthcoming; potential talent maybe lost to the industry forever.

Let’s put on our own show open to all and give everyone a taste and a chance to be a part of this fantastic industry.

For more articles and resources https://www.naturallyloyal.com/products-resources/


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

How to attract great people

It is estimated that the average cost of recruitment in the UK hospitality industry is around £1500 per person.   If you end up with over a hundred applicants for the same job (as some hotels report) it’s easy to see just how easily this figure can mount up, just on management time alone to sift through all the applications, let alone advertising, interviewing, and induction.  And that’s without considering the potential lost opportunities for productivity, customer service and increased sales due to lack of key staff.  So retaining your existing team is the priority.

But, from time to time even your most loyal people will leave. With such a number of applicants chasing each vacancy start by defining precisely what you’re looking for and specify this in your advertising and to your agency if you use one. Recruit on attitude rather than on skills alone. Systems and procedures and basic skills can be taught, whereas an enthusiasm for food and wine, and a passion for hospitality and service need to be minimum requirements.

Don’t limit your recruitment search to people who respond to your adverts.  Use your network of business contacts, your existing team and even your customers to help you find the best candidates.  Network or socialise where your prospective staff are; this will not only help to build relationships and reputation but will give you an opportunity to see people in a more relaxed environment. Start developing a “candidate pool” rather than waiting until you suddenly have a vacancy to fill.

Develop relationships with agencies as well as recruitment officers from local colleges and universities. Allow your existing team to participate in professional associations and training where they’re likely to be in contact with potential candidates.

Create a culture where the best employees will want to work, and build a reputation as a good employer so you attract the best people. A prerequisite is looking after your existing staff; they are far more likely to recommend you to others and spread the word that it’s a great place to work. Monitor the reputation of your business; listen to what your staff say, especially those who leave. Put yourself forward for awards to help build your repetition as a good employer.

Promote from within when ever possible.  Always let your existing staff know when a position is available.  Even if this is not a step up, it may present a new challenge to keep someone motivated.  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.

If you’re not involved with the recruitment process yourself, ensure you train your management team how to recruit. Do they also know what values and attitude you are looking for? I recently read that that at PEER 1 they get people to spend the first 10 minutes of the interview drawing pictures of something that motivates or inspires them. That’s what they talk about during the first part of the interview. I take a similar approach on training course – it’s so simple and really helps to get people talking…

Involve your existing team in the recruitment process.  This will demonstrate your belief in them and strengthen their commitment to helping the new employee succeed.

At a potential cost of £1500 a time, it’s well worth giving recruitment the same respect and commitment you give to any other aspect of running your business.