Engaging, Interactive, Intuitive

Octane HR Solutions are your new ‘Partners in Crime’

The excitement is building! The 2017 Caterer.com People Awards are getting ever closer and tickets are selling at a rate of knots. It truly is the hospitality event of the year, a chance to  celebrate the very best initiatives in recruitment, retention and development with the most influential movers and shakers in UK hospitality employment.

Of course, these very special awards simply couldn’t happen without the participation of our sponsors, so we checked in with our Headline Sponsor, Octane HR Solutions to find out more about their work from Co-Founder, Nick Meads.

Octane HR Solutions has unique foundations. Their digital recruitment and retention solutions have been created by a team of creatives, communicators and coders with a vision to help businesses connect more powerfully and profitably with colleagues. With almost 30 years in multidiscipline design and as Octane’s head creative honcho, Nick Meads’ responsibility is to ensure that this unique spirit runs through every piece of work they deliver. “I’ve honed these skills in some amazing roles working for top brands,” said Nick. “This included 12 years as Executive Creative Director EMEA for global agency Carlson Marketing Group, working on international FMCG and travel brands. At the other end of the scale, I have very fond memories of starting my first brand agency, Seed, in the shed at the bottom of my garden. It was where I won accounts like TGI Fridays and St Austell Brewery, clients that we still enjoy great relationships with today.”

Nick feels that Octane has always been pretty fearless when it comes to disrupting the status quo. “Our original ATS platform was created because a leading casual dining chain was fed up with the limited choice on offer in the marketplace,” he says. “They wanted something engaging, interactive, intuitive and bespoke to their needs. They came to our sister agency Octane Communications Studio because they wanted an innovative solution to a traditional problem.” The company solved the challenge, scooped some awards and in the process Octane HR Solutions was born.

Needless to say, Nick feels very proud of their achievements. “Our understanding of brands and how technology can help colleagues amplify that is what truly sets us apart,” he explains. “We excel in bringing to life the employer brand in what would otherwise be a pretty boring setting.” Octane’s ATS and engagement platforms are everything but boring.  “Our products aren’t just digital solutions, they’re beautifully crafted to look the part too, with the backend looking as good as the front. Why should the hiring manager have to use a platform that looks like an 80’s accounting system?

“Importantly, we do not shoehorn our clients into rigid functionality and you don’t need to be techy to get to grips with our products,” he continues, “we tailor our product to meet the needs of each unique business. Our systems are simple for both the hiring manager and the candidate. For example, we build beautifully crafted bespoke candidate career portals like IGNITE, our employee engagement platform. We’ve designed everything to break down barriers, reduce drop off and make the management and on-boarding of candidates as simple as possible.”

Of course, we all want the recruitment process to be as painless as possible, especially within hospitality, and Nick Meads feels that Octane’s systems really do enhance and streamline conventional methods. “’Fuel’, Octane’s recruitment and talent management tool, offers more than just a cost per hire reduction. By providing an immersive brand experience, our hospitality customers can balance the need for volume applications with quality candidates, helping them truly differentiate in a crowded sector that often looks very homogenous. Octane’s platforms have been designed and built in a way that makes it easy for people, whose day job is not always centred around recruitment, to effortlessly find and hire their dream team.”

Nick is extremely enthusiastic about Octane’s continued work with industry. “We want to continue to work with hospitality brands that aspire to think and behave differently. If you don’t want to settle for average or ordinary, Octane HR Solutions are your new partners in crime.”

Nick and his team will be in attendance at our Caterer.com People Awards, make sure you are too. For more information contact awards@caterer.com.

Where will you be on October 5th?

The last remaining tickets for the 2017 Caterer.com People Awards are now available and they’re waiting for you.

On October 5th, the leaders in UK hospitality recruitment will be donning their glad rags for this, the industry event of the year and you just have to be there. The spectacular Park Plaza Westminster Bridge is the venue where the bold and the best of the industry will gather to celebrate the very best initiatives in hospitality recruitment, retention & development.

There are 13 categories this year, each showcasing the hard work and dedication demonstrated by employers across the sector. This year’s nominees include Accor Hotels, Compass Group, Cycas Hospitality, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Reds True Barbeque, Copthorne Tara Hotel, Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants, Greene King, Rocco Forte Hotels and Ceviche Limited.

This glorious industry is built upon delivering amazing experiences, and our Caterer.com People Awards will not disappoint. Besides discovering just who will walk away with the coveted 13 trophies, you will be treated to a fabulous three course dinner, along with wines picked to complement the menu perfectly.

The Banqueting Department at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge will bring you a seasonal menu featuring a trio of starters; poached salmon, goat cheese parcel with young leaves and artichoke, spiced herbed chicken with sun blushed tomatoes and cucumber. Main courses will include chargrilled yellow & green courgette parcel filled with ratatouille, with red & yellow peppers, pesto risotto, herb oil & balsamic glaze, while dessert promises a Yuzu and lemon tart, fresh raspberry, Italian rose meringue and an exotic coulis.

We’ll have a fresh Stones Throw White, Apostrophe Wines 2015 from Pemberton, Western Australia and Mâcon Serrieres, Domaine Monterrain 2014 to accompany this wonderful meal and of course, you can’t celebrate without bubbles so you’re sure to adore the Cava Seleccion +&+, Brut NV, Bodegas Pinord, Penedès, that we’ll be serving at the drinks reception. Salud!

We’re hugely excited about our host for the evening. This year we welcome the hilarious and supercool Katherine Ryan, who we know will deliver a knockout performance. She’ll be ably assisted by King of the Voice Overs, the sensational Peter Dickson. As if all of this weren’t not enough, there’ll be plenty of opportunity to enjoy the bar and the dancefloor until 1am, with the help of DJ Fabrizia!

If networking is your thing, you couldn’t hope to be in better company. Almost every employer from our shortlist will be in attendance amongst the 500 guests. So join LEON Restaurants Ltd., Liverpool FC, Rezidor Hotels, DISHOOM, National Theatre, YO! Sushi, The Doyle Collection, The Dorchester, London Heathrow Marriott, Byron Hamburgers, Hilton Worldwide, Principal Hotel Company, Jumeirah Living, Baxter Storey, The Savoy, The London EDITION, Malmaison Hotel du Vin, Brewhouse and Kitchen not to mention our illustrious headline sponsor Octane HR Solutions, plus category sponsors PeopleBank, Talent Hive COREcrutiment, Fresh Montgomery, Off to Work, Admiral Recruitment, Good & Co., Springboard and Catering in Scotland for what is going to be an amazing night.

There are very few tickets remaining. The booking deadline is 18th September, individual tickets are £235 + vat with limited tables of 10 now available at £2200 + vat. You just have to be there. Get in touch now to secure your place awards@caterer.com

A Hive Mind for recruitment

Talent Hive brings its expertise to the 2017 Caterer.com People Awards

At Caterer.com, we believe that in this current climate of skills shortages, getting your recruitment strategy right from the beginning is crucial in order to secure and retain the talent you need to run your hospitality business. This has to be understood right across the industry and we’re pleased that Talent Hive sees the situation exactly the way we do. We’re ecstatic to say that they are sponsoring the HR Team category at the 2017 Caterer.com People Awards.

Will Gennard, Managing Director of Talent Hive said, “We’ve always wanted to get involved with industry awards to recognise talent, and Caterer.com People Awards are an ideal platform for us to give something back and celebrate the industry as a whole.”

Kathy Dyball, Head of Marketing at Caterer.com said, “The HR Team shortlist in our Caterer.com People Awards always focuses on the amazing and inventive work that HR departments are doing across the industry. We’re very happy that Talent Hive, a company with character and a unique working style has partnered with us to sponsor this exciting category.”

After ten years within the restaurant industry and then seven years in hospitality recruitment, Talent Hive’s head honcho, Will Gennard set up the company in 2014. “I wanted to offer a more approachable recruitment solution for our clients whereby we forge a partnership and become an extended arm of their HR function,” he said, “this enables us to work more effectively on their behalf which in turn produces better results.”

Will believes that the thing that sets Talent Hive apart from other agencies is that every consultant within the company has a background in the hospitality industry. Will said, “They range from former pastry chefs through to hotel managers and they really have the inside knowledge required to make informed decisions when it comes to recruitment.”

Talent Hive has the know-how, but Will understands the concerns that employers have right now. “Chef recruitment remains an issue for most of our clients,” he says. “I’ve been working with several employers over the past few years on not only recruiting the right chefs, but retaining the talent they already have within their business. We need to change our kitchen culture and create an environment in which it becomes a desirable career to have.”

Talent Hive is bringing its expertise to a particularly competitive category as the HR Team shortlist showcases some fantastic entries from Baxter Storey, Dorchester Hotel Ltd., IHG, The Belfry Hotel and Resort and Village Hotels. Last year’s winner was Jumeirah London, who wowed the judges with impressive results in talent retention. Dawn Vermeire, Director of Human Resources at Jumeirah said, “In an employment market in which there is high competition amongst our competitors for top talent, retention can be achieved to a large extent by ensuring our workforce are engaged. We see our role in HR as critical to supporting the business with this objective, and providing the support our line managers require.” The team at Jumeirah London were thrilled with their win. Dawn remarked, “We are all very creative individuals who seek to do things differently in HR and this win has made us all extremely proud and excited about the future.”

Will Gennard feels that Caterer.com People Awards is an important event, “It’s a fantastic platform to enable us to recognise the super talent we have within our industry. When I was working within restaurants, there weren’t so many initiatives like this. I really feel this helps us retain talent and celebrate our industry. We are very proud and honoured to be part of this wonderful evening.”

Who will walk away with the HR Team award this year? Be there to find out. The 2017 Caterer.com People Awards will take place at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge on October 5th. 500 industry leaders will be in attendance, so join them at the hospitality event of the year. Tables are still available by contacting awards@caterer.com

Getting Off to Work

 

 

 Off to Work sponsors Candidate Experience category at 2017 Caterer.com People Awards

“We really wanted to sponsor the Candidate Experience category because that’s what we’re all about – providing a really great candidate experience.” – Rosina Bucknall, Director of Specialisms at Off to Work.

Off to Work challenge the concept of the ‘traditional recruitment agency’ and we are delighted to welcome them as sponsors of the Candidate Experience category in the 2017 Caterer.com People Awards.

Kathy Dyball, Head of Marketing for Caterer.com said, “We’ve always been huge fans of Off to Work. Their exciting working methods and unparalleled training programmes are an inspiration in the hospitality industry and we’re so pleased to have them as a sponsor at our Caterer.com People Awards.”

Off to Work began as the brainchild of Philip Atkins, Managing Director. Using his wealth of experience in catering and events management, Philip decided to create a new agency that deliberately set itself apart from the competition. “He created a brand and a business that takes pride in its teams and service standards.” said Rosina Bucknall, “Our ethos revolves around finding passionate team members to enable amazing experiences for our clients.”

Off to Work has always been an innovative market leader and was one of the first agencies to adopt candidate selection and online booking systems. “The way that our candidates are trained and upskilled is unlike anything else in the industry,” Rosina said. “The calibre of our team members is phenomenal and we invest a lot of time into training and developing them.” Off to Work supply staff for all areas of hospitality, including Goodwood, Royal Ascot, concerts and celebrity weddings, as well as catering teams for restaurants, hotels and cafes with specialist divisions in each sector.

Off to Work’s motto is “Enabling Amazing Experiences”. This applies, not only to clients, but to team members too. Development and progression are key. If a team member joins on a casual basis, they are offered the chance to grow in the role and to progress through the ranks. Off to Work runs a unique, dedicated training facility in Camden, as well as a banqueting venue which is also run as a commercial enterprise with their sister brand, Sliced Events. All front and back of house staff from the Off to Work casual team go through a vigorous training programme. Anthony Gardner-Sharp from Off to Work’s Marketing Team says, “We are always working on our brand image and improving the candidate experience for our team. We recently launched our bespoke app which allows team members to easily search and book shifts, and allows clients to easily request their favourite staff and complete timesheets via the app.”

Rosina feels that it is the company culture that really sets Off to Work apart from the rest. “Team members are treated as people and not as a commodity.” She explains. “Every year we hold a Staff Awards event which is really important to the staff as it recognises their hard work and celebrates their achievements. We have several categories including chef of the year, waiter of the year, most improved team member and even most charismatic! Our team members actually feel like part of the company, not just casual agency staff. Ultimately, if they don’t feel valued, they’re not going to do a good job. It all begins with our people.”

The Candidate Experience award recognises programmes and initiatives that successfully and imaginatively engage with candidates from application, on-boarding and beyond. Last year’s award went to Firmdale Hotels and this year’s shortlist showcases three amazing entries from AccorHotels, National Theatre – Commercial Operations Department and YO! Sushi.

“We’re so happy to be sponsoring this category in the 2017 Caterer.com People Awards,” Rosina said. “We very rarely partner with other organisations, but we’ve worked with Caterer.com for a long time and are great admirers of what they do. Caterer.com People Awards are renowned throughout the industry. Ultimately, the awards are about recognising talent, showcasing fantastic initiatives and as the title suggests, they’re about people.”

The 2017 Caterer.com People Awards take place on October 5th at the stunning Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge, where the great and the good of UK hospitality employment will gather to celebrate the very best programmes in recruitment, retention and development. Tables for this fabulous evening are still available by contacting awards@caterer.com. See you there.

 

 

 

 

 

Peoplebank get On-board

 Peoplebank sponsor the On-boarding category at the 2017 Caterer.com People Awards

“First impressions count. Whether the target audience is your direct customer, or the customer of your HR and recruitment teams, your brand needs to be strong and consistent” says David Beveridge, Client Services & Sales Manager at the multi award-winning Peoplebank. It happens to be a view that we share at Caterer.com, so it may come as no surprise that Peoplebank are sponsoring the On-boarding Programme category at this year’s Caterer.com People Awards, and we couldn’t be happier. Kathy Dyball, Head of Marketing for Caterer.com said, “With a quarter of a century of experience behind them, we are very excited to welcome Peoplebank to our Caterer.com People Awards. Their innovative and forward-thinking approach to recruitment makes them the perfect match for this very special event.”

Peoplebank began as a recruitment agency in 1991, but it wasn’t long before they felt a change was coming. “We had heard about this new-fangled technology called the internet,” said David Beveridge. ”We decided that online would be game changing in the recruitment and management of new staff, and guess what? We were right!” In 1994 they launched www.peoplebank.com.

“We have helped hundreds of companies; big and small, and from all walks of industry see the light when it comes to the benefits and savings they can make simply by tweaking a few things here and there,” David explained. In 2007 PeopleBank became part of a new family and were welcomed with open arms into the Daxtra Technologies Group. David said, “These guys are market leaders in CV and job parsing software as well as semantic search, matching and aggregation technologies.”

In terms of services offered, David elaborated, “We are big enough to be capable of dealing with some of the biggest brands in the world, yet small enough to be different and to care. We offer a candidate attraction and candidate management solution. Our services range from design and build of complete candidate experiences –  application forms, job adverts, careers sites – through to the complete collating, ranking and processing of candidates applications throughout the whole recruitment process.”

By using their award winning software, Peoplebank streamline time consuming recruitment processes and create bespoke, tailored solutions to save clients money and time and  attract the best talent. David said, “We’re very proud of our hugely adaptable system. It’s able to integrate with existing CRMs, payroll, job boards and most 3rd party software.

“We are a company that is passionate about partnering businesses. We’re based in Edinburgh, but we work worldwide. We like to think that we’re a friendly, dynamic business and we love to help and support in any way we can.”

Applicants and candidates for hospitality roles are now savvier than ever. It’s important for employers to be on top of their game in order to stay one step ahead. “Candidates want to know your company’s DNA,” said David Beveridge. “That’s why with a customised recruitment solution, you can deliver on-brand advertising covering careers sites, job adverts and candidate applications.”

Fully-fledged Career and Candidate Portals are a key first step in engaging with potential employees particularly in the hospitality sector. “We help companies the length and breadth of the UK engage with candidates,” said David. “Whether that be creating a careers site for Virgin Trains East Coast or building a customised application form for GLH or creating amazing adverts for Sofitel St James.

“Our ability to incorporate and offer this element of the recruitment process in such a bespoke and flexible nature, we feel really sets us apart.”

This year’s shortlist for the On-boarding category features eight top employers: Aqua Restaurant Group, Devonshire Hotels & Restaurants, Dishoom, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, LEON Restaurants Ltd., Novotel London Canary Wharf, The Doyle Collection and Z Hotels. Last year’s winner was the National Theatre with an inspiring entry. On winning, Geraldine McCormick, HR Advisor for Commercial Operations at The National Theatre said, “We feel extremely honoured and excited that we have been recognised by the Catering and Hospitality Industry for a programme of which we are very proud. Being recognised by Caterer.com is such a privilege for us. We are oozing with pride!”

David Beveridge feels that recognising and rewarding employer initiatives is very important. “We are excited to be sponsoring the On-boarding category, we can’t wait to find out the final result and we would like to wish all the shortlisted employers good luck.

“Caterer.com are huge in the industry and at Peoplebank we are keen to work with, sponsor and support the best companies. We see this as a great opportunity to be at such an event that will help us build our brand and showcase what Peoplebank do, on one of the best platforms around.”

The 2017 Caterer.com People Awards will take place at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge on October 5th. 500 industry leaders will be in attendance, so join them at the hospitality event of the year. Tables are still available by contacting awards@caterer.com

 

 

 

 

Looking for a Rising Star

HR in Hospitality’s Rising Star Award

“We are looking for that Rising Star, the one to watch, somebody who will be a future Leader,” says Esther O’Halloran, Chair of HR in Hospitality. “Our aim is to encourage HR professionals to grow their career and stay in hospitality.”

Having been in existence for 22 years and re-launched in its current form in 2009, HR in Hospitality works to provide a forum for HR professionals within the hospitality sector by acting as a central hub for the industry. A Human Resources role is a constantly evolving one, so apart from organising various social and networking events throughout the year, HR in Hospitality offers valuable discussions and talks and the opportunity to share knowledge and experience. These are especially useful to newcomers to hospitality HR, who the association is keen to help and encourage.

The highlight of the HR in Hospitality year is undoubtedly their annual awards evening which celebrates and rewards teams and individuals for excellence in hospitality HR. Categories include Excellence in promoting careers, talent attraction and Employee Engagement. Sponsored by Caterer.com, one of the top awards of the evening is the Rising Star Award.

“We have always been on the look-out for future talent,” explains Esther O’Halloran. “In the past, the Rising Star award winner just got the trophy and recognition but for the last few years Caterer.com have been really generous with awarding a scholarship to further encourage personal development, skills and credibility in the profession and sector.”

The winner of the Rising Star award will also receive a scholarship for their development from caterer.com. “They are on a career development path where their contribution to the HR team is really making a difference,” Esther continues. “This person may be in any role within the HR team, but you can see their potential through their skills, the way they work and the results they are achieving.”  Entrants can self-nominate or be entered by their organisation. Ideally they need to have worked in HR for at least two years but not necessarily in their current position within the team. Testimonial statements from the HR Director or other managers can be submitted in support of this entry. The winner of this award will also receive the Caterer.com scholarship to use towards developing their personal HR training or qualifications.

In finding a suitable winner, judges take into account how the nominee contributed to the success of the performance of the HR department, what has been the nominee’s personnel development plan, achievements in their career so far and what will be the benefit to them and the organisation in winning this award.

Esther says that the HR in Hospitality Rising Star Award is of enormous benefit to the winner. “It provides recognition from peers and industry colleagues, it’s a real confidence boost and it’s a great opportunity to invest in personal development. We hope that winning the award will encourage loyalty to remain and develop a career in hospitality.”

One recent winner is Natasha Wiggins from Red Carnation Hotels. Of her win, Natasha said, “Winning the award and receiving the scholarship was a brilliant way to build my skills and areas of expertise. I was able to complete the National Certificate in Workplace Mediation. It was a fantastic course that allowed me to learn new skills and will enable me to offer an extra layer of support to the business.”

We will discover just who will walk away with the 2017 Rising Star Award when the HR in Hospitality Awards take place at the Rosewood Hotel on September 29th. It promises to be a special evening and a fantastic chance to network and hear about the great work being done in hospitality human resources.

CORE Values

COREcruitment sponsors the 2017 Caterer.com People Awards

Continuing a strong and fruitful relationship, Caterer.com is pleased to announce that COREcruitment will be sponsoring the Leadership in Recruitment, Development and Retention category at the 2017 Caterer.com People Awards.

Caterer.com Head of Marketing, Kathy Dyball said, “We are so happy to welcome back COREcruitment to our Caterer.com People Awards family. Their experience and integrity, especially in hospitality recruitment, brings a tangible cache to these very special awards, and we thank them for their continued support”

COREcruitment was established in 2005 with their London HQ. “We have grown extensively since then,” said Managing Director, Krishnan Doyle. “We now have a team of 42 consultants in the UK, South Africa, Dubai, Holland, Bangkok, North America and France. Our primary focus was originally on hospitality, but we now recruit for roles within Facilities Management, Head Office, Finance, Leisure & Fitness and Retail, Property and have a specialist team covering technology and marketing.

COREcruitment’s business ethos is underpinned by three guiding principles: Integrity, efficiency and transparency. “We pride ourselves on providing a bespoke and smooth recruitment process for both our clients and candidates,” Krishnan Doyle said. “All of our consultants focus on different sectors and all of them have previously worked in the sector they now recruit for – usually at management level. This means that they know what they’re talking about and can recognise the best candidates.”

The presentation of the Leadership in Recruitment, Retention and Development award is one of the highlights of the awards evening and was won last year by Durham University Catering Department. With an unmatched entry, Durham demonstrated innovation and perseverance by completely overhauling their recruitment process. They overcame opposition from internal quarters and restructured the written application shortlisting process for entry level vacancies by completely removing it in order to increase the amount of talent at interview stage. They also replaced the formal panel style interview with a ‘speed dating’ style interview process, during which up to 42 applicants moved around mini management panels, where positive behaviour is scored using standard questions and a simple work related tasks. In addition they fought back against stereotypes to reinvent their employer brand and introduced training placements at Michelin starred restaurants and food exploration trips in Asia.

Krishnan Doyle concluded, “Hospitality is a great sector where companies have a genuine interest and appreciation of their competitors. Caterer.com People Awards celebrate this sector and its achievements and in my opinion are vital.”

The 2017 Caterer.com People Awards take place on October 5th at the beautiful Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge. Tickets are now available, so join us as we celebrate the hard work of your teams and this fabulous industry. Book by contacting awards@caterer.com

Caterer.com People Awards 2017 shortlists announced!

From global greats to fresh new brands,

hospitality employers set new standards to attract and retain the talent they need

The UK Hospitality sector is the envy of the world, and rightly so. One of the UK’s biggest employers, the hospitality industry provides jobs to seven percent of the working population. This ever evolving, thriving sector has a constant demand for employees at all levels, and companies work hard to recruit the right people, develop their skills and retain their valuable experience.

Besides the uncertainty of Brexit, the biggest problem facing hospitality employers is without doubt the ongoing skills shortage, which is widely estimated to be reaching crisis level. Companies must now focus, invest and innovate to attract and retain the talent they so desperately need. That’s why the team at Caterer.com, the largest and most successful UK hospitality job board, are proud to celebrate the finest hospitality employer initiatives in recruitment, development and retention through our Caterer.com People Awards.

This year we were absolutely inundated with entries from employers of all sizes, from all sectors and regions of the UK, representing the wealth of fantastic work that goes on to engage hospitality talent at every stage. Our panels of judges had a serious task on their hands to whittle these entries down to shortlists and winners, but judging has now taken place and Caterer.com is thrilled to announce the shortlist for the 2017 Caterer.com People Awards.

Our shortlist this year includes a huge range of employers representing the true diversity of this wonderful industry, including Hilton Worldwide, Compass Group, Rezidor Hotels, Green King, YO! Sushi, LEON Restaurants, Dishoom, National Theatre, Sodexo – Ascot Racecourse, POD Food, Reds True Barbecue, Liverpool FC and Brewhouse & Kitchen.

To be held at the Park Plaza Westminster, London on October 5th, the awards ceremony promises to be an exhilarating night celebrating the continual evolution and improvement of hospitality recruitment, retention and development. The awards are headline sponsored by Octane HR Solutions, and category sponsors include Admiral Recruitment, CORE Recruitment, Off to Work, People Bank and Talent Hive.

Winners will be announced across 13 categories: Employee Engagement Programme, Employer Brand Campaign, Rewards and Benefits Initiatives, Learning & Development, On-Boarding Programme, Emerging Talent Initiative, Candidate Experience, Launch Campaign, Diversity, HR Team, In-House Recruitment Team, Leadership in Recruitment, Retention and Development and the special Ambassador to The Industry Award. The shortlist in full can be found here.

Our Caterer.com People Awards are an essential date for employers and recruiters in the hospitality industry events calendar and table booking is now open. Bring your teams, and join us along with 500 of your industry peers for a wonderful three-course dinner, wine, entertainment and an evening of celebration toasting the hard work of hospitality employers. The 2017 Caterer.com People Awards will be hosted by the hilarious Katherine Ryan, so it’s sure to be a night to remember. Event details can be found here and you can make your booking via awards@caterer.com

Congratulations to all the shortlisted employers! We look forward to seeing you at the event on October 5th.

We welcome Octane HR Solutions as Headline Sponsor for the 2017 Caterer.com People Awards

 

We are delighted to announce that Octane HR Solutions will be headline sponsor for the 2017 Caterer.com People Awards.

Caterer.com is the largest and most successful board for hospitality jobs in the UK and our partnership with Octane HR Solutions is very exciting news. Why? Because as creators of award winning ATS and Engagement platforms, Octane HR Solutions understand the talent recruitment and retention challenges our Caterer.com community face.

Nick Meads, Co-Founder of Octane said, “Caterer.com People Awards celebrate the finest employer initiatives and innovations in hospitality recruitment, retention and development. It is a great honour to be the headline sponsor of this prestigious event.”

Kathy Dyball, Head of Marketing for Caterer.com commented, “Octane HR Solutions are a fantastic match as headline sponsors for our Caterer.com People Awards 2017. Our awards celebrate the innovative ways in which hospitality employers have tackled their recruitment challenges – and that’s exactly what Octane HR Solutions help employers achieve.

The Octane team have a great vibrancy about them which we love, and many of our clients already use their systems to support their hiring. Octane are adding some fabulous elements to the awards event too. They’re real innovators and we’re delighted to have them as our headline sponsors this year!”

Market disrupters, Octane’s foundations lie in more than just software development. Nick comments, “Our commercial success started in brand and design, and so a creative perspective has always underpinned our solutions.

As well as our in-house tribe of technical geeks, you’ll find a tribe of creative devotees ensuring our products are a joy to intuitively use and manage, day in day out. We call it the Octane voodoo mix.”

An established market leader in recruitment and engagement platforms, Octane HR Solutions has carved out a reputation for customising their solutions to meet client needs, not the other way around.

“We build ATS, talent management systems, candidate career portals and employee engagement platforms, each tailor-made by our clients,” Nick explained. “We have years of digital experience and a lot of creative oomph. We’ve developed and honed agile software to help reduce time in hiring and recruiting the right candidates and improve communication within a corporate environment.” Octane believe that their solutions are simple, intuitive and fast and offer clients a fresh approach to recruitment, unfettered by high operating costs.

Octane’s ATS systems are of particular interest to employers working within hospitality. “An Applicant Tracking System allows recruiters to organise and manage their process when they’re dealing with numerous employees and locations,” Nick said.  “It enables the business to streamline the recruitment process saving time and money. It continuously feeds the candidate pipeline to fill positions, while building a database of candidates so that you are never unable to fill positions.  Importantly it fills positions with the right candidates.”

Communications are drafted in the employer brand’s tone of voice for a truly unique candidate experience. The system ensures that every applicant is contacted, thus heightening that candidate experience. Nick said, “Employers and recruiters can benefit by huge time and cost savings; our system can do in minutes what a hiring manager would take to do in a day.”

Of their involvement with this year’s awards, Nick said, “This is a match made in heaven! We pride ourselves on providing innovative recruitment solutions to the hospitality industry so our sponsorship of the 2017 Caterer.com People Awards couldn’t be more pertinent.

Octane HR Solutions has worked with StepStone UK on the integration of all job boards, Caterer.com being a key board for our portfolio of hospitality clients. It is a pleasure to work with the team at Caterer.com and through this partnership, we look forward to further solidifying our relationship.”

Tierney Fox, co-founder of Octane HR Solutions said, “As established industry suppliers, we’ve long appreciated the ingenuity and resourcefulness required to recruit, train and engage today’s socially connected work force. As a benchmark for industry quality and innovation, we’re genuine fans of Caterer.com People Awards, and we’re delighted to be this year’s headline sponsor. It’s the perfect opportunity to rub shoulders with the brightest names in our thriving sector and for leading employers to win one of 13 commercially credible recruitment and retention accolades. We can’t wait to say hello in person on the night.”

The 2017 Caterer.com People Awards take place on October 5th at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge and tickets are available now.

 

Innovative now, sustainable long term

We meet Marco Reick, People Director at Leon Restaurants and judge of our

Caterer.com People Awards 2017

“Caterer.com People Awards are so important as a bench mark in this industry,” said Marco Reick, People Director at Leon. “As an industry, we all have to work towards making the sector one of choice, one where people choose to come for a career. That only works if we all become better and better and better as employers.”

Marco Reick is having an impressive career. One of judges for the 2017 Caterer.com People Awards, Marco moved to the UK from Germany in 2003, he entered the hospitality industry and has never looked back. He joined The Restaurant Group in 2007 and helped grow and shape the company as Head of Recruitment; “When I started at TRG, there were 260 restaurants and when I left they had 450. So with that rapid growth, we had recruit from across the country in a tough market.” Marco also nurtured TRG’s development programme, creating their first graduate scheme, which afforded newcomers to the industry the chance to rise to a General Manager position in just 18 months.

In 2013, after more than six successful years at The Restaurant Group, Marco went on to join the fledgling Bill’s, where the situation couldn’t have been more different. “Bill’s, at the time, was very small in comparison to TRG,” explains Marco. “We opened more than 20 sites every year that I was there. There was huge expansion, very intense, but a real joy to be involved in such a success story at that time. Their environment was very entrepreneurial and very creative.”

With more and more employers realising the importance of company culture, Marco, last year, entered into talks with Leon co-founder John Vincent about a project role but “Within two days, it turned into a permanent role,” he said.

According to Marco Reick, the industry is facing ‘significant headwinds’. “As a sector, the supply in the pipeline of people is our biggest challenge. We saw a small decline in applications after the Brexit vote, but that quickly flattened out. Regardless, we are concentrating on retention. We’ve found there are many people leaving the UK and their jobs in hospitality to head back to their homes in Europe and this is worrying. The government stating that those already here can stay has given us and our hard working team members some reassurance, for now. But what happens after Brexit in terms of our future talent pipeline remains a mystery, we need much better answers from the government.”

Marco is pleased with what he and his team have achieved so far. “At Leon, it’s our mission to enable people to eat well and to live well,” he said. “It’s true for customers, but just as true for our team members.” Naturally, all Leon employees get their lunch and dinner free, but Rewards and Benefits go way beyond that. “We support our team members in ways they probably couldn’t imagine. We have a well-being team. We take this very seriously, we want everybody who works at Leon to be physically fit and active and we want them to have a balanced life. We have regular events throughout the year, we have running clubs, sports days, well-being days in East Sussex where we have different activities available, therapies, massages, reflexology etc.” Also available to all employees is Leon’s wellbeing space known as The Kwoon; an all-day gym where staff can drop in and take training sessions free of charge, and although there are professional instructors, The Kwoon is primarily for Leon team members by Leon team members. Marco explains, “Whatever talent you might have, we try to capture that and allow you to share that talent with other team members. we want you to express yourself. There might be a barista in one of our restaurants who may also be a qualified yoga instructor. We encourage that person to teach their class in our wellbeing space. Your colleagues get a lesson for free and you get paid for doing it.” Every month there are up to 200 Leon team members using The Kwoon.  It’s been a huge success, but it doesn’t end there.

When Leon opened their Shaftesbury Avenue restaurant, deep in the heart of London’s theatre district, they wanted to fit in with the neighbourhood. “We thought, let’s make it a musical theatre-themed restaurant and let’s make our team members the stars. At certain times of day, songs are performed live by the team,” Marco can’t help but smile as he explains. “They are all singers, some are musicals singers, some are in bands, some are session singers. The thing that brings them together is that they all need to pay the bills. They could work as a barista or a waiter anywhere. The thing that Leon offers is the chance to do that – and sing.” All team members in the Shaftesbury Avenue restaurant wear shirts with their names on their backs “just in case a West End Producer pops in for lunch.” Leon liaises with the local theatre community and wants their staff to be discovered, “staff turnover for that restaurant is taken out of the equation,” Marco said, “but we find that our team members keep coming back to us after having left to do a show”.

Marco Reick is excited about this year’s Caterer.com People Awards. He is passionate about the hospitality industry and is pleased that the awards are there. “They act as a forum,” he said “where all the great work that hospitality employers are doing can be showcased. I’m looking forward to seeing entries from companies that do things differently, employers who put people first. We need innovation in order to survive as an industry, but innovation needs to be sustainable. I believe that all the entries can act to attract new blood, new talent to hospitality, and we need it now more than ever.”

Entries for the 2017 Caterer.com People Awards will close on July 10th. Judging will take place on July 19th with the shortlist announced soon after. The glamorous awards evening happens on October 5th at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge, tables are available now. Contact awards@caterer.com for more details.

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