Fresh ideas at Hotelymipa 2018

It was a night of huge celebration for our winners and with the afterglow of the 2017 People Awards still in full effect, it’s important to remember that such a wonderful evening would never have been possible without the sterling support and commitment of our amazing sponsors.

Sponsoring the Emerging Talent Initiative category was Fresh Montgomery, producers of Hotelympia 2018. Ross Carter, Portfolio Director of Fresh Montgomery said, “Schemes like People Awards seek to shine a light on best practice and employer initiatives that work hard to boost productivity and safeguard retention.”

The Emerging Talent Initiative category was won by Q Hotels who took employee engagement to another level with a new and all-encompassing approach. With a strong focus on relationship building with schools, European colleges, and UK Universities together with their Management Development Programme, apprenticeships and a solid social network strategy, Q Hotels garnered fantastic results. This year alone, the company has presented 64 in-school careers support days, have welcomed 135 school work experience placements and have reduced their temporary staff costs by over £400,000. “This really is something to celebrate,” said Ross. “Hotelympia is proud to support these Awards and we applaud the deserved winner of our category, Q Hotels.”

Hotelympia continues to grow year on year and will return to London in 2018. The show began life over 80 years ago under the guise of the Hotel, Restaurant and Catering Show, before being rebranded as Hotelympia which is a nod to its original home of Olympia in West London,” explains Ross Carter.

Finally outgrowing its roots, the show moved to a new permanent home at London’s ExCeL in 2004, and today stands as the largest and most vital event in the UK hospitality calendar.

“Despite its rich heritage, the show has never once rested on its laurels, mirroring the vibrant industry that it serves, to stay relevant and always ahead of the curve in terms of innovation and insight,” Ross continued.

The ethos of the 2018 show will be no different, yet there are going to be some exciting new future-focused elements, tackling hot-button issues and championing future industry stars, which will sit perfectly alongside returning features, to help Hotelympia maintain its position at the head of the pack.

Whist the show will stay true to its remit, Ross is excited by upcoming changes and its growth. “The show has a new organising team at the helm and we are currently working with a steering committee of influential figures from the world of hospitality to ensure that its content and themes are exactly on point and this will benefit all of our exhibitors and visitors.”

The sheer scale of the show means that it comprehensively covers every element of the hospitality business, showcasing the very latest products and launches in Food & Drink; Catering Equipment; Technology; Interiors & Tableware and sustainability-focused waste-works, from some of the most respected companies in the game. “We also pride ourselves on consistently attracting top level speakers,” said Ross. “From the up-and-coming to those who have seen and done it all. They all impart their wisdom and share insight and experiences, and they all offer visitors inspiration to take back to their own place of work.”

There are certainly pressing recruitment issues facing the hospitality industry right now, among them; a well-documented skills shortage, Brexit and a negative perception of careers within the sector with one recent report suggesting that only 17% of parents regard hospitality as a positive career choice. “It’s clear that we are suffering from an image problem,” Ross commented. “Those of us who work daily in hospitality know different, of course, but there is definitely a job of work to be done to change such ideas.

“Hotelympia is a big show and, as such, won’t shy away from the big issues,” Ross continued. “That means subjects like recruitment, skills, women, the gender pay gap, productivity, retention and apprenticeships, will be tacked head-on, helping to lift some of the fog surrounding each of these issues and demonstrate that the industry can offer young people a viable and successful career.”

Hotelympia has a long history of welcoming and nurturing the next generation of chefs, designers, restaurateurs and publicans. Ross Carter says that this will continue in earnest through existing elements like Salon Culinaire, with the same ethos permeating into new standalone features that will help inspire and inform. People Awards and Fresh Montgomery have enjoyed a long a fruitful relationship. We thank them for their continued support and for their work as a vital part of the UK hospitality industry. Hotelympia 2018 takes place at the ExCel Centre, London from the 5 -8 March 2018.

Hospitality employers adapt to a changing People Awards 2017

With some of the best restaurants and hotels in the world, the UK Hospitality sector boasts amazing standards and quality of service. The industry is one of the UK’s biggest employers, providing jobs to seven percent of the working population and – despite an approaching Brexit – business continues to be strong.

It’s a fast paced, ever-changing business with candidates becoming more decisive in what they want from their employers. Applicants are negotiating their own salaries, selecting their benefits and shaping the career path that’s right for them. In addition, the well-documented skills shortage is still being felt across the country and, when Brexit is factored in, hospitality companies have work doubly hard to stay connected and relevant to this new brand of candidate whist still being able to recruit the right people for the job, develop their skills and retain valuable experience. Employers need to utilise inventive methods to attract the talent they so desperately need amidst high competition.

The finest of these initiatives in hospitality recruitment, retention and development were celebrated on October 5th, at the glittering People Awards. Comedienne, Katherine Ryan hosted the ceremony at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge which was attended by 500 industry professionals.

Best practice by employers garners best results: the winners of these prestigious awards demonstrated determination and an unrivalled understanding of their industry and their workforce.

After its success last year with In-House Recruitment, this year the National Theatre won the Candidate Experience award. Considering that 55% of The National Theatre’s commercial workforce is casual, their current retention rate of 70% is quite an accomplishment. National Theatre has taken a creative and innovative approach to recruitment in recent years and they pride themselves on an open and inclusive policy. They have achieved much success with their focus on ‘Audience Experience’. Their candidate training programme allows staff to engage in several roles across the commercial department making for a more varied and exciting working environment and the National Theatre’s internal promotion rate is an inspiring 75%.

Living by their watchword, ‘Seva’, Indian street food restaurant, Dishoom won two awards, Rewards & Benefits and Launch Campaign. Leaving London for the first time, Dishoom opened their new restaurant in Edinburgh this year. It was a massive gamble for this young company to venture to what could have been a difficult location in a much smaller market. They designed a PR campaign announcing new jobs for the city, they also reviewed all recruitment adverts to ensure the pitch was exactly right for Scotland. They also set up dedicated Edinburgh recruitment channels and hired a local marketing manager. In a wonderful move, unsuccessful applicants were invited back for breakfast on the company, reinforcing their employer brand. Dishoom received 1,200 applications and hired 100 new team members. Their employee turnover this year has been an amazing 30%. Dishoom’s Rewards & Benefits entry also impressed the judges. Dishoom are delighted to offer their team members £150 a month to spend on food and drink with family and friends at their restaurants. There are frequent team days out, lunches, theatre trips and parties. Dishoom has introduced healthcare benefits which covers day-to-day healthcare costs. In team surveys, 90% of management teams said that they were proud to work for the company and management turnover has fallen to below 15%.

Totally revolutionising their recruitment strategy, YO! Sushi now puts brand values and its candidates at the centre of their processes. In doing so, it walked away last night with the award for Leadership in Recruitment, Retention and Development. In an extremely strong showing, YO! developed a brand new candidate platform which showcases just what it’s like to work at YO! Its website now features live career opportunities and stories from YO! Icons, giving a real taste of the company. Their Brand values, Respectful, Unconventional, Colourful and Confident have been brought to the digital fore and are front and centre in online applications. Time to hire management roles has fallen from eight to just five weeks and the volume of live opportunities has fallen from a monthly average of 15 to under 10.

This year saw the introduction of a new award focusing on Diversity, which was won by Compass Group. Compass Group launched the ‘Women in Food’ programme in 2016 to enable women not just to secure jobs within hospitality, but to thrive and succeed in leadership team positions with a goal of equal numbers of male and female chefs within the organisation. ‘Women in Food’ concentrates on three areas of development: focus on female chefs; developing women in leadership positions; and a strong emphasis on supporting Mums returning to work. Within the first year of the programme, Compass Group has achieved a result of 36% female chefs, 49% attending talent development programmes and 42% of women on the company’s chef apprenticeship programme versus a target of 50%.  A hugely impressive result.

The climax of the 2017 People Awards ceremony was certainly the presentation of the very special Ambassador to the Industry Award to Philip Atkinson, Senior Community Food Service Manager at Durham University Catering Department. With a distinguished 30 year career in hospitality, Philip invigorated his brand in what could traditionally be seen as an “unglamorous” career choice. He has completely re-imagined his department to attract, engage and excite candidates from all backgrounds. He has achieved impressive results across retention and development as well as fantastic outreach and sustainability programmes. Philip is undoubtedly a much loved and respected leader, a true Ambassador to the industry, fully deserving this award in recognition for his achievements.

These and many other amazing initiatives are testament to the dedication that hospitality employers have to their businesses and importantly, their employees. Over the coming months, we’ll be talking to each of our amazing winners and taking a close look at their work. People Awards are the perfect opportunity for employers to not only celebrate their teams and their hard work but to share with each other what they have learned, enabling this amazing industry to grow.

The 2017 People Awards wouldn’t have been possible without the invaluable help of its sponsors, Headline Sponsor, Octane HR Solutions, Hotelympia 2018, Admiral Recruitment, Core Recruitment, Off to Work, Detail 2 Leisure Recruitment, People Bank, Talent Hive and Good & Co. People Awards 2017

Winners in full

Ambassador to the Industry sponsored by Octane HR Solutions

Philip Atkinson – Durham University Catering Department


Candidate Experience sponsored by Off to Work

National Theatre


Diversity sponsored by Admiral Recruitment

Compass Group


Emerging Talent Initiative sponsored by Fresh Montgomery, producers of Hotelympia 2018

Q Hotels


Employee Engagement Programme sponsored by Good & Co.

LEON Restaurants Ltd.


Employer Brand Campaign sponsored Catering Scotland

Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants


HR Team sponsored by Talent Hive

Dorchester Hotel Ltd.


In-House Recruitment Team sponsored by Admiral Recruitment



Learning & Development Initiative sponsored by The Springboard Charity

Brewhouse and Kitchen


Launch Campaign sponsored by Detail 2 Leisure



Leadership in Recruitment, Retention & Development sponsored by COREcruitment

YO! Sushi


On-Boarding Programme sponsored by Peoplebank

LEON Restaurants Ltd.


Rewards & Benefits sponsored by James Hallam




Winners Announced

Last night, the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge played host to the hospitality industry event of the year, the 2017 People Awards. Hosted by comedienne, Katherine Ryan, the ceremony celebrated the very finest programmes and initiatives in hospitality recruitment, retention and development.

It was an exciting night for the shortlisted employers and a hugely successful one for the 13 winners who ended up walking away with those prestigious trophies.

Neil Pattison, Sales Director for said, “The landscape of the hospitality industry changes each year and recruiting and retaining the best talent remains a challenge. Our amazing winners demonstrated determination, ingenuity and invention, not only in finding new ways to recruit, but also in developing skills and very importantly, adapting to an ever-changing workforce.”

Our People Awards wouldn’t have been possible without the invaluable help of our sponsors and we would like to take this opportunity to thank our Headline Sponsor, Octane HR Solutions and our category sponsors Admiral Recruitment, Catering Scotland, Core Recruitment, Detail 2 Leisure Recruitment, Good & Co, Hotelympia 2018, Octane HR Solutions, Off to Work, People Bank, Springboard and Talent Hive.


Winners in full 

Ambassador to the Industry

Philip Atkinson – Durham University Catering Department

Candidate Experience Initiative

National Theatre


Compass Group

Emerging Talent Initiative

Q Hotels

Employee Engagement Programme

LEON Restaurants Ltd.

Employer Brand Campaign

Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants

HR Team

Dorchester Hotel Ltd.

In-House Recruitment Team


Learning & Development Initiative

Brewhouse and Kitchen

Launch Campaign


Leadership in Recruitment, Retention & Development

YO! Sushi

On-Boarding Programme

LEON Restaurants Ltd.

Rewards & Benefits


Tonight’s the Night

….and we couldn’t be more excited. We’re looking forward to welcoming you all this evening to the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge in the heart of London for the 2017 People Awards.

Join your host, the hilarious Katherine Ryan and 500 fellow industry professionals as we raise a glass to the very best initiatives in hospitality recruitment, retention and development.

Proceedings kick off with our drinks reception at 6.30pm where you can mingle and network to your heart’s content before dinner is served at 7.30pm. You’ll be treated to a delicious three course meal featuring delights such as a poached salmon, goat’s cheese parcel with young leaves and artichoke, spiced herbed chicken with sun blushed tomatoes and cucumber. Main courses will include chargrilled yellow and 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.

At 9.15pm, the tension racks up as the awards ceremony begins and we find out just who has won this year’s coveted awards. Each category highlights the hard work and dedication demonstrated by employers across the sector. This year’s shortlisted companies include Living Ventures, YO! Sushi, The Doyle Collection, Jumeirah London, Byron Hamburgers, LEON Restaurants Ltd. and Village Hotels.

After the ceremony, the bar will remain open and we expect to see all of you on the dancefloor as DJ Fabrizia takes you into the early hours.

Our awards are now in their seventh year. Over 150 companies representing over 213,000 employees entered the awards this year and there are 51 fantastic shortlisted entrants and, of course, 13 very deserving winners. We cannot wait to see you tonight to celebrate your hard work and achievements.

Get tweeting now @Catererdotcom #PeopleAwards17 and don’t forget that our Twitter wall will be in full effect all evening, so make sure photos of you and your table are up there.

The 2017 People Awards would not be possible without the support of our sponsors and we are grateful to our Headline Sponsor, Octane HR Solutions and our category sponsors Admiral Recruitment, Catering Scotland, Core Recruitment, Detail 2 Leisure Recruitment, Good & Co, Hotelympia 2018, Octane HR Solutions, Off to Work, People Bank, Springboard and Talent Hive.

See you later!

Putting on The Ritz!

John Williams MBE wins The AA Chef’s Chef of the Year 2017

Huge congratulations to John Williams MBE on winning the coveted AA 2017 Chef’s Chef of the Year. is extremely proud to have once again sponsored this prestigious award. Neil Pattison, Sales Director of, who presented the award at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel said “John is clearly loved and respected by his peers. He’s an extraordinary talent and deserves this accolade 100%. We really hope that this win serves as an inspiration to the next generation of upcoming UK chefs.”

From modest beginnings in a Tyneside fishing family to executive head chef at The Ritz, John Williams’s career as a hotel chef has headed ever upwards from the time he saw one of the pioneering TV chefs, The Galloping Gourmet himself, Graham Kerr,  in action and decided that cooking was the way to go. Trained on a classical cookery course at a technical college, Williams still believes in the value of learning the basics and importantly, nurturing up-and-coming talent through apprenticeships, an ethos he promotes in his role as Chairman of the Academy of Culinary Arts (ACA).

Starting his career at a country-house hotel in Northumberland, the siren call of the capital lured him to the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington where an inspirational eight-year sojourn with Rémy Fougère developed his craft and laid the solid classical French foundations that we still see today.

Williams knew early on that his future career was at the helm of a brigade in a big hotel kitchen rather than in a restaurant. Securing a place amid the tradition, heritage and history of Claridge’s and under the aegis of Mario Lesnik, Williams further honed his skills for nine years. This was followed by a stay at The Berkeley before Williams felt the irresistible lure of arguably the world’s grandest of grand hotels, The Ritz, in 2004, where he remains Executive Chef. John Williams is a chef who prefers the heat of the kitchen to the sparkle of the TV studio lights, he counts Michel Bourdin and Brian Turner amongst his own mentors, and has consistently raised the bar for the UK’s young chefs through his motivational work via the ACA.


Engaging, Interactive, Intuitive

Octane HR Solutions are your new ‘Partners in Crime’

The excitement is building! The 2017 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 People Awards, make sure you are too. For more information contact

Where will you be on October 5th?

The last remaining tickets for the 2017 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 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

A Hive Mind for recruitment

Talent Hive brings its expertise to the 2017 People Awards

At, 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 People Awards.

Will Gennard, Managing Director of Talent Hive said, “We’ve always wanted to get involved with industry awards to recognise talent, and 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 said, “The HR Team shortlist in our 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 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 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

Getting Off to Work



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

Kathy Dyball, Head of Marketing for 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 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 People Awards,” Rosina said. “We very rarely partner with other organisations, but we’ve worked with for a long time and are great admirers of what they do. 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 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 See you there.






Peoplebank get On-board

 Peoplebank sponsor the On-boarding category at the 2017 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, so it may come as no surprise that Peoplebank are sponsoring the On-boarding Programme category at this year’s People Awards, and we couldn’t be happier. Kathy Dyball, Head of Marketing for said, “With a quarter of a century of experience behind them, we are very excited to welcome Peoplebank to our 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

“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 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.

“ 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 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





totaljobs GROUP is a trademark of Totaljobs Group Ltd
© Copyright and database rights Totaljobs Group Ltd 2013

Working with
SpringBoard   AA Hotel Services   Hospitality   hit Scotland