In hospitality, every player plays their part



We talk to Geraldine McCormick, HR Advisor for Commercial Operations at The National Theatre,

a 2016 People Awards winner

It’s that time again! Entries are now being welcomed for the 2017 People Awards. These special awards celebrate the finest achievements in hospitality recruitment, development and retention. The 2016 award for On-Boarding Programme was presented to the National Theatre for their smart and inspiring welcome package.

We all know that making a strong first impression is crucial when entering into a new role. For candidates, this can come at the all-important interview stage, but for employers, once their choice has been made and candidates become employees, that first impression is of even greater importance.

Great employers want to create a confident, enthusiastic work force. They also want their employees to remain with them for as long as possible, and in order to do so, creating a solid on-boarding programme is essential.

For the National Theatre, success didn’t come easily, as they had several recruitment challenges to address. Prior to their current programme being implemented, there was no standardisation or consistency in the way new recruits were welcomed and orientated into the organisation, and in particular to Commercial Operations. They needed to ensure that employees were given the same information and the same training for consistency, compliance and excellent customer service. Geraldine McCormick, HR Advisor for Commercial Operations at The National Theatre, explains, “The reason for designing our current On-Boarding programme is to give structure to what was previously a very piecemeal process without placing too much strain on the operational manager’s time.” She stressed that getting this right was a one-shot deal. “Our biggest challenge is that we only have one opportunity per recruitment drive to have all the new hires together for the three days, and during those three days we need to ensure we can cover as much information and training as possible. We have to make certain that all the staff are given the same knowledge and opportunities by welcoming them and engaging them in life at the Theatre. Operationally, this is a complex task for a small team like ours, but we’ve now found ways to make it all run smoothly.”

The National Theatre’s current On-Boarding programme was devised to support the core job description for Commercial Operations. It was felt that the programme needed to clarify and embed vision, values, behaviours and consistent style and then deliver this for every member of staff working in ‘Audience Experience’. “We started by devising modules around each of our core values,” said Geraldine McCormick, “and then built modules around all the compliance and safety matters. We then added extras to “join” the sessions together, sessions designed to build great, cohesive teams from day one.”

The physical delivery of the three-day training session employs a variety of methods such as verbal communication, visual, hands on interactive activities, quizzes, PowerPoint, roleplay and games. Time is set aside at the end of day three for feedback and questions.

The line manager and Audience Experience personnel continue to support and review all new employees after the On-Boarding programme and throughout their employment.  This is achieved via a process of one-to-one appraisals, focus groups, cross–working training and other extra training as required.

Feedback on the National Theatre’s On-Boarding programme has been extremely positive “Staff genuinely value the program,” said Geraldine McCormick, “they are engaged and feel work-ready. They are aware of the main procedures and policies and have all met key team members. Staff have told us how they make long-lasting friends and feel engaged about working with their new found colleagues. Overall we have a much happier and retainable workforce.”

On winning a People Award for On-Boarding, Geraldine 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 of. People don’t always think of the National Theatre for our incredible restaurants, cafes and bars, so being recognised by is such a privilege for us. Indeed we were amazed that we won, particularly so because we were up against some very strong and worthy competitors. We are oozing with pride!”

Entering the 2017 People Awards couldn’t be easier. There are 13 categories. It’s free and you can enter as many categories as you wish. Entries close on 2nd July 2017 and the shortlist will be announced in August. The glamorous awards ceremony will take place on 5th October 2017 at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge.

Don’t hesitate to contact our People Awards team with any questions at

How to deliver a Michelin-starred Experience

It’s the ultimate accolade in fine dining, coveted by chefs and revered by connoisseurs. A Michelin Star is a badge of honour for restaurants worldwide, but how do you deliver a Michelin-starred experience and maintain it year in, year out? hosted a special panel at ScotHot 2017 where Andrew McIntosh, Sales Director at welcomed Michelin-starred chefs, Paul Leonard, Head Chef at Isle of Eriska Hotel, Brian Grigor, Head Chef at Edinburgh’s Number One, The Balmoral Hotel and his Restaurant Manager, Emma Lonie to a packed Spotlight Stage to discuss this topic.

Andrew began by asking the panel what is it that sets Michelin-starred dining apart from a non-starred experience? Emma Lonie said that it begins with trying to be the best you possibly can, and creating the most memorable experience for all guests. Number One, The Balmoral has held a Michelin Star for 16 years and for Brian Grigor it’s about maintaining that standard. He said, “You can’t get tied down worrying about what you think Michelin would like. It’s about working through the seasons, working with suppliers, trying new techniques, new produce. If you’re constantly doing that, what happens will happen.”

Of course, maintaining standards requires the whole team of a restaurant. Emma Lonie said that this involves constant learning and development. “We’re always training”, she said, “Whether it’s on the floor, briefings with the chefs, learning about what’s new. It’s what maintains standards. It’s getting the team excited and invested in the product and conveying that excitement to the guests.”

There were knowing smiles from the panel when they were asked how they would deal with an emergency, for example, if a key team member walked out on service. Being 10 miles from the nearest town, the team at Eriska are in a unique situation. Paul Leonard explained, “We live together, we’re family and we get on with each other. People are paying a lot of money to eat your food and the team understand that and we support each other.”

“You have to create an environment in the kitchen that you would want to work in,” explained Brian Grigor. “I’ve worked in kitchens where the atmosphere has been quite volatile. At some point you have to break the mould and say ‘when I become head chef, that’s not what I want my kitchen to be like.’” Brian went on to say that he’s proud that his place of work is a calm one. He said, “Everybody gets constantly trained on the job, so they don’t feel the need to leave.”

A fascinating point of conversation, and one that clearly illustrates the differences between the restaurants, was that of consistency. At Eriska, Paul Leonard changes his menu everyday, depending on the ingredients that he and his team can source from the local area. However, as he says, it’s not about reinventing the wheel. “It’s about self-discipline in your cooking and keeping things simple,” he explained. Employee retention is good, again down to an exciting working environment and with a revolving menu, no two days are the same.

Even though the menu at The Balmoral doesn’t change as often as it does at Eriska, Brian Grigor is well aware that a Michelin Star isn’t handed down, its won year by year. “You have to be constantly pushing forward,” he said. “If we do a spring dish one year, we might do something similar this year, but find new ways to improve on it and make it even more special.”

Emma Lonie explained that even though Michelin have stated that service has no bearing on stars being awarded, she’s proud that the guide has made mention of the service at Number One, The Balmoral. “We have to tell the story of what’s happening in the kitchen,” she said. “For instance, game season causes a lot of excitement in the kitchen. If we can’t convey something like that that to guests, we’ve not done the full job. It’s definitely part of the whole experience.”

Scotland is a multi-faceted country and though Eriska and Number One, The Balmoral lie in vastly differing environments, the panel agreed that a Michelin-starred experience is about respect for your ingredients. “You have to start with quality produce,” said Brian Grigor. “Whether it’s carrots, beetroot, salmon or beef, know your supplier, know where it comes from and do as little to it as possible.” Paul Leonard concurred, “We grow a lot of our own food. Once the team knows how it grows, they know how to cook it to get the best from it, to get the best flavour.”

The panellists all said how proud they are to be working in Scotland with the some of the finest produce that the UK has to offer. They continue to maintain a world class standard in cooking and service that puts Scotland on the gastronomic map.

It was a fascinating discussion and we thank our panellists, Emma Lonie, Paul Leonard and Brian Grigor for their time and participation.

You can hear Emma Lonie and Brian Grigor’s thoughts on recruitment challenges faced by the hospitality industry in our exclusive video People Awards – Employee Engagement Programme – Byron Hamburgers


The hard work and perseverance of hospitality employers is often overlooked, and that’s why People Awards shine a light on their successes. The 2017 awards are now open for entries, across 13 categories reflecting every stage of the recruitment process. Last year, with an impressive initiative, Byron Hamburgers won the Employee Engagement Programme award.

We know that attracting and recruiting talent into the hospitality industry can be struggle enough but keeping hold of that talent is another battle altogether. Retention breeds experience, which is not only good for your business, it also enriches your brand and your culture. Engaging your employees from the very beginning is crucial.

From this viewpoint, Byron found themselves in a bit of a quandary. They were enjoying fast expansion, but faced a turnover of Assistant Managers of 62%, their turnover of General Managers increased to 30%, with 20% of those leaving within a four month period. With their aim of opening 15 restaurants a year, they needed to make sure employees stayed with them and were also happy to do so.

They decided to investigate and conducted a series of focus groups across all roles within the company. “The overall purpose of the focus groups was to really understand our culture,” said Louise Moneypenny, Recruitment & Talent Manager at Byron. “The focus groups included interactive sessions around ‘What do we do well as a business?’ ‘What could we do better?’ ‘What makes Byron special?’ ‘What words do we use when describing Byron Culture?’ ‘What activities do we do that enforce Byron Culture that we do not want to change?’”

As a result of the focus groups, the company identified the ‘Five Levers’ of their culture: Fun, respect individuality, do the people bit properly, great careers and a family feel. Louise said, “Through the focus groups and the feedback received it allowed us to develop an internal people plan to reinforce our culture and reengage our teams.”

Another lesson that Byron Hamburgers learned was the importance of listening to your employees. “Listening to our teams and following up with action to address their feedback is incredibly important for us,” Louise Moneypenny explained. “Our teams told us they wanted to feel listened to more and feel involved with decisions. As part of our internal people plan which was devised from listening to our teams, we have introduced multiple ways of listening to different people within Byron.”

The company initiated programmes which allowed employees direct access to top management and the directors of Byron. These included their first annual opinion survey for all employees with follow up action plans for all restaurants. This involved a face to face employee forum for all restaurants with the CEO and Directors. Other robust actions plans were put in place including regular dinners where GMs could feedback and put questions to the CEO.

Another interesting engagement programme is ‘Speed Date the Directors’. This is a quarterly GM meeting and a great opportunity for all GMs to question and give feedback to all Directors in the business. All company chefs have been invited to ‘Be Frank with Fred’ where head Chefs can feedback and question our Byron’s Head of Food, Fred Smith.

Listening to employees wasn’t the only engagement technique undertaken by Byron. They also reviewed salaries at all levels. Taking on board comments from GMs, the company created a clear and transparent pay structure based on restaurant bandings. They reviewed and simplified their bonus schemes and introduced additional top up bonuses for GMs. They also reviewed Chef pay bandings and made increases accordingly.

The results of these new initiatives have been more then pleasing for Byron. Their GM turnover went from 30% in ‘14/’15 to 10.8% in ‘15/’16. AM Turnover was down, from 62% in ‘14/’15 to 19.4% in ‘15/’16 and there was a reduction in their 90 day labour turnover from 45% in financial year ‘14/’15 to 25% in our financial year ‘15/’16.

Louise Moneypenny said that the whole company is excited about these new initiatives, “Byron is a high culture business where culture drives performance. Recognising this and introducing activities to ensure we reinforce our culture and re-engage our teams has resulted in reducing our labour turnover and increasing our engagement scores on our bi annual employee opinion survey.”

On winning the Employee Engagement Programme award Louise said, “We are extremely proud to win this award as we have focused so much effort on protecting and evolving our culture as we have grown to ensure are teams are happy and engaged at Byron. We have achieved the goals we set and it is great to get recognised with this award.”

Entering the 2017 People Awards couldn’t be easier. It’s free and you can enter as many categories as you wish. Entries close on 2nd July 2017 and the shortlist will be announced in August. The glamorous awards ceremony will take place on 5th October 2017 at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge.

Don’t hesitate to contact our People Awards team with any questions at

We are open for entries! People Awards 2017

The hospitality sector may be the fourth largest industry in the UK and employ nearly five million people, but for hospitality employers the struggle to attract, recruit and retain the talent they need is ongoing and often painful. With the industry in growth, competition for candidates is sharper than ever, and the disruption of Brexit threatens to add further challenges. Long-term projections from the BHA suggest that at least 700,000 additional people will be required to fill roles by the end of the decade.

The impact of skills gaps is felt keenly on the bottom line, with productivity and customer satisfaction taking a hit when gaps in the workforce remain. So it’s good to see that so many hospitality employers are working hard to implement new and innovative methods that not only attract and recruit talent, but to retain it too.

To celebrate these exciting initiatives, is delighted to announce that entries are now open for the 2017 People Awards. These well-established awards showcase and reward the best initiatives in hospitality recruitment, development and retention.

Previous winners include Dishoom (Learning & Development), Jumeirah Hotel Group (Rewards & Benefits), National Theatre (On-Boarding Initiative), Byron Hamburgers (Employer Brand Campaign)  and Durham University Catering Department (Leadership in Recruitment, Development and Retention).

13 People Awards will be presented this year, it’s free and straightforward to enter and employers can enter as many categories as they feel relevant to demonstrate their achievements. For 2017, a new award has been added, recognising the great work accomplished in promoting diversity in recruitment within our industry. Entries are welcomed from hotels, restaurants, bars and pubs and food service providers of all sizes and from all areas of the UK.

Judging takes place in July, and this year’s judges include over 40 successful and highly regarded hospitality professionals. Each category has a bespoke panel of Heads of HR, In-House Recruiters, sector specialists, 2016 award winners and industry leaders. The straightforward and transparent judging process uses clear criteria and a set scoring system, to ensure entries are considered on the strength of the initiative and results. People Awards exist to reward and celebrate the fantastic work of hospitality employers across all sectors in their mission to attract the best talent, deliver outstanding experience to customers, and offer rewarding and meaningful careers to their employees.

The 2017 People Awards will take place at the Park Plaza Hotel, Westminster Bridge on October 5th 2017. Full details on how to enter can be found at

For all enquiries regarding our People Awards 2017, please contact


Tackling Recruitment Challenges at ScotHot 2017

Scotland’s largest food, drink, tourism and hospitality trade show, ScotHot, took place in Glasgow over March 15 & 16 2017. Nearly 200 producers and suppliers filled the SEC Exhibition Centre where key players took the opportunity to meet, network and enjoy the best that the industry has to offer. proudly sponsored the Spotlight Stage and chaired two key industry discussions, including a fascinating presentation on tackling recruitment challenges within the hospitality industry. This session was hosted by Jonathan Ballie from Scotland who was joined by a panel of industry experts; Shona Bell, Head of People from Crieff Hydro Hotels, Gordon Macintyre, Head of Department for Hospitality from the Glasgow College and Paul Wilson, Managing Director of Xpress Recruitment.

Securing talent before the competition is vital, so Jonathan opened the presentation by discussing the results of research carried out by on ‘What Top Talent Wants’. Useful points that can help employers and recruiters include showcasing your employer brand, making sure candidates know what you’re about and what they’re buying into. Ensure your interview process is uncluttered, see no more than four candidates for one position. Offer a positive career development programme, make sure candidates know that there is a structured career path and implement frequent talent reviews. Importantly, invest in and deliver a meaningful on-boarding and induction programme.

The panel discussion opened with the question, why does the hospitality industry struggle to attract top talent? Shona Bell suggested that there is a basic misperception of what hospitality is all about, that not only does the industry offer food and beverage service, but there are many roles behind the scenes in departments like finance, HR, IT and marketing. She said, “The challenge is to sell the industry to people, to let them know that there are varied careers within the sector.” Paul Wilson felt that attraction to the hospitality industry wasn’t the biggest issue, the main problem is retention and how to keep the talent that we have. He also cited Brexit, and said that the industry will need to work extremely hard in the coming years to attract home grown talent, and to help “prospective candidates understand that there is longevity in a career in hospitality.” Gordon McIntyre, through his work with the City of Glasgow College, is working with schools and with businesses to get young people out into the work place and to show them the breadth of opportunity within the hospitality sector.

Jonathan went on to ask Gordon McIntyre whether the government could be doing more to promote careers within the industry. Gordon said that a lot of work is being done in the form of new apprenticeships schemes which, he feels, have been particularly successful in Scotland. Younger people are responding positively to apprenticeships rather than to other forms of further education, which can only be good for the businesses. He did stress, however, that qualifications that can be attained through training need to be given more value to help apprentices when entering the jobs market.

A member of the audience asked the panel if industry could be doing more to work in conjunction with government and education to boost recruitment. Shona Bell thought there could definitely be more opportunities for this to happen. She feels that there is a disconnect between what educational institutes feel are the tools needed to do the job and what the industry actually demands. Businesses are in a perfect position to illustrate this. Gordon McIntyre added that in Glasgow and Edinburgh there are programmes in place where colleges are working with hotel companies, helping hospitality students along their career path and this has been a very successful initiative.

Wrapping up the discussion, a question from the floor raised the issue of senior members of the workforce and the challenges they face. Shona Bell said that according to recent research, which focused on the workforce of 2025, a third of the working population will be over 55 and industry leaders need to be thinking more flexibly and creatively to adapt to people who have very different needs. “Management and development training in the industry is a bit ‘one size fits all’”, she said. “Leaders need to understand how to be more ‘chameleon-like’ in their approach. HR should provide the tools, but businesses need to address this issue.” Gordon McIntyre said that he has seen an increase in the number of mature learners enrolling in college courses, either because of a change in circumstance or to gain more flexibility with work choices, and these are people with skills the sector should be trying to capture.

Our panel of experts give their views on hospitality recruitment challenges in our exclusive videos:

Shona Bell, Head of People from Crieff Hydro Hotels

Gordon Macintyre, Head of Department for Hospitality from the Glasgow College

Paul Wilson, Managing Director of Xpress Recruitment

ScotHot 2017 was presented by Fresh Montgomery. We would like to thank our panel of industry experts for their time and their contribution to a valuable and fascinating discussion.


Getting the most out of the Apprenticeship Levy

Aimed at adding 3 million apprenticeships by 2020,  the Apprenticeship Levy came into effect  on 6th April . In an industry facing major staffing issues and skills shortages this is an opportunity to attract new talent. According to the benefits of apprenticeships are, “80% of companies who invest in apprentices report an increase in staff retention. Apprentices deliver an average of £10k per annum in productivity gains. 77% of employers believe apprenticeships make them more competitive.”

The government is encouraging not just apprentices but employers.  Backing will be provided for external training, and to set up internal training aimed at progressing staff within the company.

HM Revenue and Customs are stressing the importance of this. According to the policy paper Apprenticeship Levy (4 February 2016), the “levy will help to deliver new apprenticeships and it will support quality training by putting employers at the centre of the system. Employers who are committed to training will be able to get back more than they put in by training sufficient numbers of apprentices.”

Quick overview – what is the Apprenticeship Levy?

  • The Levy is applicable if you have annual pay bills of more than £3 million, and is charged at 0.5% of the annual pay bill
  • It gives employers an allowance of £15,000 to offset against their payment, with payments scheduled to start in May 2017.
  •  The new funding for apprenticeships, termed “co-investing”, will require 10% of the cost to come from employers with the remaining 90% coming from government.
  •  A 10% top up will be added to funds spent on apprenticeship training.
  • Control of apprenticeship funding will be put in the hands of employers through the Digital Apprenticeship Service, an online apprenticeship service account.
  • Funds will expire 24 months after they enter the apprenticeship service account, giving a grace period to set up training.
  • For simplicity, the Levy will be paid and monitored through employer’s normal payroll processes.
  • Payments through the Apprenticeship Levy will be deductible as expenses for Corporation Tax.
  • The apprenticeships themselves are being reformed and employers are being given the opportunity to have input into the apprenticeship standards. The Department for Education’s Guidance for employers about being apprenticeship training providers (February 2017) says “. It enables you to directly design and deliver the content of the off the job training which your own apprentices will receive, giving you the ability to make sure it includes everything you think it should.”

So, how to make the most of the new legislation?

  • Offer potential apprentices a clearly laid out path towards skill development and a career
  • Engage with training providers near you – you can now negotiate with them to shape the training they provide and what you pay for
  • Consider becoming a training provider – by tailoring courses to your own needs as an employer, you produce the staff you desire, while offering an “earn as you learn” career path. This can become an important part of the overall branding of your organisation, corporate image and culture. In turn leading to filling skill gaps at all levels, and improving staff retention.
  • Make the most of the 24 months for which the Levy funding is available – it allows you time to pick and choose the best path to follow, or to combine them
  • There is already a skill gap in the industry, which looks set to grow with the impact of “Brexit”, so it’s more important than ever to attract the talent you need. Target advertising to make applicants aware of the opportunities on offer with you
  • Focus your recruitment, offering a simple application process with a quick response. Make sure it’s all accessible via multi device platforms
  • There’s going to be a lot of competition for good apprentices. Use your branding, images and video to help candidates discover more about your company culture, and ensuring that you stand out in the market.

With rising costs in formal education, more young people are investigating apprenticeship as an alternative, and with the legislation and levy now underway, this is the perfect time to kick start your investment in apprenticeships.

Winner of Springboard’s FutureChef 2017 Announced

Winner of Springboard’s FutureChef 2017 Announced


Katie Cooper, 16, from University College Birmingham, won Springboard’s FutureChef 2017 cooking competition, beating over 9,000 12-16 year olds from across the UK in the process. FutureChef has now seen over 100,000 school pupils involved since it began in 2000.

On hearing she won Springboard’s FutureChef 2017 Katie said: “It’s taken me three years to reach the National Final. It’s great to have made it and to have won. I see myself going on in the industry and going as far as possible, possibly opening my own restaurant.”

Katie served up a menu of pan-fried sea bass with cauliflower puree and a red wine reduction, followed by a dessert of chocolate cheesecake with raspberry and caramel shards. She was mentored by Anthony Wright, University College Birmingham.

Speaking at the National Final, Anne Pierce, Springboard’s Chief Executive, said: “Congratulations to all of our hard-working, committed finalists – they have all been part of a great FutureChef. It really is amazing to see the quality of work by young chefs improve year on year, the talent we see as a result of the Springboard FutureChef initiative is remarkable and Katie is a true winner.”

Brian Turner OBE, FutureChef Chairman, added: “It has been a fantastic day and it’s good to see so many dedicated young people with so much talent. Thanks must also go to teachers and mentors who make such a great contribution to the success of the event. Katie  is a great winner.”

First place: Katie Cooper, 16, University College Birmingham, Birmingham

This year’s winner receives a visit to Ascot, courtesy of sponsor Sodexo. The winner will work with top chefs and they and their guests will enjoy Ascot’s full hospitality. Their school also receives a voucher to the value of £500 courtesy of Bunzl Lockhart.

Second place:  Amy Campbell, 14, Hazlehead Academy, Aberdeen

The winner of this prize will be able to invite three people to the Delaware North box at Wembley for the 2017 Summertime Ball. The winner will also undertake a work placement in the VIP area before the concert, shadowing Executive Chef for Hospitality, Mark Reynolds. The prize includes seeing the back of house area at Wembley Stadium, with the winner joining their guests for the concert itself. Courtesy of Delaware North.

Third place: Kieran Jones, 15, Homewood School and Sixth Form, Kent

This prize will allow the winner and their mentor to work on an inspirational dinner with a celebrity chef and the Elior development chefs to produce a fine dining banquet for 100 guests. Courtesy of Elior.

All finalists receive:

–       £100 cash prize from the Worshipful Company of Cooks

–       Personally embroidered aprons provided by Russums

–       Commemorative plates supplied by Bunzl Lockhart

–       Commemorative medals supplied by Craft Guild of Chefs

–       Personally embroidered chef jackets provided by Johnsons Stalbridge Linen

–       Skull caps sponsored by Tonstate

–       Copy of Adam Handling’s book: ‘Smile or Get Out of the Kitchen’

–       The full Firmdale experience, packed full of exciting learning opportunities headed by Group Executive Chef Robin Reed and Group Kitchen Trainer Stephane Cerisier, including demonstrations, kitchen tours, meet and greets with head chefs and the opportunity to ask questions alongside a variety of innovative masterclasses.

Key Statistics:

–       Over 100,000 school pupils have been on the FutureChef programme

–       In the 2016-17 competition over 8,000 12-16 year olds have taken part nationwide

–       By 2020, one third of the culinary workforce is expected to retire, which will increase pressure on the hospitality industry

–       The hospitality industry represents 10% of GDP and supports 4.6 million jobs in the UK

Compressed time to hire is essential when recruiting for hard to fill roles

Top employers told us how they aim for an agile recruitment process

We enjoyed a really valuable discussion at our employer roundtable yesterday with recruiters from Rosewood Hotels, Leon, Hotel Care, One Aldwych, Malmaison Hotels, Jumeirah Hotels, The Cavendish and Jamie Oliver Group visiting our offices in Bankside, London.

The relaxed discussion over breakfast covered the challenges faced in retaining talent throughout the recruitment process. Time to hire is critical when recruiting for hard to fill roles, and nobody knows it better than employers in hospitality. But engagement goes way beyond the moment of hire. At every stage of the recruitment process, from the moment of application to the first day in the job and beyond, recruiters have a struggle on their hands keeping sought after candidates engaged. Our guests yesterday shared insight and tips on how they approach these commonly faced problems.

Jan Minderman, Recruitment & Training Manager of Rosewood Hotels recommended responding to applications within an hour and interviewing candidates that same day wherever possible. That way, you keep them engaged from the start in an agile and effective recruitment process. The longer the response time and the bigger the gap between interview stages, the more likely you are to lose top talent to the competition.

Once you have the candidate in role, how do you retain them? For hospitality employers who want to hold on to talent, the recruitment of a candidate doesn’t end once they become an employee. Through on-boarding, training, and benefits, top talent needs to be regularly reminded they have made the right decision to work with you, and should stay. In other words, you never stop recruiting them.

Whilst there is no one size fits all solution when it comes to recruitment processes, sharing best practice and learning amongst employers is essential. We’ll be running regular employer roundtables through 2017. If you’d like to come along, just contact your Account Manager or email

Top hospitality employers gather for Social

Argyll Street in London’s West End was the place to be on Wednesday 8th March as top hospitality employers and recruiters gathered at Aqua Nueva to attend our networking social evening. Drinks and canapes were enjoyed while taking in the spectacular views of the London skyline from the sumptuous fifth floor bar and catching up with friends, colleagues and peers.

150 guests were welcomed by including employers and recruiters from The Connaught, The Principal London, The Red Carnation Hotel Group, D&D London, The Berkeley, LEON Restaurants, COREcruitment, Springboard, Hakkasan Group, Just Chefs and Compass Group. also announced key launch information for this years’ People Awards. The 2017 People Awards will take place on 5th October at The Park Plaza Westminster Bridge. Entries open on May 2nd and close on July 1st. This year sees the addition of a new category awarding Diversity in recruitment. Full details will be on the new website from 18th April.

Thank you to all our guests at this event – it was wonderful to see you!

Hospitality apprentices graduate at exclusive National Apprenticeship Week celebration event

 On Tuesday 7th March 2017, at the luxurious Lancaster London Hotel, 40 hospitality apprentice graduates were recognised for their commitment to lifelong learning and their achievements over the past 12 – 18 months; including securing sustainable employment within the sector.

Hosted by elite hospitality apprenticeship provider, Umbrella Training, the ceremony also saw the awarding of the inaugural Purple Umbrella Award, given to the individual who has shone during their apprenticeship and demonstrated extraordinary commitment which adds value to their employer.

Sarah Nerys-Judge, a level three chef apprentice at the Hyatt Regency London, was awarded the hotly contested apprentice of the year title by celebrated chef, Brian Turner CBE, who was the evening’s special guest. Judges of the award said: “Sarah is an exceptional apprentice who had gone above and beyond not only in her role at the Hyatt, but also in her promotion of apprenticeships as a viable career route for those interested in joining the hospitality sector.”

The celebration evening marked the second day of National Apprenticeship Week; designed to celebrate the positive impact apprenticeships have on individuals, businesses and the economy. Earlier in the day, a group of hospitality employers teamed up with Umbrella Training to travel across the South East and Central London on a co-branded Route Master Bus to promote hospitality apprenticeships, and careers in the sector, to young people.

Adele Oxberry, Managing Director at Umbrella Training said: “National Apprenticeship Week is a great opportunity to get out there and shout about the opportunities that our sector has to offer those interested in an apprenticeship. We loved visiting schools and businesses across the South East and London today, working with our employer partners to help young people understand how an apprenticeship can lead to a fantastic career in hospitality.”

Find out more about Umbrella Training.

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