People Awards 2016 – We Grow By Sharing

The glittering People Awards are getting ever closer, and as the shortlist proves, innovation rules! Innovation borne from an enthusiasm and love for this industry, and a desire to see talent nurtured and rewarded.

The Park Plaza Hotel,Westminster Bridge will be the place to be on October 12 when we discover just who has won these coveted awards. The Shortlist is a diverse tapestry, spanning the sector from small family businesses to large multinationals. Bringing them together are the challenges that the sector has been facing for a while but also that spark of innovation and the understanding that developing talent is the key to the future.

So much has been reported about a perceived skills shortage in the Hospitality industry, and surely this has been a frustrating issue for some, but with patience and perseverance, positive results are achievable. The five-star Grand Hotel is one of Eastbourne’s biggest employers, but like many across the business with a high staff turnover, they found that filling vacant positions became increasingly difficult. Their 2AA Rosette flagship restaurant had 14 chef vacancies, many of these remained unfilled for between six months and a year. Another issue faced, and again felt sector-wide, is that the Hospitality Industry isn’t perceived as being a rewarding and fulfilling career choice.

The Grand Hotel reached out to the community. They worked closely with local schools and colleges to arrange regular visits and talks to prepare young people for the work place. Since the start of this year, they have offered work experience to 26 students. This coupled with continued internal training and facing potential problems head-on means that kitchen positions were filled, internal promotions increased and staff turnover has fallen. The Grand,Eastbourne joins the Shortlist for Emerging Talent Initiative.

Durham Universities one of the oldest and most respected educational institutions in the world. Naturally, the first thing that comes to mind isn’t usually its Catering Department. However, consider this: There are 26 cafes across the colleges and the department employs over 500 staff. They serve more than 500,000 meals every month, not just to students, but to visitors and VIPs, including royalty. Again the challenges are the same. Perception and skills: School dinners? Absolutely not! Catering staff within the University are highly skilled and dynamic members of the team, so to convey an accurate picture of life within the department, an exciting video was created to outline their purpose and strategy. They also adopted a view of ‘Recruit for Personality, Train for Skill’. Traditional interview techniques were replaced with an energetic ‘speed dating’ style process. The initiatives were numerous and the work paid off with an increase in successful inductees, a reduction in staff turnover, 82% of induction feedback was scored as ‘Excellent’. Durham University Catering Department have more than earned their place on the Shortlist for Leadership in Recruitment, Retention and Development, but is it enough? All will be revealed on October 12.

This is an extremely exciting time to part of this sector. New ideas and new initiatives are being employed to tap into talent as yet undeveloped. We grow as an industry by sharing in our success.

The very special People Awards invite you to do just that. Tickets are still available for the Hospitality Recruitment event of the year. Join us and many others in the industry to celebrate this amazing success. Tickets include a welcoming drinks reception, a three-course dinner designed by Executive Head Chef Olivier Ruiz and his team, the Awards presentation hosted by the wonderful Stephen Mangan and dancing until late with incredible DJ, B-Trix Kiddo. All this under the glamorous roof of the Park Plaza,Westminster Bridge. Join us on October 12. More information can be found here or book here now.

Part & Company Sponsor People Awards 2016

We are delighted that sponsoring this year’s People Awards are Part & Company, Recruitment specialists for the food and drinks Industry. Founded by former Chef, Simon Part, Part & Company offer a unique, tailor-made service for all corners of the Hospitality trade.

Starting his career within pubs and specifically The Famous Young’s Brewery in Wandsworth, Simon quickly developed a love of food and drink. Quite by accident he fell into the kitchen, found his niche and decided to train on the job. Working for chefs such as The Roux family, Marco Pierre White and Gary Rhodes, Simon became enamoured with all aspects of the Hospitality industry.

After the kitchen came Simon’s front of house experience literally going back to the floor, working within neighbourhood destination restaurants. This is where his love for guest interaction and natural hospitality were polished.

Combining all of his experiences, and after an invitation to work within a start-up Boutique Hotel company to source the staff for 3 sites, he saw the gap in the market and Part & Company was formed nine years ago.

Part & Company’s vast network of contacts in the food and drink industry enables them to recruit the right people for the right job. Having a driven team of hard working recruitment specialists makes Part & Company efficient, thoroughly professional and an accomplished performer in the industry.

Part & Company offers a personal recruitment service, as each requirement needs individual tailoring. This strategic approach enables them to build long-term relationships with clients and candidates.

Part & Company’s brief is as wide as the industry itself. They provide staff from Apprentice Chefs to General Managers, Human Resources to Butlers. Part & Company’s portfolio spans Restaurants, Hotels, Pubs Bars and even Luxury Boats. The beauty of what Part & Company does is that rather than making a placement, they make the best choices for both employer and employee, enhancing their client’s service and creating the perfect career move for the individual on a long term basis.

Simon Part says, “The ethos of the company hasn’t changed. I want Part & Company to provide that hands-on, individual service that clients want and value now and long into the future. In essence great Hospitality but from a recruited point of view.”

Part & Company covers not only all of the UK from Aberdeen to Andover, but also across the world including France, Spain, the USA and Dubai with clients including Galvin Restaurants, Corbin & King, The Palomar and Trinity. #People Awards #BeThere

Our People Awards would not be possible without the support of our valued sponsors and we are grateful to Part & Company for sponsoring our Social Media and the category for In-House Recruitment Team, helping to ensure that the evening on October 12 at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge will be a huge success.

Tickets now on sale for the spectacular People Awards 2016

The excitement is building and tickets are selling fast for the spectacular People Awards 2016. The event, on October 12 at the Park Plaza Hotel,Westminster Bridge, will welcome 500 guests and will be a glamorous celebration of all that’s best in Hospitality Recruitment, Retention and Development.

Since the Awards Shortlist was announced last week, what has become apparent is the sheer quality of the entries. Judging was a tough task and the 2016 entries prove that the standard in all categories is the highest its ever been.

New, exciting and innovative programmes initiated by the industry have demonstrated resilience and invention. These initiatives have ensured that employee satisfaction has risen and the customer experience has been enhanced.

It’s been somewhat of a year for Soho House with a challenging eight international and domestic openings in the space of four months. 650 staff were required to fill not just traditional hospitality roles, but positions such as Bike Mechanic, Beekeeper and Architect. The pressure was surely on and lesser teams could quite easily have crumbled. NotSohoHouse. Unity is strength and HR, Learning & Development and Employee Relations worked together to form a recruitment ‘Task Force’. The results were creative and effective; poster campaigns, video production, the ‘Introduce a Star’ initiative and internal awareness campaigns which offered transfers to existing talent, all proved successful in recruiting the required staff and ensuring all launches happened smoothly. Soho House sits proudly on the Shortlist for In-House Recruitment Team.

What if only a small fraction of your new recruits were receiving a detailed, comprehensive induction? What if your employees didn’t feel like they belonged to your company? What if they had no idea how to move on and succeed within your company? These were just a few of the problems faced by Fuller’s. For an organisation that prides itself on a warm welcome for customers, that welcome has to start with staff. Fuller’s carefully and patiently created The Doors Programme, a gateway to all courses and development within the company. The recruitment and induction stage, known as Take Me On ensures that each candidate is partnered with a fully trained mentor, an Induction Buddy. The implementation of The Doors Programme has seen a 70% rise in retention and promotion, with all managers across the company using the programme to recruit.. Fuller’s join the Shortlist in the Candidate Experience category.

Employing a Kung Fu Barista could be a Health & Safety disaster waiting to happen. The very idea sounds crazy, but this is a programme, developed by LeonRestaurants, designed among other reasons to improve Heath & Safety.Leon also sought to improve upon its staff’s speed, efficiency and effectiveness, to create a new market identity for itself and to increase customer numbers, brand awareness and profitability. Importantly,Leon wanted to retain higher numbers of recruits by creating a less-stress environment. This comes from within. Enter the Wing Sun Kung Fu Master. Trainees were taught using ancient Oriental techniques to improve, speed, quality and effectiveness. Throughout the team, stress levels and heart rates decreased and staff used what they learned, not just at work, but in their personal lives too. Customers were receiving their orders more quickly and the quality of the coffee improved.Leon sits serenely on the Shortlist for Employee Engagement.

Toasting the hard work of all the shortlisted companies and brands at the People Awards is essential in the continual evolution and improvement of Hospitality Recruitment, Retention and Development. So join us on October 12 for a wonderful three-course dinner, wine, entertainment and an evening to remember. Ticketing details can be found here and you can make your booking via

Celebrate your team at the HR in hospitality 2016 Awards!

The HR in hospitality Awards take place on Friday 30th September at the Jumeriah Knightsbridge, and you can be there too to celebrate HR Excellence.

There is still time to enter with the deadline closing next week. The Awards are free to enter so celebrate your success at one of the industry’s leading Awards!

There are 9 categories to enter including Excellence in Employee Engagement, Excellence in Building Capability, HR Team of the Year, Excellence in Innovative Recruitment,  Excellence in Embedding Company Culture, Excellence in CSR, Excellence in Promoting Careers, HR Rising Star and the Tom Crowley Award.

Any organisation in the hospitality sector may enter; the awards are open to (but not limited to) hotels, restaurants, high street retail café operators and contract caterers who are currently members of HR in hospitality or looking to join. have partnered with and supported HR in hospitality for many years as they deliver invaluable insight and support to their members in the HR community in the sector. We sponsor their awards, and offer a £2,500 scholarship to an HR rising star to help progress their career. Well worth entering!

Enter now

For more information about the Awards, please email People Awards 2016 – Shortlist announced

The entries have been judged, the shortlist has been announced and now the countdown is on to the spectacular People Awards 2016. To be held at the Park Plaza Hotel, Westminster on October 12, the awards ceremony promises to be an exciting night celebrating the best and most innovative initiatives in Hospitality Recruitment, retention and development.

Awards will be presented across 12 categories: Employee Engagement Programme, Employer Brand Campaign, Rewards and Benefits Initiatives, Learning & Development, On-Boarding Programme, Emerging Talent Initiative, Candidate Experience, Launch Campaign, HR Team, In-House Recruitment Team, Leadership in Recruitment, Retention and Development and the special Ambassador to The Industry Award.

The shortlist spans the sector from high-end to high street with luxury brands The Dorchester, The Doyle Collection and the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel rubbing shoulders with every day favourites like Bella Italia, Leon Restaurants and Be At One.

The shortlist also highlights the sectors continuing efforts and hard work in improving the working lives of those dedicated to the UK Hospitality industry. These practices encourage and reward staff in new and exciting ways, paying dividends with a better working culture and increased business. In the Candidate Experience category, Firmdale Hotels has utilised increased Employer Brand Engagement and their ‘Love What You Do’ campaign to successfully reduce the number of candidates dropping out before on-boarding.

Many shortlist selectees have noted the challenges they face in recruiting and keeping hold of ‘millennials’. This group, fresh to the workplace, brimming with new ideas, need to be listened to and engaged if they are to be retained. In the Employee Engagement selection, London EDITION utilised a new training programme specifically designed for this generation. Since its inception last year, 60 employees have graduated, 75% of whom were promoted during the programme.

Dishoom encourages staff to adopt their philosophy of ‘Seva’ – selfless service. They also offer an extensive training programme and total immersion in the group’s culture; ‘State of Mind’ workshops, one-on-one mentorship and a week-long Boot Camp in India, which ensured them a place on the shortlist in the Learning & Development category.

Also on the shortlist in the Rewards and Benefits category is the Portavadie Hotel which is located on the West coast of Scotland, two hours from Glasgow and an hour from the nearest town. The surroundings are tranquil and the views are stunning. This is Portavadie’s allure, but also its problem. How do you attract and secure world class staff to run a world class facility? Easy. You make it their home. Portavadie accommodates 72% of its staff, including families, within the hotel in rooms matching those of guests. This has resulted in an increase in staffing and a steady return in seasonal staff.

Your hard work and your dedication to your staff needs to be acknowledged. In an industry that prides itself on quality for the customer, it’s important to remember that quality begins with your people. Without their skills and dedication, your brand message cannot be conveyed and your profits could never be returned.

Congratulations to all shortlisted employers! You can see the full shortlist here.

The glittering People Awards 2016 will be an evening to remember with 500 guests in attendance. Sponsors for this year’s awards include Part & Co., Admiral Recruitment and Careers in Hospitality at Hotelympia 2018. Tickets provide a drinks reception, a delicious three course dinner designed by Executive Head Chef Olivier Ruiz and his team, first class entertainment and a post awards party.

We’re delighted to reveal that the evening will be hosted by the hilarious Stephen Mangan (Have I Got News for You?, Green Wing, Dirk Gently, Episodes). If you’re in Hospitality Recruitment, you cannot miss this event. So grab your glad rags and book tickets now at

Thank you Part & Company for sponsoring our People Awards are delighted to announce that Part & Company are sponsors of the People Awards 2016.

Part & Company offers a personal recruitment service, as each requirement needs individual tailoring. This strategic approach enables us to build long-term relationships with clients and candidates. Our vast network of contacts in the food and drink industry enables us to recruit the right people for the right job. Having a driven team of hard working recruitment specialists behind us makes Part & Company more efficient, thoroughly professional and an accomplished player in the industry.  Part & Company have been Members of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts since 2010.

Recruitment for the Food & Drink Industry: Restaurants, Pubs, Hotels, Independent Boutique Operators, Bars, Clubs, Festivals, Events, Private Households, Boats.

Simon Part started out in a family owned brewery pub 15 years ago.  It was here where he found a passion for food and a hunger for the food and drink industry. Working his way up he trained on the job as a chef in a number of London’s best restaurant kitchens and with some of the great Culinary teachers of the industry. Whish gave him the idea for Part and Company and we are now coming into its 9th year.

In summary, Simon has worked in most sectors within the industry ranging from Commis to Management and is therefore qualified to offer in depth knowledge and service to the industry he is incredibly passionate about.

“Part & Company are like one of the family, we have come to rely on their professional and efficient service over the past….years and owe much of our so success to them.”
Chris Galvin

Thank you Admiral Recruitment for sponsoring our People Awards

Let’s take a look at what this successful business offer!

Admiral Recruitment is a market leader in providing permanent and temporary personnel at all levels within the catering, hospitality, facilities and commercial arenas.

Their bespoke and personalised service focuses on delivering an experience that exceeds their clients’ and applicants’ expectations every step of the way.

They employ stringent and proven employment techniques uniquely tailored to the industry that they serve.

They are a dynamic, pro-active company that is committed to providing a personal service to both their clients’ and applicants’.

Specialties: Hospitality Recruitment, Sales and Events, Commercial Services, Chef Recruitment, Permanent Placements, Temporary Placements, Pubs, Bars and Branded Restaurants, Contract Catering

With a skills shortage threatening to undermine Britain’s restaurant scene, Springboard’s FutureChef offers hospitality employers a fresh approach to recruitment, says

The UK chef skills shortage is well documented and one of the biggest threats to the hospitality industry today. While waiting lists at popular restaurants grow, there are less chefs than ever available to cook the food customers crave. The situation is so critical that it’s threatening to undermine Britain’s restaurant scene, and presents an ever-present challenge for hospitality employers. Figures from the Employer Skill Survey 2015, produced by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), reveals that 47% of vacancies for chefs are difficult to recruit for, with chef shortages most prevalent in London (66%) and the South East (46%).

The survey goes on to suggest that the skills shortage could affect how we eat out, having a direct impact on the success of UK hospitality businesses. Some commentators even go so far as to suggest that the shortage of emerging young chefs could change the restaurant landscape forever, making fine dining redundant as restaurateurs choose high volume, low cost food over luxury.

Practically every UK restaurant has a shortage of staff, and this is impacting all ends of the restaurant spectrum, from fast food to fine dining. According to the People 1st State of the National Report 2013, around two thirds of hard-to-fill vacancies in the sector (65%) are hard to fill because applicants don’t have the skills required.

So what’s the solution?

Springboard’s FutureChef seeks to tackle, head-on, the challenges of recruiting and retaining young chefs and in doing so offers hospitality employers access to the best emerging talent at grass roots level. The programme reaches out to 11-16 year olds, expanding their understanding of food and cooking. It talks to schools, young people and their parents, encouraging them to positively consider a career in hospitality, challenging negative perceptions of the industry. Later in the programme, professional chefs mentor the participants, supporting their progress and teaching them core skills. Springboard’s FutureChef seeks to ensure a steady stream of young people joining the hospitality ranks. And, it seems, this approach is working.

This year, a staggering 8,000 11-16 year olds entered FutureChef.

Paul Whitecross, Head Chef of Trump International Golf Links, Scotland, and mentor to 16 year old second runner-up Connor Duncan, says, “2016 has seen more entries than ever, and this year we noticed a real shift in attitude. Now, young people are coming to us saying they want to be a chef.  They see their friends and school mates becoming passionate about food through FutureChef and they want to get involved. It’s creating a whole new talent pool of aspiring young chefs.”

Trying to make a career choice at such a young age is a tough decision, says Whitecross, so FutureChef, which encourages 11-16 year olds to master their skills in a nurturing environment, is the way to attract new talent to the industry.  Pairing aspiring young chefs like Connor with industry mentors like Whitecross enables supervised skills practice and a taste of real life work experience. In the case of Whitecross and his young charge Connor, this led to a permanent job, and the young chef now works full-time at Trump International Golf Links, alongside his mentor.

Says Whitecross:  “Mentoring is all about nurturing aspiring young chefs and encouraging them to try new skills. The goal is to inspire them, share your passion for food and above all, give them the confidence to cook.”

The attributes of a good chef are cultural as well as skills-based, says Whitecross. “There’s more to it than just being able to cook. To succeed, a chef needs passion, imagination and creativity. They need to be a good team player and have a hunger for food. They should listen, learn and respect…and a modicum of cooking talent is a good start. By working closely with Connor through FutureChef I was able to nurture his skills, so by the time he joined me as a trainee chef he was already competent beyond his age.” For his part, Connor says, “Being this young and having so much under my belt already is amazing.”

This success story is one that is repeated many times for employers and participants involved in Springboard’s FutureChef. The national programme is a clear pipeline for talent.

With the chef skills shortage costing hospitality employers dear, FutureChef offers hospitality employers a new approach to recruitment. Working with the programme can help employers to tackle the skills challenge head on by engaging directly with enthusiastic and talented young people.

Interested in finding out more about FutureChef? Click here People Awards 2016: 7 days left to enter

With 7 days to go to enter our People Awards 2016, here’s 7 things you need to know:

  1. Entry is free!
  2. Request an entry form via
  3. Browse for the 12 categories, submit as many as you wish.
  4. Judges will look at your idea and results (not at your writing style)!
  5. Tell us about the challenge you sought to address or the success of an initiative launched.
  6. Send your entries to
  7. Deadline is Wednesday 7th July so don’t delay!

Get recognised now and enter!

Are the best candidates considering you as an employer? Read our Top 6 Tips on boosting your employer brand appeal

Are the best candidates considering you as an employer?

Employer brand is often considered a concept that only applies to larger companies. The truth is, every business has an employer brand. It’s who you are, what you stand for, and the kind of company you are to work for. It’s an expression of your reputation, the benefits and rewards you give your staff, the culture of your workplace. It’s what sets you apart from the competition.

Top employers of all sizes from across the hospitality industry are embracing new and innovative approaches to aid their recruitment strategies, with employer brand at the heart.

In a skills shortage, employer brand matters. What’s more, investment in it drives recruitment costs down.

Ultimately, understanding your employer brand and communicating it to your candidates and employees will pay you back in terms of attraction, recruitment and retention rates. And you don’t need a big budget to get it right.

Our recent employer event looked at the meaning of employer brand and how businesses of every size can understand and communicate theirs. Here’s what our expert panel of hospitality employers say are the Top 6 Tips on boosting your employer brand appeal:


For many companies, the biggest challenge is defining their employer brand.  What exactly does it mean? The simple way to begin the process is to remind yourself of why your business started and what it means to you. What are the values of the business? What matters? By getting back to basics you’ll start to create a point of difference that helps you stand out from the competition.  This is the basis of your employer brand and all your communications should be an expression of it.


Many employers struggle to create a genuine employer brand message that resonates with the business and its employees.  One of the best ways to tackle this is to engage your workforce in the process.  Your current employees are your best customers and your best advocates, and know better than anyone what it’s like to work for you. Canvas their views and opinions to help you create an authentic message that you can communicate out to potential employees.


Beware the pitfalls of over-thinking!  In large organisations, or companies with multiple founders or owners, visions can often be contradictory, and the obvious solution may seem to include all the various perspectives in your employer brand message.  Do this at your peril!  To keep things authentic, keep it simple.  Look for the overriding themes in the views expressed. For example, if you run a restaurant, you might focus on the ethos behind your food and the service, the values behind your offering. This is the heartbeat of your business and it’s what makes you great and will appeal to potential candidates


If you struggle to engage with potential employees, communicating your employer brand through social media channels can be an effective way to build general awareness. Tools such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram can act as a support for your ongoing recruitment campaigns by giving your business a personality online.  Have fun with your content and share regularly. Focus on the things that represent your business best,including new starters, work anniversaries, celebrations; these all allow you to engage with a future candidate pool by giving them a view into your workplace. Engaging employees and candidates in a dialogue through social media also allows you to develop a talent pool of potential candidates for future roles


For some candidates, there’s disconnect between the brand they engage with as your consumer and the brand they experience through your recruitment campaigns.  Whether you are a global brand or a local business, your future employees may well be your current employees, so take time to align your consumer brand and your employer brand messaging. Make sure your communications, no matter how big or small, are recognisable as coming from the same business


Your current employees will take your employer brand message out into the market, so it’s important to look after them. Running regular employee engagement surveys will give you the chance to understand what matters to your people and where adjustments need to be made.  This process does not have to be complicated. Whilst employee engagement specialists can support larger brands in the market, smaller businesses can easily and cost effectively set up staff surveys through sites such as Survey Monkey. And when you have the results, make sure you visibly act on them. An engaged workforce can be your biggest employer brand ambassadors!


Jean-Pierre Gadsdon, Head of Recruitment, Carluccio's

Employer Brand was the topic of a recent event which brought together over 70 HR professionals and recruitment specialists with a panel including Jean-Pierre Gadsdon, Head of Recruitment for Carluccio’s, Harald Samuelsson, Senior Advisor/Commercial Director for Honest Burgers and Rachel Mellors, Managing Consultant for Cubiks UK.

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