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Future Talent – A Post by Ian Burke, Website Director, Caterer.com

You can’t ignore it…even if it is only just audible, the low hum of economic optimism is in the air. If the gloom really is lifting, then hospitality employers will face fresh challenges as the job market starts to shift in earnest. Woe betide any employer who isn’t already preparing the ground to cope with staffing demands when things really start to move.  Are you planning ahead?

Perhaps now more than ever, customers expect not just a good service, but a great experience. Good enough simply isn’t good enough anymore. Outstanding hospitality businesses work hard to attract and retain staff who can deliver on that expectation. They tend to be the best employers in the industry too and candidates know it.

There has and always will be a painful skills shortage in the sector, but successful hospitality employers understand that the talent is absolutely out there for those who think carefully about how to engage with it. As the economy starts to warm up slowly, employers need to move fast to position themselves as the best in the business.

At Caterer.com, we work closely with all sizes of hospitality business to assist them in recruiting quality candidates, enabling them to communicate the right messages through their campaigns with us. Without fail, the employers with the most effective recruitment campaigns are those who have done the groundwork, really thinking about what makes them the best employers they can be.

Inside their company, these employers encourage a pipeline of young managers within the business through development schemes. They invest time (if not budget!) in meaningful training. They have considered what makes the best talent stay with them …or leave.

Looking outside their organisation, these businesses think about their employer brand and know what makes them a great place to work, clearly showcasing this in their advertising and communications. They define what makes their top employees tick and then target their advertising at similar candidates. They understand what their future talent wants from an employer and they work hard to provide it.

The great employers in the business think creatively about where their future talent will come from. Students, women returners and those currently working in other sectors are just some of the groups they consider. They are often involved with the many wonderful organisations that reach out to these audiences on behalf of the industry.

As we look ahead through 2014 and beyond, we can be certain of one thing; the demand for great staff will be higher than ever. Large or small, the most successful hospitality businesses will have positioned themselves well to recruit and retain the top talent in the industry, not just this year, but way into the future.  Now is the time to plan and take action. Where’s your future talent coming from?

Caterer.com are holding an employer event on Future Talent on 3rd April 2014 in London. If you are a hospitality employer and would like to find out more about this free to attend event please contact Fabian.caton@caterer.com