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Hospitality Employers Tackle Skills Shortage with Innovation

The massive skills shortage in the hospitality industry is well documented and much discussed. According to research body, People 1st, longer-term employment projections show that the sector’s workforce is growing faster than economy forecasts. Including replacement demand, an additional 660,200 people will be required. If more skilled workers are not recruited and retained, the sector could suffer serious consequences by the end of the decade.

According to BHA figures, the Hospitality sector is the fourth largest industry in the UK, employing nearly five million people and accounting for 17% of the total jobs growth in the UK.  Employers in the sector, however, still struggle to recruit the talent they need. Whilst the reasons behind this are many and varied, a growing number of hotel, restaurant, pub & bar and food service employers are taking matters into their own hands, tackling the skills shortage issue with a range of ingenious initiatives that not only help them recruit and develop new staff, but to keep them too.

This year, these exciting projects will be recognised and rewarded by leading UK hospitality job website, through their People Awards 2016. These awards celebrate the very best in Hospitality Recruitment, Retention and Development across 12 categories including Employee Engagement, On-Boarding schemes, Employer Brand Initiatives and Learning and Development programmes. There are also awards for the people who drive these initiatives, including HR Teams, In House Recruitment teams and Industry Ambassadors.

The 50 strong People Awards shortlist spans the sector from small family businesses to large multinationals. Bringing them together are the challenges that the industry has been facing for a while but also that spark of innovation shown by the shortlisted employers and their understanding that developing talent is the key to their future success.

Among the shortlisted companies are not only high end luxury brands like The Dorchester Collection, The St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel and London EDITION, but also well-known high street names such as  Bella Italia, Be At One Bars and restaurant chain Leon. Also appearing on the shortlist are The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne, The National Theatre, Durham University Catering Department, Anglian Country Inns and Soho House.

The range of recruitment, retention and development initiatives demonstrated by the shortlisted employers is truly inspiring. On the shortlist 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. In order to retain experienced and valued staff, the tranquil and remote Portavadie Marina in Scotland accommodates nearly three quarters of its workforce in apartments matching those of guests. This incentive ensured the resort a place on the shortlist in the Rewards & Benefits category. On the Employee Engagement shortlist are Leon Restaurants who utilised ancient Oriental techniques to help Baristas reduce their stress levels, increase speed and improve quality of product and service. Fuller’s Brewery created programmes that would act as a career pathway from the ‘front door’, all the way through to management. This has resulted in 70% rise in retention and promotion. Fuller’s are in the shortlist in the Candidate Experience category. These examples are just an indication of the innovation and results shown by all 50 shortlisted employers.

In an industry that prides itself on delivering a quality experience for the customer, these companies confirm that this quality begins with their people. Each of the shortlisted employers has demonstrated their hard work, results and a dedication to their staff and the hospitality industry as a whole. People Awards 2016 is an important recognition of the impressive work of the employers and staff that make up over seven percent of the UK workforce.

Hosted by the hilarious Stephen Mangan, the glittering People Awards 2016 takes place on October 12th at Park Plaza Westminster, London and will be an evening to remember with 500 industry guests in attendance. Sponsors for this year’s awards include Part & Co., Admiral Recruitment, Careers in Hospitality at Hotelympia 2018, Fresh Montgomery, Cingo Recruit, The Great Hospitality Show and Nicholas Jon Recruitment. 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. Tickets are now available (here)