We recently spoke to head chef Allan Picket on the state of chef recruitment in the hospitality industry and, in his opinion, there could be signs of a skill shortage on the horizon. Allan, head chef at Plateau in London, said: “With the amount of openings in London alone this summer, I do wonder how all the positions available will be filled.”
Allan has worked alongside top chefs like Michel Roux Junior and Marco Pierre White, and has given us an insider’s view on what it’s currently like on the front line of chef recruitment, along with top tips for recruiters and applicants, for MyTrends — a handy cut-out-and-keep visual guide to chef recruitment that you can share with colleagues and contemporaries. Check it out below, or download a PDF version:
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Allan’s views highlight the importance for companies to get the right people for the right roles — a tough task for recruiters given the current economic climate. As the Hospitality Employment Index (HEI) report — produced in partnership with People 1st — shows, job ads are up compared to the same quarter in 2011. But applicant levels are up too, with applications for roles like pastry chef (6,610) and chef de partie (35,740) increasing by 31 percent and 17 percent respectively. In total there were 94,819 applications for chef roles in the first quarter of 2012: that’s nine applications per job. And Allan indicates the importance of using resources like Caterer.com, as well as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn in getting the right people, with the right skills, into the right job. Tools like the Your Jobseeker Audience search on are also valuable and help give a real-time snapshot of the jobseeker volumes in a specific area to further increase the amount of information a recruiter can arm themselves with. These are the kind of resources that can help recruiters sift through unsuitable applications and get right to the heart of where the talent is.
Another crucial element of a recruiter’s role Allan discusses in MyTrends, and something that was highlighted in our recent HEI TrendWatch post, is the need for increased employee retention. Training, recognition awards and internal promotion are just a few of the ways Allan and D&D London, the company that owns Plateau, have put in place to ensure that they keep the best staff. This kind of approach to employee retention is applauded by Director of Caterer.com, Ian Burke.
“Businesses are recognising the benefits associated with engaging employees and enhancing their experience through training and development,” said Ian. “Industry accolades support employers to showcase excellence and the Best Employers in Hospitality awards are a perfect example of partnering the best employers with the right employees.”
For more expert insight into the chef recruitment industry, grab your copy of MyTrends above. And for more in-depth information on the hospitality industry, read the full HEI Report and stay tuned to for more updates here on the blog.