Skip to main content

Scottish Power

As the Scottish hospitality industry continues to grow, how do employers attract top talent?

The hospitality sector in Scotland continues to boom. According to recent research, the industry employs over 217,000 people, that’s 9% of the working population of Scotland with growth outstripping the rest of the UK by a whopping 7%.

It’s an uncertain time for the whole country and the UK hospitality industry is working hard to attract and retain workers from within our own shores. What can employers do to maximise their efforts and continue this strong growth? Caterer.com was delighted to host another fascinating roundtable discussion, again concentrating on ‘Attracting Top Talent’, this time in Scotland’s beautiful second city, Glasgow.

Chaired by Account Director for Scotland, Jonathan Baillie, the session was attended by some of Scotland’s biggest hospitality employers, Crieff Hydro, Tony Macaroni, Auchrannie, Redefine RDL, G&V Royal Mile Hotel, RAD Group, G1 Group, The Fonab Castle Hotel as well as the Hospitality and Events department of the City of Glasgow College.

In this super-competitive market, how can employers maximise the tools at their disposal and create a strong job advertisement? Essential points to include are:

  • Details on the role itself
  • Mention of salary,
  • Detail of exact location,
  • Information on working environment and company culture,
  • Working hours, training a development prospects and benefits.

But there’s more. Some attendees at the round table have started to make changes to the way they attract talent.

  • Some employers are making their ads shorter and to the point and giving a greater focus on the ‘personality’ of the company. This can result with a ‘higher calibre’ of jobseeker applying for roles. More jobseekers are applying using mobile devices. The shorter and sharper your ad, the more likely that jobseekers will contact you.
  • When asked if employers were considering older jobseekers or those returning to work, attendees mentioned that whilst older workers bring an experience not yet achieved by younger generations, it does pose other issues in terms of training and bringing them up to speed with modern company culture. Older jobseekers tend to display ‘staying power’ and employers are more likely to retain these important members of the workforce; something to be valued as Brexit approaches.
  • It was agreed that the Scottish hospitality environment differs greatly from the rest of the UK, and whist there is a greater wiliness to embrace a career within the industry, more needs to be done to convince school leavers and not to mention parents that with dedication, a hospitality career can blossom. This doesn’t only apply to kitchens or front of house, but within all disciplines of the sector: Management, finance, L&D and of course recruitment.

Allowing candidates to choose their own benefits and tailoring them to their personal needs is a strong element of attraction. An interesting point raised was that as benefits packages become more competitive, how do hospitality employers stand out from the crowd?

  • Some companies have organised employee forums, where department heads, together with team members discuss how working life can be improved. These types of initiatives were welcomed, as any problems that may arise can be resolved quickly, and employee needs can be addressed before they become an issue. Benefits can be kept fresh and up-to-date and work/life balance can maintained. The employers at our roundtable have found that this simple, yet effective procedure makes for a much happier workforce and has also, in some instances, increased retention.

Auchrannie on the Isle of Aaran is in a unique situation.

  • The resort comprises of two four-star hotels, thirty five-star self-catering lodges, two leisure clubs and three individually branded restaurants.
    100 of their 170 employees live within the resort and as there is zero unemployment on the island, the number of recruits from the mainland is strictly limited.
  • Auchrannie has recently completed its transition to become Scotland’s latest employee-owned business. An Employee Ownership Trust now holds 100% of the shares of the business on behalf of the employees.

This amazing deal was structured in order to make it affordable to the business without affecting its ability to reward the team and reinvest for the future. It marks the first time a hotel or resort in Scotland has become employee-owned. It has made Auchrannie an even more attractive proposition for jobseekers and it’s a certain triumph for hospitality in Scotland.

We would like to thank all attendees of our first Scottish meeting. Caterer.com has offices in London, Manchester and Glasgow and our teams are always available to offer advice on creation of bespoke ads to enable you to get the talent you need. In addition, we will be conducting more roundtable discussions for hospitality employers in Scotland and we would love to see you. Please contact andrew.tsang@totaljobsgroup.com for information on future events.