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Why hospitality recruiters are doing things differently

With recruitment on hold, many recruiters shifted focus to work with their existing teams, nurturing and developing employees, to benefit their brand.

During the recent Caterer.com webinar – Reboarding, Redeploying & Reskilling: The Role of ‘People People’ we asked Chad Smith, part of the Prezzo Recruitment team,  Olajide Junior Alabi, Recruitment Manager at Gourmet Burger Kitchen and  Tony de Graaf, Hiring Success Director EMEA about the impact of furlough on hospitality recruitment and recruiters.

‘Reaching in’

Talent acquisition has changed over the past six months, with many recruiters experiencing furlough, or for those who didn’t, adapting to roles that have changed significantly. Forced to stop searching for new talent, instead of reaching out, they’ve been ‘reaching in’ – working with their teams to support, nurture and develop their hospitality people.

Nurturing teams through lockdown

Chad Smith has first-hand experience of how Prezzo teams have been coping. “There has been a heavy focus on working with the operations managers and a considerable shift towards health and safety, wellbeing, and workplace safety.  A lot of recruiters and HR teams have taken a complete sidestep from their roles to get involved with HR audits, making sure the workplace was safe for their teams to reopen.

We’ve also seen an increased focus on the internal communications with an emphasis on engagement, reassuring and informing employees, offering advice and almost becoming

counsellors, checking in on the employees, being that point of contact if they have any questions, making sure they’re feeling okay and that essentially the team is ready to come back and feel like they want to be there.”

Engage with your people

“Engagement has become so much more important now. Some businesses are still reopening, and we have to start thinking about those people who have been on furlough for the past six months. How do you get them to re-engage with your business and get excited about the brand again? This has been something that Olajide has been asking over the past months.

He continued, “Our attention has been on internal engagement, but also sharing the story about what the new world of hospitality is like. It’s important to concentrate on getting our teams enthusiastic to be back and thinking about what kind of adjustments need to happen.

Asking our people ‘what have been the challenges for you in your role?’ Things have been changing rapidly and our attention has been on ensuring that people know about these changes, the impact they may have on individual roles, and how we can help.  Being agile and reactive.  A huge plus has been working more closely together and getting to know each other, probably more than at any other time.”

Upskilling for the ‘New Normal’

Olajide continued, “When we think about upskilling, I break it down into five key aspects.

  • Your role
  • Technology
  • Political influences
  • Your team
  • Your personal life

As a recruiter, the most important part of the job is face to face contact, which is dwindling, and creating lasting impressions. Personal branding is so important, all your communications reflect your personal brand and we need to be more mindful of the impact we make.

Are you visible on social media, mainly LinkedIn, because that’s professional, are you posting regularly, are you sharing rich content, promoting your brand and commenting on the posts? Do you need to maybe go and look at doing a social media course, and upskill yourself?”

Working in partnership with HIRE

We created ‘Get Hired’ to support anyone looking for a role in training, HR and recruitment, and partnered with Caterer.com and TotalJobs to bring all those people-focused roles into one place. I don’t think there’s anything quite like it anywhere else.” Olajide commented.

HIRE (Hospitality Internal Recruitment Exchange) has plans to become a resource centre for tips on interviewing, personal branding, how to network. If you’re looking for a new role, please visit the site.

Hiring Success – SmartRecruiters

In your business, Hiring Success by SmartRecruiters  can help you to understand the processes you need to put into place to attract and hire the best talent, and the tools help you to be more strategic,  find gaps in your current strategy and then build a talent pipeline for the future.

Technology and the talent pipeline

The days of sifting through hundreds of applications are over as technology is increasingly being used as part of the recruitment process.  At application stage, with automated screening, particularly for high volume roles, the use of technology can speed up the process and remove unconscious bias.

Chad: I think as recruitment professionals, we kind of need to become a bit more            data-centric. Ask ourselves ‘why I’m doing this and is there data to support it? Historically we’ve maybe been a little bit unclear of the reasons why we want to do something or the results we’ve gained from it.

SmartRecruiters provide a complete talent acquisition suite, working with brands like Deloitte, Twitter and IKEA. As an organisation, SmartRecruiters have a goal to connect people to jobs and skills and to help teams to become successful in hiring great talents for their brands.

Tony: We want to help businesses achieve hiring success and what that looks like is the ability to attract, select and hire the best talent for any role, on demand, and on budget. To achieve this, we understand it means focusing on more than just the technology that you have in place.

Specifically, we look at the balance between people process, and technology, and the data because we need to find the right balance for every aspect that you have within talent acquisition.

We divided it into three pillars. The first is attraction and engagement. The second pillar is collaboration and selection and the final pillar is the management and operating model. How are you organised as a function within your organisation, how do you measure your own success, and how do you make sure you enter a loop of continual improvement?

If you look at organisations that keep investing in these three pillars, they experience success. You can see that they offer a strong and engaging candidate experience; they have a high degree of collaboration between the business and recruitment.

Sometimes as recruiters we can forget about our own development. So SmartRecruiters have created this completely free ‘Hiring Success Masterclass’, focusing on the entire hiring and success methodology, and it has a total of 55 hours of free content. HR and recruiters can take the entire master class or just follow the modules that are interesting for you.

Chad:  I came across Hiring Success earlier this year and in terms of free courses that are going to really up your game, this is the one.  During lockdown I needed to keep my brain engaged so it seemed like a great opportunity to try and make sure that when I get back to a recruitment role that I’ve got this extra ammo. I’ve completed five cout of the six classes and the course breaks down every aspect of the talent acquisition process and makes you think about things in quite a different way.

Top Tips for reskilling

  • Don’t try and reinvent the wheel. There’s so much great information out there from Hiring Success, HIRE, Caterer.com. Information you can use to upskill yourself and your teams. Don’t spend huge amounts of time creating oodles of new material, when actually loads of it exists already.
  • Know your teams, touch base with people you’ve already recruited so if anything ever happens in the future, you’re not getting to know them all over again. The groundwork has been done, we’ve already built those relationships and so if we ever go into lockdown or furlough again, you’re touching base on new skills that they’ve learned because you already have that existing relationship.
  • Give yourself some time. The world will not end if you stop work one hour early on Friday and invest that time in you. Read, do a webinar, do whatever it takes. We always feel that that we are racing to stay on top of work but self-improvement is designed to make the whole you better, not only at your job.
  • Use the people in your network. Two heads are better than one. Hospitality is a connected social industry where everyone is willing to work together and share ideas. Just ask. And if someone doesn’t know, then they’ll probably point you in the right direction.
  • Connect with your peers. People have been through a tough time lately, so it is important to connect with your team, making sure they are ok. Have they got the support they need from you?
  • Believe in yourself, because with everything that has happened you can sometimes lose faith in your own ability. Believe in your own ability and trust and believe that you know you can get the answer, but it might take you some time, but you can get there in the end.

Watch the live session