Hiring on Hospitality: Step up the charm offensive to attract staff

Nick Tagg is a Regional Manager at Reed, with 27 years’ recruitment experience. Through his work leading teams within hospitality and leisure across London and the South East, Nick is passionate about contributing to the sector’s post-pandemic recovery.

WHAT ARE CANDIDATES LOOKING FOR FROM AN EMPLOYER TODAY AND HOW HAS THAT CHANGED?

Employees’ perceptions of what they want from a job have changed. People are looking for more support from their employer in terms of dynamic or hybrid working, and more comfort around their work-life balance and wellbeing. Packages beyond basic salary and holiday entitlement are really important to professionals now.

HOW CAN EMPLOYERS ATTRACT MATURE CANDIDATES FOR JOBS?

The recruitment process must be inclusive at every stage if you’re to expand your talent pool. Assess the placement of your adverts: ensure they’re on the right online platforms to attract older people.
Remove any ageist language or age limits from your job adverts. While it’s common for apprenticeships and training schemes to require age details, for most roles, age is irrelevant, and requesting that information suggests a discriminatory mindset, so if it’s not necessary, don’t ask for it.

WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR BUSINESSES LOOKING TO IMPROVE THEIR RECRUITMENT STRATEGY?

Employers need to be increasingly proactive in their approach and recognise the market is candidate-short – it’s crucial to stand out from the crowd to entice talented jobseekers. Think about perceptions of your brand, especially from a social media perspective.
It’s only natural that hospitality workers want some element of job security in the wake of many business closures across the sector. Employers need to recognise that talent acquisition is a two-way process and find ways to appeal to those in the passive and actively market more than they may have felt necessary in the past.

HOW ATTRACTIVE ARE APPRENTICESHIP SCHEMES TO CANDIDATES?

Apprenticeship schemes are still an attractive offering. For employers, they are a cost-effective way of recruiting, while jobseekers like the idea of being sponsored by an employer while they learn their trade, knowing they can assess whether it’s the right thing for them without making too much of a commitment. People tend to forget that apprenticeships are open to all ages – giving career-changers as well as school leavers a boost. More awareness and education around apprenticeship opportunities is key.

WHAT IS RECRUITMENT MARKETING?

Recruitment marketing is the process of using strategies and tools to attract and engage candidates in the pre-applicant phase of recruitment. There’s real value in it. We work hard to inspire people to use our services through tailored communications for both employers and professionals, via a host of resources – eBooks, blogs, guides and events. It’s vital to keep moving with the times and supply the tools people most need, according to changes in society, culture, or law.
Employers really need to sell themselves. Shout about what you offer, what makes you a great organisation, and, if possible, get your employees to do the same on their social channels – spread the word. With the right technology, it’s easy to measure how well your marketing is working too.

ARE THERE ANY TIME-SAVING TIPS TO ASSIST THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS?

Digital technology has made all the difference in the recruitment process. It’s been a game-changer since the days of manual checks, allowing us to process data faster, identify red flags, and get people into work quicker. As an example, Reed operates Assured ID which is a digital identification and right to work system. Businesses of all sizes would benefit from such pre-employment checks – not only is it more secure, but it frees up the staff who would’ve previously had to do those onerous tasks.