How to attract the best staff in foodservice By Michelle Mellor, MD of Chefs Jobs UK

We all know that there is a talent shortage epidemic in the hospitality sector and those employers who develop tactics and strategies ahead of their competition are going to be the winners. It’s clear however that power is certainly shifting to the applicants.

To become as successful as possible in candidate attraction, selection and hiring, it is vital to ensure that good practice prevails throughout the whole recruiting and appointing process. So, here are my six top tips to help us all be better recruiters…

  1. Set out the true culture of the organisation: Applicants value information which captures the culture of the organisation. This could include information on flexible work practices, dress code and opportunities for socialising with colleagues. Set out the culture of the organisation. What are the values? Are they aligned to the people of the business?
  2. Recruit for attitude – train for skill: Recruit the very best people in terms of behaviour and attitude and not necessarily always for core skill. Creating a positive culture is massively important and those with the right attitude will embrace this.
  3. Streamline the application process: Applicants will not invest ‘excessive’ time in an application process if it’s too long. Provide a clear and concise specification which sets out the tasks and describes a typical day in the job whilst giving the candidate an understanding of where they will fit in the organisation. An indication of salary and benefits information in your advertising is also crucial.
  4. Personalise the interview: Don’t make the interview process a box ticking exercise! Applicants are looking at the possible working style of the hiring manager, the working environment and the business culture as well as the extent to which they will feel respected and valued as an employee – keep them interested!
  5. Stay close once a job offer has been made: What is apparent is that applicants do expect a fast turnaround on a decision. Reduce average time between interview and decision and do not approach the applicant’s current employer for references until the applicant has had the opportunity to formally resign. 6Smash the induction! It’s important that the employers extend their line of sight beyond just the job offer and take into account the first few months of a role. It is important to note that an applicant may still have live applications, and can still withdraw from the role at a cost to the hiring employer.

In summary: Our priority as employers is to appoint the most suitable applicant in a timely and cost-effective manner – research shows that applicants have the same priorities. It’s also crucial for us to train and develop our hiring managers to ensure that their behaviours and attitudes reflect well on the organisation. Ultimately, the cost of not getting the recruitment process right for the applicant is significant. It jeopardises not only an organisation’s ability to find and appoint talent but has wider implications for an organisation’s bottom line. The power is shifting to the job applicants across all sectors of industry – it’s our responsibility as employers to be mindful of this and step into the shoes of the potential talent they need to attract. Never before has the saying “The Candidate is King” been so true!