Rachel Robins |

At the trendy Northern Quarter in Manchester, recruitment & talent professionals met at TROF to hear how hospitality and technology can work together to address some of the sector's challenges with recruitment and retention.

Tech on Toast hosted us for brunch, and Abi Dunn, Founder of Sixty Eight People, got the morning started. It was a rapid 20 mins packed with ideas:

  • How do you get people into your 'funnel'?
  • What process do candidates go through? And do we speak to those who don't get a job for a candid view of the experience?
  • What do we do with those who make it 'to the party'?

Food for thought

1. There is much emphasis on building and delivering a great customer experience, but that is not always the case for candidate/employee experience – sound familiar?

2. Abi shared that a big issue she hears of is that people who apply for roles often don't hear back on their applications. Of course, everyone deserves to hear back promptly, but it seems that isn't happening.

3. Another point shared was that employers need to communicate the actual benefits of working for an employer. We are not talking about the number of days annual leave but real benefits, free food on shift, or maybe subsidised taxis home when working late shifts.

4. Seeing beyond the CV becomes even more critical when there is a skills shortage. Has a candidate got the right attitude, got transferable skills that can be used and given training for the role?

5. When looking at your recruitment process, you need to understand your amazing people and what great looks like to get people into your 'funnel'. And when combatting no-shows, which is a big issue, have multi-touch points – call, email, text and follow up with another call.

6. The audience at TROF took note when Abi shared that professional development should be included in an organisation's purpose and values and that personal development is also a big draw – that's around keeping people in the business. Green credentials are an important factor with Gen Z employees who are also sustainably conscious.

7. Rota issues – you can't operate with untimely rotas. Employees need to know in advance when they will be working to plan around this. All too often, employees in hospitality will not know their schedule until the last minute, and it's so off-putting and is a sure-fire way to lose good people.

8. A common phrase is 'people leave managers not companies', and the power of a General Manager should be taken seriously. Something the audience resonated with.

Candidate attraction outlook for Hospitality Sector

Next up was Bruce Groves, Marketing Director at Eploy, who had plenty of data from the newly launched UK Candidate Attraction Report.

The focus was on the outlook for the hospitality sector which will see levels of hiring increase in the next 12 months by 85% of survey respondents. Recruitment budgets of hospitality businesses expecting increased hiring in the next 12 months will have to do more with less – 43% expect an increase in budgets, 43% expect budgets to remain the same and for 13% budgets will reduce!

Sourcing channel usage & performance for the sector gave some surprises – the most used channels don't necessarily provide the best results for the quantity and quality of candidates. Talent Pooling/ATS/CRM as a channel is underused compared to others and can be an even greater source of candidates.

The UK Candidate Attraction Report is available for you, so you can compare how other sectors perform and learn if the size of a company affects results. Will you get better results if you measure channels and more. 

Is your careers site a peak performer?

Did you know that the best performing careers sites are 4x more likely to have Career Pathways, Job Search & Apply? They are also 3x more likely to have How the Recruitment Process Works, Employee Stories, Learning & Development and Interview Hints & Tips – yet all are hugely underutilised by many in the hospitality sector.

Anyway, no more spoilers on the report findings – you can look for yourself in the free 80-page report!

Addressing employee retention

Eploy Marketplace Partner, Rotaready, has developed award-winning staff rota software that helps to schedule rotas, optimise wage spend, record attendance and approve timesheets for payroll. Carol Holloway, co-founder at Rotaready, gave hints and tips from their hospitality customer base on how to keep your team happy…

"Put loads of energy in at the start of their employee journey. Make them feel welcome, be crystal clear with expectations and standards and make sure they know about all the tools at their disposal to deliver a great guest experience.”

"Never underestimate the power of an induction and welcome. If you want people to stay, make them feel welcome and don't throw them in at the deep end, nine times out of ten they sink." Maray

"We have to be 100% honest with potential new starters in the recruitment process. If we covered things up at this stage, we would struggle in the retention stage." Brewdog
"Training and development speaks louder than money. Money may pay the bills but training & development enables job satisfaction." The Hotel Folk

"We offer a 25% discount for all employees, free meals on shift, discounted taxis home after a late shift and just this month have launched an 'Employee Retention Scheme' where our managers can reward employees with 'Signature Dollars' that can be spent at our venues." Signature Pub Group

All of this (and more) was covered in an hour and over networking. I'm sure you will agree that it was time well spent (and the brunch was pretty marvellous).

If you’d like any more information on anything mentioned above, or the integration between Rotaready and Eploy, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at info@eploy.co.uk 

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