4 Recruiting Tips for Tricky Times in Hospitality

The hospitality industry is facing hard times. Controversy over slashed penalty rates, difficult working conditions, and a feeling of being disposable are turning young workers away from the sector. However, because the tourism industry is constantly growing, these candidates have never been more in demand than now. In Australia, up to 9,000 new hospitality jobs will emerge…


The hospitality industry is facing hard times. Controversy over slashed penalty rates, difficult working conditions, and a feeling of being disposable are turning young workers away from the sector.

However, because the tourism industry is constantly growing, these candidates have never been more in demand than now. In Australia, up to 9,000 new hospitality jobs will emerge in Brisbane over the next two years, for instance, through major wharf and concert venue developments. According to findings from Edith Cowan University, the industry in 2018 has a vacancy rate of 28%. As an older generation of hospitality workers retires, their younger counterparts are entering other occupations. Hospitality employers in New Zealand are also struggling to find skilled staff, with job vacancies increasing in the sector. So, how can you find and keep the best hospitality candidates?

CREATE AN OPEN COMPANY CULTURE

Hospitality workers enjoy working at eateries and venues where their skills are recognised and they are treated with respect. Work on creating a supportive environment where workers give and take constructive feedback. Open communication issues bugging your workers can then be addressed – before they end up working for your rivals.  

GIVE FAIR PAY CONDITIONS

It’s short-sighted to offer low pay with unrealistic working conditions. Smart employers care about staff welfare, offer a flexible workplace and stick to a fair wage. This takes account of unsociable working hours and any extra effort your workers put in. These employers are generally rewarded with increased productivity and loyalty in return. Staff are also likely to enjoy their work more. This rubs off on customers who, in turn, are more likely to recommend you and pay repeat visits.  

FOCUS ON TRAINING AND CAREER PATHS

While backpackers are not looking for long-term jobs, many candidates would like nothing better than an exciting and rewarding career in hospitality. When you find good workers, do your best to hang on to them. Identify their strengths, ask what they want to achieve in hospitality, then offer them the training, support and career path that will help them get there. Do you have hidden gems and latent leadership talent in your bar or waiting staff? Where possible, promote them to managerial or assistant management roles. Show them you are serious about their long-term future.  

STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD

With so many hospitality outlets vying for staff, don’t expect the best workers to flock to your door. Work out what’s unique about your establishment then promote it both in-house and on social media.

  • Do you have regular staff get-togethers?
  • Are you offering above award wages or flexible working hours?
  • Do you train staff in new hospitality software?
  • Are you close to a train station, seafront or great shops?

Don’t be afraid to try a specialist recruitment agency if you’re on the hunt for top hospitality staff.