By Denis Sheehan, Publisher, H&C News: Every person employed in hospitality needs to be embraced, nurtured, and given opportunity.
The people and skills crisis in hospitality and catering continues to grow, as the latest figures from the ONS confirms 176,000 unfilled job vacancies across the industry.
A growing number of businesses are being forced to limit opening times as a consequence of continued people and skills shortages.
Businesses forced to operate with a skeleton team, doing their very best to survive, see people under strain and duress, are faced no option but to reduce services to customers to ease the burden.
Despite calls from every corner of our industry, it seems that government ears are closed to any and all attempts to help desperate business owners seeking relaxation of visa regulations allowing people that want to work in hospitality and catering to do so.
With the two contenders currently vying for the keys to No 10 competing to out Brexit each other, any chance of relaxed visa regulations seem far and distant.
Mintel predicts the UK domestic travel market will fare better than the overseas travel market this year. Domestic holiday spending is estimated to reach £15.7 billion in 2022, 9% higher than in 2019. An opportunity for hotels and the wider hospitality and catering industry to refill coffers.
With recruitment so difficult, and people leaving hospitality for other sectors of industry, retention has to be the number one priority.
The hike in domestic summer tourism will see many temporary jobs created and this can be viewed as a window of opportunity. Impress on each and every person that becomes a member of your team and works alongside you and your colleagues just how special hospitality and catering is.
Be grateful, be caring, be positive, be supportive, embrace and nurture each and every person that joins your team. Be hospitable to them.
Give them a positive experience they will want to return to. Maybe another temporary role with your business at Christmas, or maybe a full time roll with your business.
For all hospitality businesses seeking to recruit in today’s labour market, the balance of power has changed, all the power in the relationship between employer and employee is with the employee. If your job doesn’t suit them, they can walk out the door any time they like into another job. You may not like that, but that is the reality of full employment.
The good news here is that by being hospitable to every person that works with you in your hospitality business, the payback will compound. Not only will people that have worked with your business be open to return, but perceptions of our industry will also improve. Over time this positivity will form a foundation for recovery.