How to recruit the right hospitality workers – and quickly!

The year began with a bang for those in the hospitality industry when it was reported that demand for workers in the sector is increasing rapidly. 

A survey, from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), revealed that demand for both permanent and temporary staff within the sector was on the up. Indeed, in December 2014, the hospitality industry came third in a list of sectors with a high demand for temporary staff – this was up on the previous year, when it placed seventh. 

Sitting alongside this high demand for staff in the hospitality industry is the acknowledgement that there is a significant skills shortage in the sector. 

It makes sense – employers facing the pressure of ensuring they have enough workers, often at short notice, may pay less attention to whether or not they’re up to the job. 

Kevin Green, chief executive at the REC, commented on this need to find skilled staff.

He said: “As we enter 2015 the jobs market continues its strong performance. Recruiters are helping an increasing number of businesses find new permanent employees, and skills shortages in most areas of the economy mean that competition for quality candidates is driving up starting salaries.”

But how can we ensure we’re hiring the right staff for the job – especially when we need to hire quickly?

Don’t rely on an interview

Having a face-to-face chat with someone is important before you employ them to work for your company. However, it shouldn’t be everything. People can tell you they are as skilled as they want, but they can hardly prove they have what it takes to do the job in an interview setting. 

Set every potential candidate the same task – something they would be doing anyway as part of their job is ideal – and see whether they sink or swim! Get colleagues to report back on how they did and take this into account when choosing the right people for the job. 

Consult your staff

When it does come to the interview process, don’t go it alone. Having a second – and even third – opinion can make all the difference. 

Inviting your colleagues to listen in on the interview is likely to mean they’ll pick up on different things to you – whether positive or negative. This really could make all the difference. 

Don’t scare the candidates

Staying calm under pressure may be one of the qualities you are looking for in your workers – but it is important to ensure you don’t pile on too much pressure during the interview process. 

Doing so could put off great talent, and cause candidates to not perform at anywhere near their best level. This means employers are likely to miss out on some great candidates while hiring those who end up being worse at the job. 

A top tip is starting the interview with the easier questions on your list, before progressing to the more tricky ones. Hopefully by this point they’ll feel much more at ease and be able to provide answers without interview anxiety getting in the way.