Written by Rachel Cooke
Published on April 12, 2022
Getting ahead of the competition for candidates

At 2021’s HOSPACE event the declaration from keynote speaker Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, that the biggest challenge facing hospitality was “The People Challenge”, range true across the conference. Recruitment within the Hospitality Industry has been a mounting problem over the last couple of years; an industry that was already becoming short of skilled staff due to Brexit regulations suffered even more so due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

According to Hospitality Rising, the campaign for recruiting skilled professionals to the Hospitality Industry, the industry currently has 400,000 vacancies and rising. Additionally, data collected from KAM Media suggests that only 1 in 5 people surveyed would consider a role within the sector, whilst 42% of those surveyed employed within the industry were thinking about leaving.

Several factors are at play in the struggle for retention and recruitment, some factors beyond most of our control. However, luckily there are still things that employers within the industry can do to boost the satisfaction of their workforce – to increase retention and facilitate recruitment. Here are our top tips.

A fair and transparent Tronc scheme boosts take-home pay

Many employees within the industry rely on tips and gratuities to boost their salary, especially where they are on a lower wage. The advantage of having an effective Tronc scheme is that it can lead to NI savings which will put more take-home pay in the pockets of employees in the scheme, as well as reducing Employer National Insurance costs so your people budget can stretch further.

Additionally, a Tronc scheme that is fair and transparent promotes a positive workplace culture and will help to showcase you as an employer who cares about their employees.

Provide development opportunities

One obvious way to boost your staff's morale and therefore retention and set yourself apart as an attractive future employer is to provide development opportunities. It is worth reviewing the career progression opportunities within your organisation and looking at formal training and development that you can provide for your team.

Industry bodies such as HOSPA can get you started with information on professional development for your personnel.

Ensure your offering is up to scratch

Looking at your competitors' benefits and employment packages compared with your own is an excellent way of checking that your employee experience is up to par. While there may be some nuances in the package offered to your employees versus your competitors, if there are drastic differences, this is a sign to review your offering and make improvements where you can.

While an employee may be attracted to you for your reputation and what they know about the company, they are more likely to stay somewhere they feel rewards them fairly. This is where your savings from using a Tronc scheme can be used to purchase better benefits.

Improve your onboarding process

Another simple yet effective approach is to review your onboarding process for improvements. Looking at the candidate's point of view, check all of the touchpoints with your organisation from the initial application to the acceptance of the offer and their first day of employment.

You want to promote a positive organisational culture from the outset, making them feel welcome and supported. It would help if you looked out for areas where the employee may need the information to be communicated with them more clearly, and areas where you can go above and beyond to make them feel welcome and introduce them to their new employer and colleagues. Things like a buddy or mentor system on commencement of employment may work well, as well as a comprehensive Employee Handbook and transparent employment contracts and agreements.

Get feedback on the employee experience

Collecting feedback from current employees is crucial to gain insight into their experience, but it is often overlooked! You should look to gain information at various stages to see how they felt about their interview, onboarding, career progression and opportunities, the organisational culture and the benefits.

Collecting this data will allow you to identify critical areas for improvement for retention and recruitment and give you a better chance of nipping anything in the bud that could lead to dissatisfied employees. For example, at Troncmasters by IRIS, we have a monthly Peakon survey to gauge employee satisfaction and drive improvement.

If you would like more information about our Troncmasters service, please contact us.