Recent research has highlighted a growing issue within the hospitality industry when it comes to the recruitment of chefs, with a staggering 93% of agencies reporting that there are not enough trained chefs in the UK to meet current demands.
Experienced HR Director and Founder of PrivilegeHR, Mary Ball shares her advice on how hospitality companies can source and retain quality chefs in the current climate amidst the widening gap between supply and demand.
The Christmas period can be a particularly stressful time for hospitality recruiters with restaurants taking more covers in December than any month in the year. With this soaring consumer demand, recruitment drives are in full swing but can this enthusiasm last into the New Year? There are a number of things that employers can do to ensure that they hire and more importantly, retain chefs beyond the busy Yuletide spell.
A common issue that continually plagues the hospitality sector is the lack of adequate training available for staff, particularly with chefs, a job that is incredibly skilled and detailed in nature. The Christmas season is notoriously busy when it comes to recruitment and companies often welcome in a large number of new staff, meaning that training time and quality can be compromised. It is absolutely essential that every member of staff receives adequate training and if this is offered as part of the advertised job package it will make the position more desirable from the offset, attracting employees who are keen to develop and progress.
Training should not just be offered at the start of a new contract but should be continuous as part of staff development. Learning opportunities make staff feel valued, demonstrating that an employee is willing to invest time and money into them which in turn makes staff more company loyal and more skilled at their job; a win-win situation for both parties. Employers could consider taking on young and ambitious staff who may not have years of experience but have the drive to learn and commit to your business. As an employer, if you invest into someone’s career then they are more likely to repay you with dedication.
Staff gratification plays a huge role when it comes to retention with many employees leaving a job after feeling undervalued or unmotivated and with so many staff on the books One way to achieve this is by offering staff bonuses based on performance or by offering a desirable contract which is attractive and competitive. Investing in your employees could save money in the long run as it means less time and money put in to re-recruiting.
Encourage employees to have a voice within the workplace and you could see significant improvement in overall work ethic and atmosphere in the kitchen, particularly when to chefs who are the very heart of your business. Albeit reputation and customer service will attract diners in to an establishment, the chef’s menu plays a crucial role so encourage creativity. Their input could help to shape a business and it is always healthy to get a varied perspective on services. Businesses hire chefs based on their expertise and experience so allowing them to draw on this and not only could your business thrive, but the employee will feel valued. Trust your staff to input their ideas and be vocal about their issues and this makes for an effective work place.
Finally, take the time to develop your staff beyond the job remit to help them to achieve their maximum potential in the workplace. Many employees place focus on the core functions of the job and for chefs this is predominantly being able to produce quality dishes however, the importance of interpersonal skills is paramount. If a chef can communicate effectively with a wider team of waiting staff and fellow chefs then this makes for an all-round more efficient workplace. Training skills such as these and basic administration produce well-rounded employees that can really make a positive impact on business and are more likely to develop to take on the role of training new staff as more come through the door.
For more information visit www.privilegehr.co.uk