Navigating the industry recruitment crisis, H&E North speaks to some industry voices to find out the latest advice to build your resources.
Crisis, Yes or No
The recruitment crisis is the buzzword currently overshadowing the events industry, but what we don’t often acknowledge is how it hits each business differently. Richard Morris, Owner of Hospitality Staffing, says: “Attracting candidates to jobs within the hospitality industry has never been harder. A lot of people have left the industry post- pandemic to pursue careers in other industries, and more companies are putting a bigger emphasis on staff retention meaning hiring has never been so challenging.”
But conversely, Chrissie McLaren Founder of CM Event Recruitment adds: “We haven’t had one. I think the reason being is because we’ve been on the other side of it when it comes to casual work. So, because we know what we used to be treated like and what we wanted to be treated like, we treat the staff like they’re part of a big family. We’ve got about 500 casual staff; we get to know them, and we don’t let them wander off unnoticed.”
Treating recruitment as a strategy is something Robert Kenward, Co-Founder of recruitment agency You Exclusive believes is often overlooked. Robert explains: “There are three main types of recruitment: contingency, exclusive, and retained. Contingency means ‘I’ll give this one vacancy to three or five agencies and the first person to find the right person gets paid’. Then you have exclusive which is ‘I will give this vacancy to you for a period of X weeks, usually two to three weeks.
If you can’t do it, then I’ll go out to other people.’ Then retained which is ‘I want to hire you to go find this person’, quite like a freelancer.”
Back to Basics
Chrissie notes: “A big issue with some recruitment agencies is that they only use apps and do online interviewing. It’s something we’ve been told that we’re old fashioned for not doing, but we find with online interviewing there’s no personal touch. For example, if an interviewee has an issue attending, they can’t contact us. We make sure that every single person is seen face-to-face to really get to know them, and we can use the interview as an induction to the training.”
Attracting the Right People
Thinking about the quality of applicants, Richard turns to thinking about his offering: “The key focus with candidate attraction should always be around highlighting the best bits about your organisation. Staff training, how you develop people, future progression, your culture, the importance of work/life balance and how you focus on staff welfare. An extensive show around your business is also a must. Make candidates feel your company is THE place to work in the industry.”
Defining an avatar to outline the role is encouraged ahead of the process. When searching for reliable staff Robert advises: “It’s about the mix of having someone who you know is going to get on with the rest of the team. But also, it’s really important that you’re recruiting someone who’s going to bring a different approach.”
Richard agrees: “You need an outgoing and confident personality, a team player, and someone who can communicate well with others. The ability to work well under pressure and be adaptable to deal with the various challenges that the hospitality industry provides are essential requisites.”