M Restaurants and Travelodge are amongst some of the first employers in the hospitality sector to announce changes to their recruitment strategies and pay scales in a bid to address the growing skills shortage and become a more attractive career option.
In an increasingly competitive and volatile market, it is anticipated that more hospitality businesses will revisit their recruitment and retention strategies in order to set them apart from their competitors and secure the best talent.
“M” is for money
M Restaurants recently announced that, with effect from 1 March 2019, employees would be entitled to a minimum £10 starting hourly wage (£1.79 higher than the National Living Wage which went up on 1st April 2019). It is hoped that the pay hike will attract talent by dispelling the myth that the hospitality sector is relatively low-paid, and instead reinvent it as an attractive choice for prospective employees. Not only has M Restaurants looked at incentivising staff through pay, it also operates ‘M-indful days’, an initiative allowing employees four extra days off in addition to their annual holiday and access to Spill (an independent counselling app) in a bid to promote mental health wellbeing in the workplace.
Parent power at Travelodge
Travelodge recently announced its post-Brexit recruitment strategy to target parents who want to return to work in a bid to fill any potential staffing gaps. Travelodge hopes to attract parents by offering flexible and school-hour roles in a bid to fill vacancies that may arise following Brexit.
Recruitment and retention in the sector
The hospitality sector is already facing a critical skills shortage that is only likely to worsen post-Brexit so it is unsurprising that pay and recruitment are a topic of focus for hospitality businesses.
Pay is obviously important but staff, and particularly millennials, place significant importance on culture and values, while seeking flexibility and opportunities for growth. If they are not already doing so, businesses within the hospitality sector should revisit their recruitment policies and practices to distinguish themselves from their competitors and recruit the best candidates.
Hospitality businesses should also focus on the retention of existing staff. After all, employees are their greatest asset and ambassadors of the company’s brand. Upskilling staff and providing opportunities for growth with clear succession paths will stand hospitality businesses in better stead in the medium to long term.