How to attract and retain top hospitality talent

Michael Radley
 • 
Jul 2021
6 min read

There’s currently a shortage of 188,000 workers in the hospitality industry.

The sector has been hit hard by the pandemic, and data from the ONS shows that nearly half of all UK jobs lost in the past year were in hospitality.

Brexit has also contributed to staff shortages, with over 50,000 EU workers returning to their home countries in the past year.

But as lockdown eases, demand in the industry is returning and hospitality businesses are seeking more team members.  

In fact, online job adverts for hospitality roles are above pre-pandemic levels for the first time since the start of the crisis.

But the uncertainty surrounding the sector has increased the reluctance of people entering the sector. And while there are more roles, businesses are finding it hard to find team members.

Businesses need to attract and retain the best talent. But how?

How to attract and retain staff

Even before the pandemic and Brexit, the turnover rates in hospitality were 30%—the highest of all UK industries.

There’s a unique opportunity for businesses to rebuild their operations and culture to create workplaces where people want to go to work. Here’s how:

Effective onboarding

An effective onboarding process can turn new hires into valuable team members, so you need to get this crucial first step right. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Outline your team policies
  • Set new members up on your systems
  • Share the brand story
  • Set up team introductions
  • Give the new starter a checklist of tasks to do each day

Technology can help with streamlining your onboarding processes—especially important if you’re scaling your operations or hiring a large number of new recruits.  

Ongoing training

Training improves job satisfaction, makes employees feel appreciated, challenged and more efficient in their jobs. So it’s crucial you provide ongoing training for your teams. There’s some brilliant online training software, like Typsy, to help your employees upskill.

Mental health support

Even before the pandemic, 1 in 5 hospitality workers suffered from work-related mental health issues. And after the year we’ve experienced, it’s more important than ever to prioritise your team’s mental health.

At Trail, we’ve implemented a number of initiatives over the past year—we use Spill, a Slack integration where team members can speak to counsellors on demand. We’ve also trialled a 4 and a half day week, to give people more headspace. And we’ve been carrying out mental health check-ins throughout the pandemic.

Invest in team members

Operators are fighting for good team members right now. Showing your team that there are opportunities for career development will help to keep top talent. Invest in their future, and they’ll stick around (even in a pandemic or Brexit).

Give team high fives

Celebrate the wins, no matter how small. A culture that celebrates individual and team successes, that gives credit when credit is due, is a culture that offers a sense of accomplishment. And that’s one way to turn employees into advocates.

Be flexible

Be as flexible as you can with rotas and work hours—not only will this attract staff into a traditionally inflexible industry. But, when it comes to millennials in the workforce, 77% feel flexibility from management makes them more productive.Empower teams with the right tools

Train your employees well, empower them with the tools they need to succeed, and then get out of the way. This will help free up managers time to focus on supporting teams and building a positive work environment.

How Trail can help

  • Empower teams: Trail gives a framework so teams can self-manage. Everyone knows what to do and feels confident delivering it.
  • Communicate clearly: Communicate exactly what’s expected so teams know how to do their jobs well. New starters can hit the ground running from day one.
  • Automate processes: Integrate Trail with existing systems to automate repetitive admin. So team’s can spend less time on paperwork and more time on delivering unique customer experiences.
  • Built-in training: add training videos to tasks, so teams know exactly what to do and how to do it.

New World Trading Company customer testimonial


What customers are saying

"Trail has given us realtime insight into every facility across our estate, so we can react to maintenance issues before they become large."
Scott Vernon
Chief Financial Officer
"We turned our Costa Checks and various compliance forms into regular tasks on Trail, which has contributed to some of the best scores we have had."
Delroy Daniels
Operations Director
"It’s the app I can’t live without in my working day."
Beth Cole
Assistant General Manager
"We rarely provide training to our guys, they just bought into the idea straight away. I love that I have a full visual of everyone's activity in front of me."
Katrin Toots
Compliance Manager
“Probably my favorite system. The uptake on it was so quick, and support has been great.”
Matt Pinchard
HR, Systems & Compliance Manager
“The EHO visited almost every site last year and every store was given a five star rating."
Jay Brown
Operations Chef

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