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Dish of the Day: Recruitment in the hospitality industry

Dan Doherty

dish1 300x225 Dish of the Day: Recruitment in the hospitality industryIn an industry that is crying out for talent from both front and back of house, that wants the people it relies so heavily upon to be a part of the bigger picture, and that wants them to commit for at least a year, it’s worrying to think that a source for finding these people could very well be at the core of the problem.

A proposal usually starts with a cold call or an email, maybe contact by LinkedIn or a DM on twitter. If they manage to keep you on the phone long enough after telling them that you are not looking for staff, they will inevitable ask you ‘and what about yourself  – interested in a move?’

Yes, I am referring to hospitality recruitment agencies. Not only is it hugely unprofessional and shows they have no idea how the industry works, it can also be massively disrupting. You see, I know full well it’s not only me who gets it; my sous chefs are being tapped up for jobs every other day too. As soon as you accept an invitation on LinkedIn it begins. Catch someone having a bad day and a seed is sown. I know I’m in it for the long run, but no business needs that kind of worry for its core team members.

You’d expect a little more from them, especially when they must know all trust is instantly lost in the instant they try their luck. After winning Rising Star award at the Tatler Restaurant Awards earlier this year, whilst friends were congratulating me, I received nine emails from recruiters asking what my plans are. At that point I’d been at Duck & Waffle a year, things were and still are going pretty well and I’m not one to hop and skip from one job to another.

After winning something like that, why would I leave? The mind boggles. After a wonderful night at The National Restaurant Awards this week, the same thing followed. Only a meagre four attempts this time but I’m guessing some of my boys got similar emails. The worst has to be the group email looking for chefs without even having the brain to BCC in the other chefs.

According to Allegra’s latest Eating out in the UK report, the informal eating out market is currently worth £52 billion, with 226,350 outlets across the country. You’d think the industry would have the weight to command a little more respect with figures like that, but maybe that’s exactly why they feel they can be so direct.

It has to be said that there are some exceptions but I’m starting to understand how football managers feel now…

@DanDoherty_ and duckandwaffle.com

  • mike

    Not just the hospitality industry I’m afraid. Recruitment agents are all a bunch of leaches. You could, in fact, probably just expand that to ‘agents’ full stop!


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