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A Career in Hospitality

05 August 2013

by Thomas Robinson

Despite the well publicised rising unemployment levels in the UK, especially amongst the young, we still find it a challenge to recruit good people who are committed to high standards and a career in the industry. For a lot of people, the hospitality industry in our country is seen as stop-gap employment where as in France, for example, it is a respected career path.

There is no doubt that the standards in both the accommodation and food elements of hospitality have improved hugely in the last 20 years. I honestly believe that the UK has as good an offer as anywhere in the world when it comes to great places to stay and/or eat. Obviously there are still poor standards and badly run operations but that will always happen in any country.

Along with improved standards the career opportunities and salaries have grown too making this a fantastic sector in which to work. If you are a 'people person' then the customer interaction will be right up your street but if you prefer to stay behind the scenes then there are plenty of opportunities in that area as well, most notably the kitchens. The profile of 'the Chef' has grown massively in recent years with an huge media interest whether it be TV shows, restaurant critics or cook books. There is no doubt that it requires hard work but also a genuine passion if you want to excel. Our Head Chef spends most of his holidays travelling to famous restaurants around Europe!

The standards and presentation in sending a CV for a job are still very important in my opinion and I dismay at some of the applications we have recieved in recent years. Letters written on a torn out page of a note-pad, emails written in all lower case with no punctuation and spelling that is dizasturus! This from people wanting to work in an area like reception as well. Qualifications are, of course, important and for some positions an absolute requirement but here are some of the key things I would look for when considering an application:

  1. A well presented application.
  2. A genuine enthusiam to work in a particular place/industry.
  3. Evidence of having worked at previous places for a reasonable period of time (as opposed to changing jobs every few months).
  4. The ability to work at a new role and not to throw the towel in at the first obstacle (closely related to point 3).

Finding the right candidates is also difficult and expensive for a business with recruitment agencies charging 10-15% of the annual salary to the employer (so you can see that you will be at a serious disadvantage if it is between you and a candidate who has applied directly for the same job!).

Best thing to do if you are looking for work? Contact the business directly with a well presented application that includes a decent product knowledge of the place and what it is about - do some research. Even if there is not a vacancy at that time I would always hold on to a good CV in case something came up.

We always look to promote from within and most of our senior managers have worked through the ranks to where they are today. We realise that a good team of staff is the most important factor in the successful operation of our business and I believe that working for an independent company as opposed to a large group allows you to play a more pivotal role in what happens.

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