'A chef is not just for Christmas' - Change Group urges

09/12/2016 - 09:09
As seasonal demand for temporary chefs rises in the run up to the busy Christmas season, hospitality recruiter, The Change Group, has called on the industry to use the seasonal rise in employee numbers as a way of investing in future talent.

Based on recruitment data for the past three years, Change reports that recruitment is on average 47% up during November and December, as the London hospitality scene staffs up for the Christmas period.

Change data also shows that recruitment of temporary back of house roles increases by 77% at this time while recruitment of permanent employees decreases by 10%. This suggests that for two months of the year, when demand for employees brings many potential new candidates to look for work in hospitality, the industry is recruiting primarily for the short term.

However, given the continuing shortage of staff in the hospitality sector, Change is urging employers to view the Christmas period as an opportunity to entice fresh talent into the sector by demonstrating that working in hospitality is an exceptional career choice.

Craig Allen, founder and director of the Change Group, said: "We find many people who register for temporary Christmas positions have worked intermittently in hospitality, they have less experience overall and may see the job as a short term option.

"But Christmas could become a time when the industry encourages more temporary workers to consider a long-term career in hospitality. This is a thriving sector which can offer a very rewarding future for people who like to work as part of a creative, fast-paced team.

“Training, development and team-building activities are excellent ways of encouraging temporary Christmas workers to consider working in hospitality for longer. This could be a great new source of potential talent, essential at a time when we may not be able to rely on migrants from Europe to staff up London restaurants for much longer.

“We are seeing several employers finding creative ways of engaging their permanent employees. They are adapting shifts and work patterns, investing in training and development opportunities and looking at added value benefits such as herb and even roof gardens, bee hives and working with local producers to retain their key permanent employees.

“We would recommend a similar approach with temporary Christmas staff. Christmas is a very busy time for hospitality and so can be stressful for everyone involved. It can seem off-putting. But it is also a time when our value as an industry is at its highest, so it could be an excellent moment to get people excited by the prospect of a long term career. This could result a stronger pool of more engaged, better trained and competent employees for everyone to draw from in the New Year.”

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