Having recently written a blog about the retail recruitment market I am now turning my attention to the hospitality jobs market to see whether the market is as tough for candidates looking to find new roles.
As in the retail sector, I think most candidates are often pleasantly surprised when they first come onto the market to find another position, by the volume of roles that appear to be out available matching their skills and experience. However as has been highlighted in the recent Hospitality Employment Index statistics provided by the Caterer.com and People 1st, the competition for these roles is higher than ever.
I am afraid to say that on the surface the statistics do not make encouraging reading. The number of overall vacancies is down some 8% compared to last year and in some categories such as management roles in the restaurant sector they are down a massive 45%. Unfortunately the competition for roles has also increased with the number of applications only falling by 2% during the same period.
However, as always we should try and put some perspective on these headline grabbing figures. What the statistics show is that the current job volumes are some 30% higher than in 2009. To some extent during the recession we have seen a much stronger focus on retention and development in the sector. This may be an additional factor in explaining the underlying statistics. As always these statistics only show part of the picture and just reflect the volume (and level) of roles posted on the job board.
Looking at the performance of some of the key players in the market, despite the miserable weather and conflicting expectations brought by the Olympics, the market has held up well. Looking at recent announcements, Greene King reported a like-for-like sales increase of 5.1%, Mitchells and Butler LFL of 3% and The Restaurant Group LFL of 3.25%. As always there are winners and losers however with continued growth in some areas of the market the need for high calibre individuals remains strong.
As we all know, the hospitality sector is all about people and being able to inspire, lead and motivate teams to deliver great product and great service. Many businesses continue to invest in retaining and recruiting the best people to drive and maintain that competitive edge. Being focused on recruiting middle and senior appointments we have seen strong demand for individuals since the end of the summer and are watching with interest to see how the market unfolds over the coming months.
As has been the case over the last couple of years it continues to be difficult for candidates to secure positions in different sectors, so my advice to candidates is to look at businesses where your skills and experience will be most transferable. The expectations of clients is rightly very high as they look to drive their business by hiring candidates with experience and a strong track record of success.
Without a shadow of doubt for the vast majority of middle and senior management candidates the market out there remains tough. However, whilst the job board figures are certainly negative, as we come out of recession, the market will inevitably pick up.