Many restaurants or hospitality businesses across the UK are offering new incentives to retain and attract workers.

Hawksmoor, the restaurant group, is now offering bonuses of up to £2,000 to workers who recommend friends for jobs to fill the gaps in the workforce that have occurred due to Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Other hospitality chains are also emailing customers with a promise of gift vouchers if they introduce new potential candidates to become employees.

Pub chains Marston’s and Mitchells and Butlers have also warned last week that they had difficulty recruiting new employees and blamed overseas staff returning home and Covid-19’s impact on people giving up on the hospitality sector altogether.

Will Beckett, Hawksmoor co-founder, stated that “It’s a little hard to tell whether this [staff shortage] is because there aren’t enough people due to them leaving the country or leaving the sector, or because everyone is recruiting at the same time.”

With approximately 18,000 vacancies being added to recruitment giant Reed, in one day last week, the latter comment on the recruitment wave could be making a key impact also.

Brexit’s impact

With Brexit, comes a raft of legislation around recruiting workers from the EU, visa requirements, right to work status and the need to become an approved employer sponsor.

Since March 2020 almost 300,000 hospitality workers are thought to have left their jobs and returned to their home countries and there is no way of knowing whether they will return.

Covid-19’s impact

As work dried up during the lockdowns and pandemic, many hospitality workers decided to leave the sector and now, firms will face a challenge enticing them back.

With a lack of reliability over the last year in how safe their jobs would be and whether they would be furloughed or working, it is clear many ex-hospitality workers are reluctant in returning to the sector at the moment.

Sustaining talent

As with all business plans, to remain sustainable, employers must think past the next few uncertain, months and plan a longer-term recruitment strategy.

It is crucial for the hospitality sector to attract young people into the industry by giving them opportunities and creating roles for them.

A great way to do so is could be through apprenticeships. Employers must reverse this downward trend of decreasing apprentices, as they need skilled, talented people in the future.

The industry has quite a substantial job to do to convince young people and the public that a job in hospitality is the right career move, where you can develop skills and build a career for life.

At HR Caddy, we are able to offer HR advice at all the levels. We can address any shortfalls identified in the short or long term and work closely with you and our associate recruitment team to fill those gaps with the right candidates.

For more help or advice, contact us today.