Training can help with recruitment challenge

Development opportunities help recruit and retain staff, says Star Pubs & Bars’ head of training

Tracy Bickerdike
Training can help recruit and retain staff, says Tracy Bickerdike.

WE’VE all seen reports about rising worker shortages across what’s already been a difficult time for the hospitality industry, writes Star Pubs & Bars’ head of training, Tracy Bickerdike.

Job vacancies have reached their highest levels, forcing venues to close or reduce trading hours. But it’s not all doom and gloom.

Two of the main challenges we face in this industry are the lack of available skilled staff to fill new roles and lack of career progression prompting people to leave.

Yet training opportunities are a great way to combat this – helping recruit people into the sector and retain them.

Look at your existing team. Who’s showing potential and demonstrating the right kind of behaviour for a new role or gaining more skills to be able to cover other areas of the business, eg. the kitchen?

Chances are it’s unlikely you’ll have someone who has all the knowledge and skills required. However, by offering the training required for a dedicated and ambitious existing team member to reach that next level, you can kill two birds with one stone, retaining your loyal staff and filling a new position.

Cost to recruit is typically quoted at 20% of the annual salary for the position, so a substantial amount to be saved by training existing staff. You’ll also benefit from a more knowledgeable and skilled workforce.

With recruitment so costly, competitive and time-intensive, promoting and developing employees via training is well worth the investment. And training doesn’t even have to take up a lot of time.

Some people shy away from training because they think it’ll further impact their busy working schedule, but there are ways employees can access different resources easily and without encroaching on day-to-day operations.

Many providers offer courses that can be completed on any device and allow employees to largely manage their learning independently. From food safety and age verification to perfect serve and cellar management, there are lots of courses out there to suit every budget and level of experience.

By having a well-rounded workforce that is trained in various aspects of running a pub, you can be more flexible with staff rotas as you have a selection of team members you can rely on to carry out particular responsibilities. This flexibility will greatly improve the happiness of your employees and help increase staff retention.

Moreover, having a multi-trained team helps employees support each other during busy periods. A fully-trained team also fosters a better, happier working environment and delivers greater customer satisfaction.

So, if you haven’t already thought about up-skilling your team, now is the time to do so.