While available jobs are increasing in numbers as the hospitality industry ramps up ready for reopening after months in lockdown, SEEK’s figures showed there is currently a lag by prospective employees to take up advertised roles.  Applications per job ad were down by 0.8% compared to the previous month, and down 35% compared with September 2019.

Separate data suggests sectors now seeing an explosion in hiring are most likely rebuilding workforces that bore the brunt of Australia’s COVID-19 lockdowns in 2021. A report by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work found casual workers, most often clustered in industries like hospitality and retail, were eight times more likely to have lost work than permanent staff in recent months.

The Centre for Future Work paper found the loss of 175,000 casual jobs from May to August this year represented 72% of all the jobs lost across Australia’s labour market. Additionally, those working part-time hours (both casual or permanent) suffered 68% of job losses between May and August – a loss of 166,000 jobs.

 Recruitment Tips

As the competition heats up to find good staff to fill the available roles, hospitality venues need to find positive ways to boost the pool of applicants. Here are some tips from a HR expert on selling your venue to future employees:

Improve job advertisements by selling the benefits
Most ads are selfish and ask for ‘creative, hard-working, committed team players’, who are ready to work every weekend. Basic marketing tells us that people listen to radio WIIFM (what’s in it for me). Sell your easy parking or transport links, flexible roster, modern kitchen, efficient systems, good pay and friendly team.

Think outside the square about who you will employ
You may prefer a low-cost 16-year-old, but the 45-yearold could be more stable and flexible. Set your standards high — if the applicant doesn’t meet them but has a good attitude, start the coaching and provide constructive feedback.

Promote your area
Regional rents and real estate can be much less expensive than housing in the city and is worth a mention in your ad. Your website should include information about local attractions, schools and lifestyle as well as your opening hours, facilities and menus. Working at your venue could provide an opportunity for a chef to buy property they couldn’t afford in a big city.

Consider using a professional recruiter
They do all the work — hunting, shortlisting, interviewing and recommending. There’s a fee, but the cost of doing it yourself is much greater — you know how well it’s worked in the past or not!

Update digital systems
Online rostering results in tighter cost control and easier scheduling. Integrate systems with your bookkeeping to reduce compliance issues. Plus, online work systems make jobs easier to understand. Using an iPad is just as important as using a knife for modern chefs.

Keep in touch with former staff
Whether it’s connecting on social media or just sending a text, it’s a good idea to maintain connections with workers who could always return or recommend someone for available jobs.

Jump on the training bandwagon
It won’t take long to find a training provider who will support you with supervision, materials and even a subsidy. Everyone needs to start ‘growing their own’, and the hospitality training sector is highly developed.