The constant challenge of pub sector recruitment

By Suzanne Smith

- Last updated on GMT

The constant challenge of pub sector recruitment

Related tags: Pub sector, Employment

The struggle to recruit and retain good people in the hospitality industry is an all too familiar headline.

In its October 2015 report, skills organisation People 1st estimated that labour turnover costs the industry £274m annually with 870,000 of the 993,000 staff the sector needs by 2022 being required to replace existing workers.

While the pub sector is rightly seen by potential employees as great source of holiday or flexible bar work, frustratingly it is not front of mind for the majority in terms of the varied and dynamic long-term career pathways it can offer.

For tenanted pub operators, the challenges around recruitment and retention are particularly complex. For one thing, our managed house counterparts, restaurant chains and hotels invariably have the power of well-recognised consumer brands on their side when recruiting new talent.

When it comes to the more pressing issue of staff retention, those of us working in the tenanted sector will be well aware of its entrepreneurial and community spirit and career pathways it affords. However, we must do more to shine a light on the great opportunities that exist - not only for potential licensees but for those looking to work their way up the ladder as part of a supportive pubco team.

Big picture

Evidence shows that high labour turnover creates a diversion for operators from investing in training and development. Retention of great people is the biggest challenge for the sector. At Admiral, our approach has been to break down the traditional silos that exist between licensee and pubco. We work towards a ‘one team’ ethos, encouraging people to see the big picture of what they are working together to achieve operationally and, in turn, the long-term career paths available.

The ALMR Ops Manager Awards, which took place just before Christmas, were a great platform in highlighting the talent that exists within the pub sector and we at Admiral were absolutely delighted to have our own Caren Geering awarded Business Development Manager of the Year. The relationships our talented BDMs have with our licensees are absolutely critical, empowering them to run “their pub, their way”, at the heart of their local communities. As a sector we cannot afford for the would-be stars of the future to overlook the great career opportunities this role can offer.

The pub sector is a truly nationwide and community employer and if we want to stem the flow of good talent out the door then we must all make clear that the sector is utterly committed to developing our people and supporting them in their career aspirations. After all a pub job should be for life – not just for the Christmas holidays.

Suzanne Smith is head of recruitment and people development at Admiral Taverns

Interested in pub sector recruitment?​ Click here for the latest Pub Jobs​. 

Related topics: Training

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