Social media ‘helping change perceptions’ of working in pubs

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Recruitment boost: Laura Field from the Holly Tree says fairer wages and social media have helped tackle stigma towards the trade
Recruitment boost: Laura Field from the Holly Tree says fairer wages and social media have helped tackle stigma towards the trade

Related tags: Social media, Recruitment

Social media has helped to ease pubs’ problems with recruiting and retaining staff, one general manager has said.

Laura Field from the Holly Tree pub in Forest Gate, east London, said she was positive about the future generation of the pub workforce.

The manager took part in a Radio 4 programme about the state of the pub sector last month and spoke of her optimism that pubs were becoming more appealing places to work.

Taboos tackled

Speaking to The Morning Advertiser​, she explained that traditional negative stereotypes of taking up a career in a pub were fading away thanks to social media and healthier work cultures.

She said: “When I was at school, [a career in the pub industry] was never really a thing that people would talk about. That is beginning to change now.

“It’s becoming more of a respected [trade] and, with social media, it’s becoming cooler to go into those industries. 

“So pub businesses that go into schools and recruitment fairs should play on that. It’s also the lifestyle – you don't work regular hours, which means you can do other things.”

Research from apprenticeship provider HIT Training found that more than half (53%) of 16 to 20-year-olds would not consider a career in hospitality​ and viewed jobs in the sector as a having ‘limited career prospects’ – but this is changing, according to Field.

She added: “Obviously it has this long-standing, stereotypical view of being really underpaid and not being ‘a proper job’. 

“That’s how it used to be viewed. Now it has become a lot more appealing to young people to get into as a profession. 

“I have definitely seen an increase in people being a lot more passionate about it and taking jobs as a stepping stone to something else in the industry, which is great.”

Trusted sources

Recruiting staff has been made easier for Field through methods like Facebook groups, she added.

“There's a lot of specific social media groups. For example, there’s a Facebook group for bartenders in east London that is a pool of experienced young people.”

Creating a positive work culture has been essential to staff retention at the pub, she said.

She explained: “We have quite a fast turnover but if you pay people a good wage, give them a meal and a drink every shift, you can hang on to them.

“You get staff that go away to uni and get full-time jobs in their chosen profession but say ‘actually, I want to stay around and do one Sunday every week’.

“The treatment of hospitality staff and having a fair wage has become quite a big thing recently. Retention has got better because of that.”

Related topics: Training

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