Chris Cartledge was up until recently the operations manager at Provenence Inns and is now at recruitment firm Talent Hive.
He outlined how Provenance utilised recruiting chefs from overseas to help staffing issues the business was facing and mentioned how the multiple operator was paying almost £100 an hour to chefs for working Christmas Day.
Top tips on handling overseas staff recruitment:
Be committed – the process is straightforward and rewarding but requires a dedicated approach to be successful
Understand legal and cultural considerations. Also ensure compliance with the relevant laws and regulations while being mindful of cultural differences to help create an inclusive work environment.
Provide comprehensive support such as welcome packs, accommodation (if possible), training and ongoing support to help make the transition smoother for overseas staff.
He said: “[We] went down the sponsorship route, obtained a licence and sponsored chefs from India.
“It is relatively easy, took five weeks to get sponsorship licence then set about going to India to recruit some chefs.
“[We] had 100 chefs, [whittled them] down to 10. Asked them to do a cook off with our fish pie (the biggest selling dish) and a signature dish of their choice. [By] Christmas this year, all 10 of those chefs will be in Provenance Inns kitchens.”
When it comes to the length of time the staff work at the business, Cartledge highlighted what he did.
Importance of commitment
Benefits of sourcing talent from overseas:
Diverse skills and experiences with overseas staff bringing a fresh perspective and a variety of skills and experience to the team
Enhanced cultural diversity helping to promote a multicultural environment, aiding the enrichment of workplaces and fostering innovation.
Strong work ethic as overseas staff are often highly motivated and eager to prove themselves, resulting in a positive contribution to the overall team dynamics
He said: “We went for a three-year visa, which means team members are with us for three years if we have a decent work balance etc, we were confident our proposition was strong enough.
“Most people’s biggest fear is you spend all this money recruiting someone and they leave. We haven’t had any leave, so far for us, it’s going pretty well.
“But the most important thing is the commitment to it.”