The UK hospitality and leisure industry relies heavily on easy access to EU workers for many different roles. 15% of the UK workforce is made up of EU employees and in London it is as high as 40% (Lexology).
The impact is already being felt in terms of staff retention with anecdotal stories of employees leaving their jobs and returning to their home countries due to concerns about job security and what might happen post-Brexit.
With the new rules stating that people relocating to the UK from within the EU will need to earn a minimum salary of £30,000 annually, this is not within the range for some of the blue-collar roles so an additional concern is how to recruit to backfill vacant roles.
An article in the Caterer said that a no-deal Brexit could cost the hospitality industry up to £1.8 billion annually by 2024, both through additional recruitment and retention costs and rising bills for materials.
Retain current staff – explain approach for pre-existing EU employees
For current members of staff who have come from EU27 countries it is worth allocating some time to invest in a communications strategy to explain their options, post-Brexit. The UK government have said that there will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens living in the UK until December 2020 if the UK leaves with no deal or 30th June 2021 if the UK does manage to negotiate a deal.
Spend time with your team talking them through their options and discuss the current situation. Even though the situation seems to be constantly changing keep the communication channels open as much as possible so that they feel supported and valued.
Employee engagement – look after teams to make them want to stay longer
Across the whole organisation continue to invest in staff engagement to try to maintain retention levels and avoid having to backfill more roles due to the uncertainty in the market.
In London, some places have been implementing a starting wage for their staff to improve retention. Surveys have shown that employees in the hospitality industry are interested in a combination of career progression, salary and training, similar to other industries.
More creative ways to attract and keep candidates in the hospitality industry
Anecdotally we are hearing that businesses which previously used to receive applicants for roles that weren’t even available are needing to be more creative with their approach to bringing new people into the industry, running recruitment roadshows in different regions within the UK for example.
Work collaboratively across your whole business to allow staff to gain experience in different areas and build succession plans so that your team members know what their next career steps are.
The hospitality industry as a whole can work together to educate the public that entry level roles in hospitality are a route to a long-term career in the industry.
Elton Recruitment can help you find passive candidates
As specialists in the hospitality industry, Elton Recruitment understand and share the challenges that the industry is facing with recruitment since the Brexit vote more than 2 years ago. We are an independent boutique consultancy and we work with you to identify candidates to fill roles and make sure that those candidates stay with the business. We can also use our network to find potential passive candidates who may be working already in similar roles elsewhere, but could be an ideal fit for your business.
Contact Richard today for a no-obligation discussion about your needs.