Hospitality and tourism is Britain’s 4th largest industry, employing over 10% of the UK’s workforce. The industry is now making a successful comeback, highly influenced by an increase in travel and tourism.
According to the British Hospitality Association (BHA), accommodation is predicted to grow by 32.8%, eating out by 33.5% and tourist attractions by 32.2% over the next few years. Making hospitality the 3rd fastest growing industry for jobs in the UK, after real estate and transportation, with Government’s Working Futures report predicting around 15,000 extra jobs by 2020.
KEY INDUSTRY CHALLENGES
The future’s looking bright for the hospitality sector, with social media, skills demands and advances in career progression all changing the face of the industry.
PERSONALITY – BUSINESS TRENDS
A recent survey commissioned by food critic Gary Verber found 41% of unhappy diners posted complaints on social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, while still at their tables; with a third leaving negative reviews on Tripadvisor back at home.
Top of the gripes? Service. Almost half of the respondents were put off by over-attentive waiters, while nearly a third said ‘uncaring’ waiters ruined their restaurant visit: None would return.
And, this doesn’t just concern luxury experiences. In another report a whopping 74% said customer service was the biggest influence on their dining decisions – beating value for money at 21% and food quality at 46%.
In short, employees can make or break a hospitality business.
PERSONALITY – YOUR OPPORTUNITY
“The rise of social media has changed the face of dining out forever as it’s now much easier to read about diners’ experiences – good and bad,” says Gary Verber.
This means businesses are increasingly keen to recruit staff with personalities to ‘fit’ not just their job specifications, but who are passionate about their business values and mission.
Big names like Jamie Oliver and Carluccio’s often consider personality over experience. And, an ICM study of over 900 line managers found nearly 38% want candidates to highlight personal achievements and life experience in their applications.
So, how to stand out when applying for jobs?
Well, making applications to employers whose values and missions match yours is paramount. This makes tailoring your CV so your personality shines through simpler. And, using an agency, like Angel, with in-depth hospitality industry knowledge, can help you hone your personal profile and make applications to the right places in the right way – saving you time and effort.
A PROFESSIONAL CAREER – BUSINESS TRENDS
The hospitality sector may be booming but the industry has a reputation for being low paid with poor career progression.
‘All that is changing!’, says Angel.
While elementary occupations like bar staff, cleaners and porters, account for half the jobs in the sector, according to Government’s Working Futures managers, directors and senior officials and skilled trades make up the other two significant jobs – with professional and associate professional occupations projected to see the fastest rate of employment growth.
The share of those qualified at higher levels are expected to rise from around 15% to well over 25 % of total employment by 2020.
Indeed rising consumer expectations has seen a 25% increase in the demand for skilled chefs in pubs since 2008, for example, driving up salaries. With demi chef de parties and above and senior front of house staff are getting paid as much as 10% more than last year.
A PROFESSIONAL CAREER – YOUR OPPORTUNITIES
There are huge opportunities for those wanting to carve out a career in this sector. According to Caterer.com roles are available across all levels of the industry with managerial roles such as Assistant Managers, making up 4.2% of jobs advertised over the past year.
And increasingly more successful brands like Hawksmoor or Accor Hotels employ most of their managers internally (over 80%), supporting employees to progress from entry level. While more graduate schemes are being rolled out in order to attract higher calibre professionals.
Lexington Catering ranked the ‘highest ranked company in hospitality’ by Sunday Times Best Companies 2014 awards, say: “We try as hard as possible to create jobs that people enjoy and be a company where they can settle down and build a career. It seems to be working – people tend to stay with us for a really long time.”
Creating a meaningful career in this sector can be helped by seeking expert advice. Agencies, like Angel, possess in-depth industry knowledge and can help you make informed career choices and advise on developing the relevant skills to get you where you want to go.
EXPERIENCE – BUSINESS TRENDS
A recent IPPR report revealed a mismatch between the jobs available and the courses being studied.
Remember the Young Ones advised that better apprenticeships, vocational education and careers guidance was key to bridging skills gaps in the sector. While personality is key to many roles, skills and experience can be essential.
Apprenticeships, where staff receive practical experience and time off to study on a paid basis – albeit a minimal one – are becoming increasingly common – with Jamie Oliver’s ‘transformational’ Fifteen programme a prime example.
EXPERIENCE – YOUR OPPORTUNITIES
Alongside an array of soft skills, like communication, teamwork, flexibility and commercial awareness, hospitality and leisure employers will be keen to see relevant industry experience.
Although you don’t necessarily need a degree, a relevant qualification in hospitality, leisure and tourism can prove your commitment to recruiters.
Getting the experience businesses are looking for is vital. So working alongside an agency with industry knowledge and geographic-specific expertise means you can discover ways to ensure you’re targeting your skills and training wisely, says Angel.
Plus you’re best positioned to take on temporary roles which could give you must-have experience and career honing insights.
It’s never been a better time to work in the HORECA sector. The range of opportunities available is vast and career prospects and pay are improving making this an exciting area to work and develop.