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Catering industry suffers from most staff problems

08 December 2005

Catering businesses are being bogged down by difficult employees, according to a new report. The survey found that two-thirds (66%) of hospitality employers are forced to deal with staff conduct problems on at least a monthly basis - the worst of any industry.

On average only half the managers in other industries said they had to deal with similar issues with the same frequency.

Unsurprisingly the report, compiled by Personnel Today magazine in association with law firm Halliwells, also found that hospitality managers spend more time than those in other industries dealing with conduct problems. About three in five (61%) catering managers said they spend a lot of time dealing with conduct issues compared with a pan-industry average of only 54%.

The biggest problem was staff who failed to tell the truth, with almost nine out of 10 hospitality respondents saying they had experienced difficulties in this area, second only to retail employers, where 92% admitted their staff lied.

Other problems commonly experienced by employers in the catering sector were bullying (77% compared with the pan-industry average of 70%) and staff not sticking to dress codes.

On the plus side, catering managers were better at transforming difficult employees into model workers than the average manager across all industries.

Holly Addison, director of management recruitment and consultancy firm Addison Fowle, said: "Many people enter hospitality with few qualifications and little professional experience. There is also an ongoing shortage of people so staff are often promoted too quickly."

Common CV fibs

  • I went travelling (Instead of: I was out of work)
    Advice Look out for gaps on a CV. Were they travelling or were they out of work? If there are gaps, explore them in interview. Have they omitted to mention jobs they were ejected from prematurely?
  • I was a dairy operative and a vision technician (I was a milkman and a window cleaner)
    Advice Look out for embellishment. Unusual job titles are an obvious sign something might be amiss. Structured interviewing based on the person's experience is best.
  • I moved immediately from one position to the next (but there was a three-month gap)
    Advice Candidates will avoid mentioning unemployment by extending the date of one job into the next. Any company should verify a former staff member's employment dates.

Information supplied by Holly Addison at Addison Fowle and Paul Glen at Lister Charles

By Jessica Gunn

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