Hospitality firms scrap CVs and target older workers to boost recruitment

10 October 2022 by
Hospitality firms scrap CVs and target older workers to boost recruitment

Hospitality employers are offering job trials to candidates without CVs and targeting older workers in a bid to tackle ongoing staff shortages.

The number of job vacancies in the sector has risen by almost 100,000 since before the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data.

More than 100 hospitality and leisure industry leaders in the London borough of Westminster launched recruitment scheme Westminster Works today (10 October).

It will see CVs scrapped in favour of on-the-job trials and accelerated training for applicants in a bid to fill a minimum of 2,200 vacancies at hotels, restaurants, bars, and clubs across the area by March 2024.

The £1m service, backed by the City Council, will focus on attracting those not currently in employment such as early retirees, parents, carers, people with learning difficulties and ex-offenders.

Jobseekers can register with the scheme on the Westminster Works website.

Participating business will sign up to a ‘Good Employer Pledge' designed to offer better job conditions for thousands of workers. Operators have promised to pay at least the London Living Wage of £11.05 per hour, offer flexible hours and a good work-life balance, support career progression and to respond to any employee concerns.

Westminster, which includes the West End, is home to 3,700 bars, restaurants, cafes and a further 4,000 leisure businesses supporting 120,000 jobs.

It is hoped the scheme, which is backed by the Mayor of London, will become a blueprint for other hospitality hubs across the UK.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "The number of job vacancies in the hospitality sector has reached record highs and this scheme could not come soon enough for those dedicated and hard-working businesses that have been poleaxed by Covid."

Older workers return to hospitality

It comes as research from shows a growing number of workers over 50 years old are taking up jobs in UK pubs, restaurants, and hotels.

More than 130,000 over-50's are now working in the sector and over 70% of hospitality employers surveyed said the rising cost of living was driving more older people to boost their income by working in the industry.

Only 16% of operators said they currently run an active returner programme for over-50's, suggesting more could be done to help people re-entering the workforce.

Luke Price, senior evidence manager for work at the Centre for Ageing Better, said employers should offer flexible working patterns to accommodate for older workers with health conditions.

He added: "To ensure age bias is minimised in recruitment, we recommend recruiters avoid using age-biased language, circulate job adverts widely and emphasise employer benefits that might appeal to older workers such as generous pension contributions."

Charity Only a Pavement Away has urged hospitality employers to hire more people at risk of homelessness. It has placed over 250 into work since it was founded in 2018 and has encouraged operators to get in touch.

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