Jump onto your favourite search engine and type in ‘Is hospitality a good career?’

The results you’ll get are a mixed bag and, considering some of the news stories over the past few months (like this oneand this one2) plus cheery poll results like this3, that’s unfortunately not surprising.

But, as anyone who’s ever worked in the hospitality industry knows, those headlines are only one side of the story.

Hospitality is a wonderful industry to be part of.

It always has been, and it always will be.

This isn’t to say that, just like every other industry, hospitality doesn’t have its problems, and a few of those problems (like low pay and less-than-welcoming working conditions, for example) still need to be addressed by many employers. But the good news is that many employers are already addressing those problems because it’s more evident to them than ever that the success of their business relies on the high quality of the people who work for them. Those are the kinds of clients we talk to and recruit for every day, and because most of them are already demonstrating how much they respect and value their team members, finding the perfect team members for them has never been a problem. In fact, our candidates are delighted whenever those clients advertise a vacancy, request some short-term team members, or ask for some temporary staff to help them out at an event.

Now let’s look at the hospitality industry from a prospective candidate’s point of view.

Whenever an applicant asks us why, despite all the highly publicised ups and downs, we still believe that hospitality is a fantastic career choice – this is what we tell them:

Hospitality gives you flexibility + a better work/life balance.

With the wide variety of shifts that are almost always available, hospitality offers you a much better work/life balance than most other sectors. You’ve got the flexibility to choose the days and hours you want to work. If you’re a student, you can work on the days/times that fit around your studies. If you’re a parent, you can work on the days/times your children are at school. Unlike most other jobs, where you’re trapped in a monotonous Monday-Friday 9-5 schedule that’s set in stone, working in hospitality gives you the flexibility to make your own choices.

Hospitality won’t trap you in a box.

Other people working in other industries get stuck. They don’t have the opportunity to do anything else; they’re permanently locked inside their restrictive suit-and-tie prison.

That doesn’t happen in hospitality. When you work in hospitality, you can choose to work in whatever kind of environment you’re comfortable with. Then you can move on to a new environment without having to worry you might never be employed again.

There’s also such a tremendous amount of scope in the hospitality industry that you can easily switch between different jobs, often with the same employer. For example, you could start working in a hotel as a concierge and then move into reception, then reservations, and then into management and beyond. You could do the same in every other kind of hospitality venue, and if the role you want to progress to isn’t available, you can easily find another employer who’s offering it.

Hospitality rewards hard work and initiative.

If you’re looking for a job that allows you to stand out from the crowd, take on responsibility and progress up the ladder quickly, the hospitality industry is the perfect place for you to be.

Also, unlike a lot of other industries, the hospitality industry won’t judge you on who you know or where you’ve trained. Most people who have become stars in our industry have accomplished it from a standing start by using their passion and initiative to rise up through the ranks.

Admittedly, the most common concern people have when considering entering hospitality is salary, but the industry is addressing that now (through desperation rather than choice), and salaries are finally starting to increase across the sector.

Here’s the reality: if you work hard, get on well with customers and colleagues, develop your skills and experience and impress employers with your ‘can do’ work ethic, it won’t be too long before you’ll be given more responsibility and earn more money. It’s all up to you. There are no glass ceilings in the hospitality industry.

Hospitality is gratifying and hugely enjoyable.

It doesn’t matter what kind of hospitality work you’re doing or whether you’re working front-of-house or behind-the-scenes; you’re always providing an experience or creating a product that people will remember. You’re making your customers happy, which is a lot more satisfying than sitting at a computer shuffling spreadsheets all day.

How many other jobs can you think of where most of your time is spent interacting with your customers and providing them with a service they appreciate that will put a smile on their faces and make their day a whole lot better?

Hospitality offers a whole world of exciting opportunities (literally!)

People forget the vast number of transferrable skills that working in hospitality gives you: practical skills, customer-facing skills, negotiation skills, leadership skills, time management skills, the ability to stay focused and efficient while working under pressure… those are just a tiny handful of examples. And they’re the kind of skills that won’t just set you up for success in life; they’re the skills that every employer (regardless of their sector) wants their team members to have. Whether you decide to remain in the hospitality industry or eventually take your skills elsewhere, being able to demonstrate that ‘you withstood the heat and stayed in the kitchen will stand you in great stead with any employer.

Working in the hospitality industry gives you a tremendous amount of freedom. That’s because hospitality skills aren’t just transferable; they’re transportable. You can take your hospitality career anywhere in the world if you want to because hospitality is a global industry that’s always hungry for the very best talent available. That’s one of the reasons why there’s so much concern about the Brexit rules making it harder for overseas workers to enter the UK’s hospitality industry… because people from other countries are traditionally much more aware of the transportability of their skills than UK workers are. In the UK, the idea that you could pick up your job and move it to another country is a relatively new concept; in the rest of Europe (and many countries across the world), it’s a given.

When you work in hospitality, nothing is holding you down. Tired of London and want to head somewhere a bit more peaceful and remote? There will always be restaurants, hotels, and bars there to work in. Want to get out of the UK entirely and see the world? So long as you’ve got the appropriate visas and work permits sorted, you’ll always be able to find a job in the hospitality industry. There are few better ways to earn money and immerse yourself in a different culture while you’re travelling (or you could work on a cruise ship and keep your travelling options open?)

Hospitality attracts interesting, vibrant people.

Although there are exceptions to every rule, the hospitality industry tends to attract some of the friendliest, most easy-going people you’re ever likely to meet. You’ll work alongside people from all walks of life, all cultures, and all ages. Hospitality people are ‘people’ people and, because you’ll be working a lot more closely together and relying on each other a lot more than in other professions, you’ll quickly develop solid friendships and bonds. If you’re somebody who enjoys working in a team and can also work alone and unsupervised, the hospitality industry offers the best of both worlds.

Why do the very best candidates choose to work with Prime Agency Recruitment?

A lot of hospitality employers, and a lot of hospitality recruitment agencies, find attracting and retaining high-quality candidates a constant struggle.

That’s not the case at Prime.

We have long-standing industry experience, and we partner with fantastic clients. As a result, the very best staff and the very best candidates want to work with us.

Here, at Prime, we also take as much time getting to know our candidates as we do getting to know our clients. It’s an ethos that has made us one of London’s most trusted and highly regarded recruitment agencies, and why many of our clients have given us preferred supplier status. It’s also why, despite all the nightmare headlines about droves of people no longer wanting to work in the hospitality industry, we’ve not only retained our staff, we’re adding first-class candidates to our talent database on a daily basis.

Whether you’re a prospective candidate looking for an exciting career in a vibrant industry who’s got the talent and drive to join our team, or you’re a prospective client who’d like to find out more about our services and discuss your requirements with us, give us a call on 020 7580 4398 or email info@primerec.co.uk and let’s start talking!

1 https://www.bigissue.com/latest/employment/hospitality-staff-shortage-i-thought-theres-more-to-life-than-this/

2 https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/strip-restaurants-of-michelin-stars-for-bullying-says-union/

3https://www.bighospitality.co.uk/Article/2017/08/25/Hospitality-is-not-regarded-as-a-good-career-choice-says-poll

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