What a difference a year makes.

It’s been twelve months and three country-wide lockdowns since COVID turned the UK upside down, but the national outlook finally seems to be improving; not only are pubs, restaurants, shops and leisure facilities preparing to reopen, but the recent CGA Business Leaders Survey has some extremely positive news for the hospitality industry. (We’re feeling extremely positive about it, anyway. Even though the CGA’s hedging their bets by calling it “cautious optimism”, the glass is always more than half-full here at Prime!)

Three-quarters of hospitality businesses are planning to recruit new team members in 2021.

44% of the 726 restaurant, bar, and casual dining businesses that responded to the survey said they would be recruiting to the same, or even greater extent, than in previous years. They predict that, by July 2021, their workforces will have returned to 79% of their pre-COVID scale and eventually reach 90% workforce capacity by December.

Equally as welcome is the news that, for 71% of those businesses, employee engagement is going to be a key focus. As regular readers will know, the importance of employee engagement is something we’ve discussed a lot in previous blogs. After all, once we’ve helped you recruit the very best candidates for your business, you must have a culture in place which is supportive enough to hold onto them.  Even though the hospitality workforce shrunk by 28% during 2020, which means now there’s a much larger pool of potential prospects available (and you’ll find the very best of them here at Prime), it’s reassuring to know that operators aren’t just looking for a stop-gap solution. Instead, they are focused on making their team member’s wellbeing a priority from day one.

That’s the quality of forward-thinking that will always make the UK hospitality industry a force to be reckoned with.

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The CGA Business Leaders Survey isn’t the only encouraging news we’ve got to report.

According to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) Jobs Recovery Tracker:

“Job advert numbers stable as lockdown starts to ease.”

REC is the recruitment trade association that we belong to. It represents more than 3,300 recruitment businesses and 10,500 individual recruiters, and they just issued a press release that includes the following, very hopeful, information:

“137,000 new job adverts were posted online in the first week of March, totalling 1.33 million active job adverts in the UK.

“New postings are at a much higher level than during the first lockdown; there were 52% more new job adverts posted in the first week of March 2021 than in the first week of April 2020, and 31% more than in the first week of July 2020. With lockdown measures beginning to ease, we would expect to see further growth in new postings in the coming months.

Neil Carberry, REC’s Chief Executive, added, “These new job advert figures show just how resilient the labour market has been through this lockdown, and are a good reminder that we are in a much better place than at the height of the pandemic. We should start to see hiring activity bounce back in the coming months as more people are vaccinated and restrictions are lifted… It’s also encouraging to see sectors like leisure and retail starting to prepare to reopen.”1

Even though this job advertising increase is across all recruitment sectors, and REC acknowledges that “some regions of the UK, particularly London, are still struggling”, this is still a promising sign and goes some way towards complementing the results of the CGA survey. As Matthew Mee, Director of Workforce Intelligence at EMSI labour market analytics comments, “It’s been an interesting couple of weeks in the UK jobs market, and it’s encouraging to see some new parts of the economy re-igniting.

“The data also seems to indicate the hospitality sector is potentially starting to gear up for reopening, and whilst demand volumes are still relatively low, in percentage growth this looks significant and is hopefully a sign of things to come.”

We’re here to make your reopening a success

At Prime Agency Recruitment, we’re already geared up for your reopening. No matter how many new team members you want to recruit, from one to a dozen or even more, you can always rely on Prime to supply you with the exceptional long-term and short-term candidates you’re looking for. You can also rest assured that, even though there are currently a lot more applicants out there to choose from, we will always focus on quality over quantity. We interview new hopefuls on a daily basis, but it’s only the first-class cream-of-the-crop applicants who make it onto our extensive database.

Give our friendly, expert team a call on 020 7580 4398 or email info@primerec.co.uk to discuss your requirements and we’ll do the rest! We’re looking forward to working with you soon.


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