NLW has minimal impact on hospitality's recruitment plans

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

The National Living Wage has not had as much of an impact on recruitment as predicted according to our survey
The National Living Wage has not had as much of an impact on recruitment as predicted according to our survey

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The introduction of the National Living Wage is having less of an impact on the recruitment plans of the majority of small businesses in the hospitality industry with 29 per cent actually increasing salaries to help retain staff.   

Claims the Government’s plan to raise the hourly wage to £7.20 for over 25-year-olds in April would lead to restaurant, hotel and pub owners cutting staff or scaling back on recruitment​, have so far remained unfounded with 68 per cent of business owners and managers saying it has not been responsible for changes to staffing since being introduced.

“We are paying London Living Wage and the higher salary (more than £2 per hour more) is not such an important decision maker as you would expect it,” said the manager of one London hotel responding to a recruitment survey by BigHospitality and BigHospitality Jobs​.

The majority of respondents (48 per cent) also reported a staff turnover of less than 20 per cent over the last 12 months while just 5 per cent said it was very high (more than 60 per cent).

Recruitment problems

However, recruitment does remain an issue across the industry. Of the almost 300 people surveyed, 63 per cent were in the process of finding new staff to help grow their businesses and 44 per cent said recruitment problems were hampering business growth.

A lack of skilled candidates is considered the main barrier to successful recruitment, cited by 59 per cent of respondents. Although salary was considered a useful way of retaining staff, it was not as much of an issue in recruitment. Salary was only deemed to be a barrier to recruitment among 18 per cent of respondents with location and work-life balance figuring less important - at 13 and 9 per cent respectively.

Hospitality businesses forced to adapt roles to tackle skills shortage

Chef is the hardest position to fill according to 56 per cent of respondents while front-of-house was deemed second hardest at 29 per cent. 

The survey also found that many businesses had introduced training schemes in the last year to equip staff with the skills they need and aid retention. 


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