The hotel industry will today launch a charter to tackle poor recruitment practices and chronic skills shortages.
The charter, by the British Hospitality Association, has been designed with the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and nine of the industry’s leading recruitment agencies.
"Skills shortages in this industry have hit their peak this year. This is arguably the worst skills crisis we’ve ever had to face – everyone in every company is talking about it," said Bob Cotton, chief executive of the BHA, which represents 300,000 hotels.
"There is no doubt that a lack of communication at the recruitment stage does a lot of damage to the industry and, in extreme cases, results in the loss of perfectly good people at a time when we can ill-afford to lose them.
The charter includes a 10-point code of good practice. Those employers signing up to it agree to respond in writing or by telephone to all job applicants, to provide clear information about pay and benefits; to provide payment for travel expenses for second interviews and not to offer positions and subsequently withdraw them, unless they receive a bad reference.
They also agree to be courteous during interviews – for example, not taking phone calls – and to respond to all applicants after interview promptly, providing them with constructive feedback whether or not they are successful.
Employers that do agree to the charter and code of practice will be awarded a specially designed kitemark by the BHA to use in their recruitment advertising.
- The service sector, which includes hospitality, is facing the worse skills shortages of any industry, research by recruitment consultancy Reed confirms.
Some 82 per cent of service sector organisations reported a skills shortage in the past six months, followed by 74 per cent in the retail sector, 70 per cent in manufacturing and 61 per cent in the public sector.
Reed says the increases in skills shortages in the past six months are the greatest since it began the Reed Skills Index survey more than three years ago.
By Gaby Huddart