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Oaktree Inn

Recruitment & retention toolkit – attracting the right people

Recruitment and selection of employees can be challenging and time consuming.

However, it is key to finding and keeping the right person with the abilities and attitudes that you need to grow your business and reduces the rate of staff turnover.

Advertising a Vacancy

How to advertise a post will depend on your location and what type of applicants you want to attract. Are there opportunities to promote from within to create career development opportunities? Can your staff spread the word and encourage their network of friends to apply?

For any job advertisements, remember to shout about what makes your business great and what is attractive about the employment opportunity. Don’t forget to highlight the opportunity of working and living within the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park – one of Scotland’s leading destinations and an area of outstanding natural beauty.

It is important when advertising a vacancy to consider the best approach in terms of capturing your ‘target audience’ whilst also reflecting your budget.  There are many options for advertising, some of which are free and include:

  • Social & Digital Media, such as your company website, LinkedIn, Facebook page or Twitter account
  • Local universities, colleges and schools.
  • Job Centre Plus
  • Employability Agencies
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A Diverse Workforce

Equal opportunities and protected characteristics – any recruitment process must ensure that there is no discrimination against applicants based on the nine characteristics protected by the provisions of The Equality Act 2010. It is also important that you retain all information / documentation associated with the recruitment process for a reasonable period and that it is handled and stored confidentially.

A more inclusive and diverse business will not only have a greater pool of potential employees to recruit, but will bring different experiences, perspectives and ideas to your business. To achieve on Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), organisations should take a systemic approach, including developing an inclusive culture and approaches to employment policies and practices and to address any barriers lie. Overcoming prejudice, bias and changing entrenched negative attitudes is an essential first step in taking positive action which will result in a greater pool of available workers and enable a more welcoming workplace. It is a good idea to produce a written EDI statement or policy to demonstrate the organisation takes its legal and moral obligations towards being a diverse employer seriously. It can also encourage employees to treat others equally.

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Attracting Young People

Bringing young people into the tourism and hospitality industry is an excellent way to provide a springboard for an entry level career, where young recruits can learn on the job whilst gaining valuable transferrable skills that will last throughout their career.  This in turn will continue to provide fresh talent into the industry for the future. The following steps are a good way to encourage young people to work with you.

Make connections with schools, colleges and universities – this can lead to offering work experience placements, project development opportunities and permanent employment.

Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) – this is the Scottish Government’s Youth Employment strategy to better prepare young people for the world of work. DYW Regional Employer Groups operate across Scotland to connect employers and education for the benefit of young people. Employers can offer partnership activities to education such as workplace site visits, talks and career insights sessions and teachers can book these opportunities through the DYW Marketplace.

Local Authorities Employability Teams & Skills Development Scotland (SDS) – Scotland’s national skills agency have advisors who can provide support and guidance on national and regional programmes, training opportunities and funding to help young people into work and to gain skills and experience.

Engage with the local community – working with your community will promote your reputation as a good employer locally. Consider sponsoring local activities or groups including those for young people to provide support and to contribute to community well-being.

Offer real career opportunities – highlight the career progressions available within your business and document any success stories through case-studies of employees who have followed a positive progression pathway.

Apprenticeships – Hospitality has been a long time supporter of apprenticeships, providing a system that has delivered the skilled workforce needed and supporting people to move up the skills ladder.  This can present a significant commitment by the employer to provide the support required. Apprenticeships combine a qualification with on-the-job experience. This lets people work, learn and earn at the same time. Funding can be sought to contribute towards the costs of training, via a training provider who works with the business. Full details of apprenticeship options and available funding can be found on the Skills Development Scotland website.

Apprenticeships in hospitality: Open to 17-24 year-olds, apprentices will be awarded a Modern Apprenticeship in Hospitality Services on completion of working through four key areas of a hotel (housekeeping, reception, kitchen and food & beverage).  Our apprentices are supported by their employer and training provider as well as the wider network the apprenticeship has to offer.ospiutaliotyuhos

Free bus travel – All residents in Scotland under the age of 22 are eligible for free bus travel. This can assist with the costs of a young person getting to work and can be promoted to this age group if your business location is served by bus routes.

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And Age-Inclusive Workplace

Employees of all ages should feel respected, valued and able to fulfil their aspirations and potential. Employers may hold some unconscious bias around taking on older employees, however Scotland’s workforce is ageing and for businesses to thrive, there is a greater need towards successfully recruiting and retaining older workers.

The opportunity to widen your pool of potential workforce and to draw on a wealth of skills and experience could be an asset to any business with an inter-generational workforce. Many older workers may be looking for a new challenge and to work in a different sector to where they have been employed previously. They may be looking for more flexible working, or reduction in working hours. They may be drawn by the appeal of working in tourism and hospitality to enjoy meeting and welcoming visitors from all over the world.  Building an age-inclusive culture within the workplace is an effective way to influence a positive culture, free from the impact of ageism.

Employers may also want to give some thought to supporting employees who are nearing or considering retirement. Additionally, supporting health and well-being will benefit all staff, reduce work-related ill-health and absenteeism.

Age Scotland offer a range of services to support businesses including online resources and HR consultancy support.

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Inclusive Recruitment and Employment

Over 7.7m people of working age in the UK are disabled or have a health condition and can be another source within the recruitment market while making your business a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Disability inclusion in business can bring many benefit including helping to create a culture of belonging and diversity in the workplace, enabling staff to have a positive working experience. Removing barriers for applicants will enable fewer potential employees to think ‘this job is not for me’.  Employers can support employees through making some reasonable adjustments such as

  • Making changes to a disabled person’s working pattern,
  • Providing training or mentoring,
  • Making alteration to premises (in both back-of-house and customer areas),
  • Modifying or acquiring equipment

While there may be cost implications, making these types of reasonable adjustments can be a low expenditure and retaining a trained, skilled employee is usually greater than recruiting and training new staff.

Access to Work is a publicly funded employment support grant scheme that can help anyone with a physical or mental health condition or disability to get or stay in work. Employees can apply for a grant to help pay for practical support with your work such as equipment; support with managing mental health at work; and money to pay for extra transport costs or communication support at job interviews.

Further guidance on employing disabled people and people with health conditions can be found on the Department of Work and & Pensions website.

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Supporting Working Carers

As many as 1 in 8 of the workforce in Scotland (around 270,000 people) is estimated to be juggling work with caring responsibilities and represents a significant part of the working age population. Employers are increasingly recognising that there is a need to support and retain employees who are carers.

Caring can impact on people across the whole working spectrum and can lead to a loss of valuable skills and experience from your business, resulting in increased recruitment and training costs. With an ageing population, the number of in-work carers is expected to rise. Many businesses offer flexible working or have carer’s policies in place and often small, practical changes can make a big difference.

An employee may have been caring for a long time or find themselves faced with new caring responsibilities without warning – managing dual pressures of work and home life can be challenging. Without employer support, carers may suffer from stress and exhaustion, and some could be driven to give up work if they feel it has become too much. I addition to good employment practice and retaining a healthy and productive workforce, supporting carers to remain in work delivers benefits to employers and the wider economy.

Carer Positive is a funded opportunity for employers to build a commitment to embedding a culture of support for carers. The available online self-assessment resources will enable employers to consider steps to creating a policy, implementing practical support and the option to work towards gaining recognition through a Carer Positive award.

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