Hiring people is a challenge for any hospitality business, so it’s worth fine-tuning your recruitment approach. But what matters most? Here, Caterer.com cover the latest tips on hiring in today’s competitive hospitality candidate market.

How do candidates search for jobs?

Hospitality candidates are very mobile. So, your search and apply process should be seamless on all devices.

You can lose candidates simply through your choice of technology. To attract applications, make sure your job ad appears on mobile optimised platforms, whether that’s your own site or that of a supplier.

At Caterer.com, we have a “candidate first, mobile first” approach, so all our services are mobile optimised. Most visits to Caterer.com and more than half the applications come via mobile, which saves the job seeker time and means more accurate delivery for you.

What are jobseekers looking for?

Jobseekers respond best to clear and honest job adverts. Start with the candidate in mind and include the elements that most appeal to the people you want to hire.

  • Job content

Candidates want to know what their job will involve day to day. Pay and hours are important, but your adverts need to give a sense of job content too. Showcase the best elements of the role, but don’t hide the reality of the job. Transparent communications will give you a better chance of relevant candidate applications.

  • Pay and conditions

Everybody wants to know what they will be paid and where they will be working, yet employers often leave these points out of their job adverts. Always include salary and a clear location with a full postcode. Adding a full postcode can increase your applications by more than 50% on Caterer.com, putting you ahead of the competition.

  • Training and development

Our recent research shows that hospitality candidates value training and development opportunities and career prospects, above salary. If you’re not highlighting what you can offer to help employees grow and learn, you’re missing a trick. Hospitality employers who invest in their people will always be preferred and attract the best talent.

  • Company culture

Hiring the right people for the culture of your business has a direct impact on their productivity and retention. This is something to consider before you create your job advert, and certainly before the interview.

Understanding the culture of your company doesn’t have to be a lengthy, complex or dull process. You can easily evaluate and test your company culture and candidate fit in a fun, accessible way with gamified tools such as Good & Co


Candidates favour straightforward application and interview approaches. Don’t over-complicate matters, or you risk losing them along the way. Keeping time to hire short will keep candidates engaged.

Our research shows that if they are deemed suitable, 40% of candidates expect to be invited to interview within a week of applying, and 32% tell us they expect to be invited to interview within three working days.


Our research shows us that 96% of candidates would appreciate a confirmation from employers that their application has been received. Yet, only 8% say they always receive one, and 20% say they never receive one. You can see why this is one of the biggest complaints that candidates have about the application process; the lack of feedback. 94% of candidates told us they want feedback even when they are not successful.

If you keep in touch with candidates throughout the application and interview process, you will be more likely to hire the people you need, now and in the future.

Why it matters

A positive and efficient recruitment process will give you the very best chance of hiring in what is a highly challenging talent marketplace. But there’s your brand to consider too.

56% of candidates say that a poor recruitment experience leaves them with a negative view of the brand they have applied to, and over half say they would then not apply for jobs with that company in the future. More than that, some 43% of candidates say they will share a negative experience with their peers and friends.

So, when it comes to your hiring approach for the year ahead, consider the right approach for both you and the candidates. Your approach could make you attractive to both potential employees and customers too.

Caterer.com is the UK’s largest hospitality job board. Find out how we can help you hire the talent you need at www.caterer.com or call 0333 0145111.