A note from Taste Hospitality Managing Director Caroline Wright:
It’s been three months since Covid-19 stopped our individual worlds and put the brakes on the hospitality industry. Like a slow-moving scene in a horror movie, I watched my recruitment business, which I had worked so hard to build over 12 years, decimated overnight.
I can guarantee you that I and my team have experienced every emotion on the spectrum going.
I personally have felt shock, denial, panic, novelty of time on my hands, frustration – when will it end? Then, a sinking feeling of resignation and acceptance.
Hospitality is so dependent on people; it cannot function effectively without them; people are the beating heart of hospitality.
Covid-19 has hit industries hard but not with the full blown force it has whacked hospitality and tourism.
In the last three months we have watched staff, of which many are long term friends, furloughed and redundancies go sky high. There have been some casualties of establishments going to the wall already with sadly more to come.
This is an unprecedented time of change; we don’t claim to have the answers, does anybody?
What I do know is I have to keep the faith, especially when the days’ optimism wanes.
This is an industry founded by entrepreneurs. It’s also historically proven it is highly adaptable to change.
And we do have challenging times ahead of us with Covid-19 and then Brexit.
The team at Taste are used to working in a high-pressured environment. I launched my business at the height of the 2008 economic crash, along with no access to recruiting for high end hotels and restaurants due to contract commitments, and I survived to tell the tale.
Since the Government ordered all hospitality businesses, bar those in ‘essential retail,’ to lockdown on 23 March 2020, we have seen many pubs, cafes, hotels, restaurants innovate, adapt and take time out to reflect.
Some are serving key workers; communities have come together; others have adapted into retail (selling produce exclusive to the hospitality industry) along with pick-up and take-away services; chefs have opened up their culinary delights to Joe Public with ‘at home’ step-by-step restaurant quality recipes and others have shut their doors, taking a long well-earned break.
If you, like me, are dreaming of the day hospitality returns but for now your feet are firmly on the ground, then I urge you to get in touch. At Taste, we totally understand that you may not be ready to work with us in this present moment but we’ll do all we can, anyway we can, to help.
We love talking about food and drink, hotels and that day we were able to meet for a glass of wine (or two). We can also help you navigate recruiting during these difficult times and understand this is the time where we need to be completely flexible to support our clients. Get in touch by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
At the other end of the scale candidates may be thinking: ‘How do I apply for a job when everything has stalled?’
Our advice is simple: Be prepared for the comeback and start with selling yourself via your CV. Let us take a look and we will provide as much help and guidance as possible. Send your CV to email@example.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
We can also offer advice on other useful tools to use and we are here to do what we can in assisting you in finding the right role.
We have time right now to have those conversations and it’s the perfect time to talk.
We are keeping our finger on the pulse with new staffing guidance – especially health and safety requirements. We have extensive networks and long-standing relationships that will help us react on our clients and candidate’s needs when opportunities re-emerge.
The good news is lockdown restrictions are beginning to ease. Sadly, international tourism is precarious at present however it makes me happy to say that it is anticipated that stay-at-home vacations will explode this summer and autumn and we wholeheartedly want this for all of our clients and candidates.
With warm regards,
Why do I need a CV?
A great CV is a powerful tool. It’s your first point of contact with a recruitment agency or a potential employer for a specific role. Your CV, written to its best, should truthfully sell your experience and highlight your achievements. It could be the difference between securing that interview and sadly being overlooked.
We’ve ploughed through hundreds of CVs and would be happy to help and offer guidance and our expert advice. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do what we can to support you.
Can I do an online interview in my slippers?
Congratulations! You have been selected for an interview. And, absolutely yes! You can show up online to your interview wearing slippers. We, at Taste, are renowned for wearing ours. We have been interviewing online for years. We ask one request though – Please remember to change out of your PJs and dress to impress us or your potential employer.
Whether you’re a Commis Chef fresh out of college and looking to find your first opportunity in a professional kitchen or a seasoned Hotel General Manager with 20 years plus experience, taking a bit of time to prepare for your upcoming interview or trial can make all the difference.
Thorough preparation will also help you stand out from the crowd and can also help settle nerves.
Some studies indicate that interviewers make up their minds about candidates in the first five minutes of the interview – and then spend the rest of the interview looking for things to confirm that decision.
Our trusted guidance and experienced backgrounds on client to candidate matching skills will help ensure both parties are happy with their partnerships to support securing long term roles.
We’ve put together this list of helpful tips and tricks based on years of feedback from clients and candidates alike to help you prepare and ace your interview whether that be by telephone/skype, formal or informal face to face interview or working trial. Take a look at our tips here.
The importance of having a strong LinkedIn profile –
In the modern world most recruiters will use social media as a means to a first impression often prior to an interview – A good profile with an accurate overview of your career history that matches up to your CV not only shows you have a professional persona online but also means the interviewer is likely to trust you more (people can write anything on a CV however are less likely to put false information about companies they have worked for and positions online). We all know how important first impressions are and this can change the feelings of a perspective employer either negatively or positively before you even get in front of them, let’s make sure it’s positive.
- You can gain proof of your skills, talents and work ethic – Previous employers or colleagues are more likely to leave a review or testimonial on a strong LinkedIn page than on a page which is infrequently used and not well thought out; again these testimonials can go a long way in making a good first impression to prospective employers and will give them more assurance that you are someone who would be valuable in their team
- It helps you gain exposure to prospective employers and recruiters
- It’s a good way to show prospective employers a bit more about your personality; perhaps you’re a keen fundraiser for charities, have interests in supporting wellbeing and mental health in the work place, perhaps you like to keep up to date with current affairs or you’re an avid gym goer – following groups and pages within your career field and personal interests gives a good impression of your interests in work and non-work related activities
What are the main topics to show in your in your profile?
Up to date information about your career and skills – Be sure to have your recent job title, relevant work experience, qualifications and corresponding timeframes all correct on your profile. Make sure this is clear and has no chance for discrepancies as it is so important this information matches with your current CV which you are using for job hunting and that the information is accurate and clear (often we see profiles where an individual is working for two employers at the same which can happen if you’re a freelancer or have two part time jobs) explain this. You don’t want an employer to be confused about your background, or worse, think you’re being dishonest about your employment – this will be a red flag right away.
- Above all, be truthful – Some of us can also fall into the trap of having false claims of expertise… for example exaggerating our job titles or responsibilities or skills “Language Skills: French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, Swahili, Latin…” do you really speak all of these fluently? Impressive if it’s true… but please remember you may be questioned on these further down the line by producing certificates or by way of references etc if you are seen to be bending the truth you won’t come across as a trust worthy employee
- Information is key, just not too much – There is a fine line between too much or not enough information. Some people have profiles which are very vague, some go on and on, ensure your profile is relevant (we don’t need to know about your babysitting job for your neighbour 20 years ago unless it’s appropriate to your current career or responsibilities)
- Header – The very first thing someone will see on your profile is your headline and the first two lines of your summary section. If you don’t grab their attention, they’ll click away and the opportunity is lost. You have 120 characters in your headline so use this to tell people who you are and what you do.
- Photos – We can’t stress enough the importance of appropriate photos. Choose a fairly recent photo that looks like you and isn’t highly edited or photoshopped – no snap chat photos with doggy ears please, keep it simple and professional.
Use a high-quality photo with good resolution, using a dark gloomy photo is not only difficult to see but gives the impression of not really making an effort.
Be the only person in the photo – you want to stand out and want employers to know who you are and remember your face. Save team or group photos for your banners if you like.
- Get someone else to take the picture for you – It’s fine to use a photo taken with a mobile phone but best to steer clear of a selfie. Ask a friend or colleague instead — it only takes a minute and it can make a big difference.
- Ensure you choose the right expression – Generally speaking, smiling is the best approach as it helps to put potential employers at ease and make you look more approachable and friendly. However, be aware this is your opportunity to create your own personal brand, therefore if you consider your brand a little more serious, a plain and professional expression within a photo is also acceptable.
- Choose the right background – Busy backgrounds with too much going on can be distracting, that’s not to say you need to stand in an empty room however a natural or painted wall is perfect. You can use photos of your work or workplace in your banner photo instead.
- Choose suitable banner photos – Banner photos are a great way to add some colour and interest to your profile; you could show off your workplace, logos, or perhaps some of your own work. You can also use things like sky lines of your favourite place or where you like or a shot of some nice scenery or perhaps a team photo
- Choose what to wear – Every workplace has a different vibe when it comes to the dress code, and your profile picture can help potential employers get a feel for that vibe right away. You don’t want to be over or underdressed, so try to pick something appropriate for your current work place or places you would like to work. Also a work uniform or business attire is also acceptable.
Why is honesty so important?
If you aren’t honest, somebody will eventually find out – When they do, this can cost you a job opportunity and bad news can travel fast, especially in the close-knit hospitality industry. Don’t bend the truth on your resume; if you didn’t do it, don’t post it. If you ‘kind of’ did it, however exaggerated to make it sound better, don’t do it. Employers value trust and honesty; skills can be taught and developed over time – we’ve seen many a “less qualified and less experienced” candidate land a job because they have come across as very honest and genuine.
Are recommendations useful?
Yes! They’re so important – The more people you have worked with who say good things about you, the better. If an employer feels positively about you after your interview they may re-visit your profile on LinkedIn to see what other people say. If this supports their thoughts about you, they will feel more confident and be more likely to offer you the job. Equally if an employer has any red flags following an interview (which can happen as we are all nervous and may miss things about our skills during the interview) these things may be included on your profile or asked for during a recommendation and can totally turn round a decision if they are shown to be there.
Following and engaging with companies
I’m sure you’ve heard of the phrase “it’s not what you know but who you know’ and it does help to have connections on LinkedIn within your field. If you have a strong profile and a good presence online and come across well during your communications, you just never know who may be watching and what opportunities can come from that. It can also help you to research and find companies who you might like to work for in the future and keep you in the loop with current market trends and competition
Other important information
- Spelling, grammatical errors and typos – When posting content or communicating to an audience, remember it is a professional networking platform, so avoid using slang abbreviations e.g. such as “u” instead of “you” – you’d be surprised how many people treat LinkedIn like it’s Facebook!
- Keep your statuses and comments positive – No political rants and please don’t tell everybody how bad your work place has become. Keep your posts specific and positive. Posting a link to an article that adds value to your industry is a great idea.
- Use the platform to connect with people – Don’t use the platform only for job hunting. Use it to connect with other people; it’s a great way to meet new people, learn from them and to give them the opportunity to learn from you. In the future, when you are job hunting or looking for new clients or customers, those authentic relationships you formed may come in handy.
- Try to respond to all private messages if you can – If something isn’t of interest to you right now it could be in the future or that person could be. A nice polite response is always welcome and often remembered and can help stop you getting inundated with the same sales pitches over and over.
- Don’t post too much personal information – LinkedIn isn’t Facebook or Twitter – it’s a professional network. A good rule of thumb is to not post anything on LinkedIn that isn’t related to business. Keep it professional. This doesn’t mean you can never post anything of a personal nature, it’ good for employers to see a bit of your personality shining through but limit it and consider your audience on LinkedIn before doing so.
Be the first to hear of new jobs and opportunities – please email your CV to email@example.com and we can make sure you are kept up to date with matching roles and vacancies as and when they go live.
Shockwaves and the feeling of trying to steer a boat through stormy waters has sent the Taste team through a variety of up and down emotions over the last three months. We have tried to connect through zoom meetings, quizzes, as a team and with our peers in the industry. We’ve even shared our woes and successes and our cooking skills on the Taste social media channels.
Taking care of our mental health alongside our physical health is something very dear to us here. It is one of the reasons Caroline sits on the Northern Board of Hospitality Action, our industry charity.
Lately, our full team, including our mascot Barney Bobs, have been taking part in the Hospitality Action charity 20,000 Mile Hospitality Challenge, going that extra mile for UK hospitality and have collectively covered over 100 miles between us.
Every step has mattered and the challenge has helped raise much-needed funds for the surge in hospitality members facing financial and mental hardship as a result of Covid-19.
The charity has also used those fundraising efforts to source vital PPE.
To find out more about Hospitality Action and their ongoing charity work and where you can get involved then click here.
Need to talk? Pick up the phone and call: 0808 802 0282 (24/7)
No matter what your circumstances, the most important thing you can do is get in touch with them. If you’re reading this page and are worried about an issue, please contact Hospitality Action as soon as you can, and they’ll do their very best to help you.