By Marisa Bidois, CEO Restaurant Association of New Zealand.
Hospitality is part of our social fabric and has until recently, been in sustained growth. But for some time, we have been desperately lacking the skilled workforce we need to support our growth.
So many of us that work in the industry know the great opportunities it can offer, both for those that enjoy life long hospo careers and for those that use it as stepping stone to other vocations.
That’s why the time is right to start telling our success stories in way that better connects with the people we want to attract.
The Restaurant Association is kicking off a new recruitment campaign that will showcase hospitality workers and business owners to give Kiwis a better understanding of what it means to work in the industry.
This campaign will give us the opportunity to share the stories of our hospo community with other Kiwis who might be considering joining the industry.
The Get a HospoLife campaign showcases hospitality professionals in a variety of roles – from bar tending, to marketing showcasing the variety of roles available.
It’s about showing young Kiwis that there’s more to hospitality than meets the eye and can offer a rewarding career and lifestyle.
The campaign features a 60 second video showcasing stories from real people working in the industry along with a range of visuals for social media, outdoor and print highlighting the exciting and varied opportunities hospitality offers.
When creating the video we talked to industry stalwarts such as Peter Gordon and Krishna Botticca who talk of the important role young people play in bringing fresh ideas and energy to their businesses. They also talk of their new role in mentoring and knowledge sharing to develop a future generation of hospitality business owners.
We also spoke with young people starting their career in the industry. From kitchen hands to trainee restaurant managers, it was so refreshing to hear their stories of finding their place in our bustling and social workspaces which offered them a chance to express their personalities and creativity.
As an industry we need to do a better job of showcasing all that’s great about a career in hospitality.
A recent survey of Restaurant Association members indicated that 79 per cent of respondents had found it difficult to recruit for junior level positions and 74 per cent for mid level positions.
We are working hard with the government on training through our HospoStart and Springboard programmes but the reality is that more needs to be done to attract people to our workplaces.
To help create our long term changes, we have a roadmap guiding us towards the industry’s revival and to a stronger more resilient industry. We know that no organisation can implement change alone so we are engaging with key industry stakeholders, including industry operators, business organisations, training providers, Unions, regional tourism organisations and more, as well as a wider stakeholder network that includes Ministers and government departments. We need the support of others and most importantly the government if we want to build a hospitality sector that is truly fit for the future.
But we also need you. We know that there are a range of incredible opportunities out there in your businesses. Filling those roles will mean we need to tell our stories in a way that connects with the people we want to attract.
Please check out the campaign by heading to our microsite, sharing our content and your own using the hashtag #hospolife.
The Restaurant Association HospoLife microsite can be found at www.restaurantnz.co.nz/hospolife