We enjoy talking about all things related to hospitality recruitment agencies and try to offer as much advice as we can. Whilst we try to do so regularly both on and off our blog, we’ve come up with this post to bring some of our most commonly provided advice together in one place.
In the recruitment agency world there is a battle between each and every company to be the best at what they do in their area of expertise.
Offering a great service is the main aim, but there are many other ways that your company can make an impact. And there are ways you can keep on top of your ability as a recruitment agency in London, Bath, Glasgow or anywhere else for that matter.
We will talk you through five top ways to keep ahead of any competition you may encounter whilst trying to build up your portfolio of work and jobs.
Not long ago at all, social networking in the business world was considered a sticky subject and more of a time-consuming pain. That could not be any different to how it is viewed now.
Now, you will struggle to find a company or business that doesn’t have a social network standing, whether it is on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn or being active on all of them.
It is becoming more important by the day that you should have a social media presence; it is basically a must that you should be involved.
The reality is that over 100 billion minutes a month are spent with people using social media – it is only common sense to start using these to promote yourself and your business. Think about how many people could view your page (which could lead to viewing your website) if that many minutes per month are used on social media sites.
Social media is now a huge part of everyday life and plays a tremendous part in how people interact with each other.
The fact that the older generation have started to use social media then the impact that it has already made on the younger generation is essentially irreversible.
Being active on a number of different social media gives you a few different ‘voices’ and gives you the ability to communicate with your fans and followers in a variety of ways, thus showing them that you are more than just a brand or company.
If you do more than just promote yourself, like sharing off-topic, but fun, articles or interesting images / videos you can show people that you are about more than just making sales. Showing this can be really helpful further down the road.
Once you have built up a good trust with your followers, you can be sure that next time they need something you offer then you will be at the top of their list for who to contact first. People tend to use services of people they know and trust, it is human nature; become friends and followers and reap the rewards.
The vast majority of the United Kingdom will have regular access to the world wide web and will use it all of the time. With it being accessible 24 hours a day and seven days a week, people always have that opportunity to find out what it is they need to know, especially if it is when you or your company are not available (during closing hours, for example).
Or if they phone you, you may not answer due to any number of reasons; but with a website they can find out what they need to know without speaking to anyone, and they can contact you any time by leaving a comment or sending an email for your convenience to respond to as soon as possible.
As a form of advertising and promotion, it is much cheaper than using leaflets and posters. When you have new things to advertise or you have changed your details (phone number, for example) then with a website it can be done there and then with a minimum amount of fuss.
If you have leaflets and posters, then these will need to be removed from circulation and new ones will need to be designed, printed and then distributed, taking up a lot of time that could be used in a more productive manner.
Still use leaflets, posters and newspaper advertisements, but use them as a side promoting system; they can be there to give a little push to people to visit your website where they will find out what they need to know, and in detail.
A company website also offers convenience to the consumer, in that it is a whole lot easier to browse on the internet for any information you require than it is to get in your car, drive to a location and ask questions; that is extremely time consuming.
By offering this convenience, you are ultimately giving your customers a higher level of satisfaction and value.
Featuring a section on your website that entertains your readers – advice, tips, what not to do, blog posts – will keep them interested and will help them to remember you more. Keeping at the head of the customers memory is the key to success.
Having an ‘About Us’ section gives you the opportunity to tell potential customers and admirers of your website exactly who you are, what you do, your experiences and why they should trust you to do their work. Many people do research on a certain industry and companies before even leaving their homes, so make sure that you make yourself sound appealing.
As a company, do you take the time to ask your customers how they feel about the service you provide? And if you do, what do you do with the responses you receive?
It is extremely important that you understand what drives your customers and clients to give you the feedback they do; this will help you provide the service that they are expecting.
If a customer suggests you do something a certain way and then you proceed to do it and it works, then that person is going to be happy with themselves, and you, and your company will definitely go up in their estimation.
Being proactive in your communications with people and helping them is important. Regular updates of your website with relevant information and news keeps customers involved; if they don’t find information that they are looking for on your website then they could likely to go to a competitor to get their answers, meaning a negative impact on your business.
Consider your customer-facing staff – how they feel, plus their views, will have a direct bearing on how they interact with customers. It is hugely important to engage with your staff and communicate actively with them.
If your staff are extremely well informed, they will display this confidence when communicating with the customers. Sadly, often communication drops as it is not seen as a high enough priority.
Customer service has always been, and will always be, an important factor in selling your product and / or services. Remember, it is likely someone will choose you over a competitor if your customer service is of a higher standard.
Ongoing training methods are a fantastic way of staying as qualified as possible; this is where you go on training courses whenever there is a change / update of technology or legislation.
Because these are constantly evolving and being updated then it is very rare that anyone is ever fully qualified.
Regular training updates is a way of keeping your employees keen and interested, as well as keeping them qualified, meaning they are less likely to look for another job as you are keeping them happy. Obviously, any training must be relevant and transferable to the working environment.
Keeping any qualifications up-to-date is essential. For example, a first aid qualification expires after a certain length of time, so attending a refresher course is a must, otherwise you will have to do the entire course all over again if you let it expire (which comes at an expense and takes up more time).
Anyone looking for work needs to keep proof of their qualified status, in the form of certificates. An employer is always more likely to employ someone with relevant experience and qualifications. Even if money is tight, paying for your own courses can be worth every penny if it gets you that job. For example, having past experience in catering recruitment agencies will stand you in good stead to someone with no kitchen experience whatsoever.
Maintaining a high standard of knowledge is important, otherwise it becomes less useful and will gradually slip from your mind.
Ongoing training can be expensive, but in the end it works out for the best for your company as it keeps you ahead of any competitors. Don’t be fooled by single-event training, this is more for short-term gaps, like inductions or raising awareness of anything important.
Great customer experience has always been an important factor, but never more so than now. In the current climate, customers have more choice than ever before when it comes to choosing a service / product; that means to get attention from them you will have to provide excellent experiences for them.
The experience a customer has is made up of all the times the two of you have interacted, whether that’s via email, telephone or face-to-face – as a result, this forms the view they ultimately have of you.
Many interactions offer opportunities for companies to learn more about the customer’s needs and preferences and to strengthen the relationship.
Failing to amass as much knowledge as you can about your market leads to missed new product opportunities and annoyed customers. On the flip side, good knowledge helps you predict customer needs sometimes before they’re even aware of them.
Do not be afraid to study competitors that are recognised as fantastic service. There is nothing wrong with seeing what they do, but don’t stop there – network at conferences and events to learn what others are doing.
Converting good customer experience to fantastic, unforgettable customer experience needs deliberate and consistent action from many people.
An effective approach to getting this is to focus on a certain area until you get the results, and gain momentum and credibility, whilst always keeping the long-term goal in mind, but getting short-term success.
Great customer experience is something that cannot be copied, matched or lowered – like prices of products – it is one of the few remaining ways to gain a competitive advantage, so use it.
Here at itk Recruitment, we strive to give our customers and clients the best service they can possibly receive. Regardless of if they are experienced in our industry or just starting their adventure, we will look after them as best as we can.
This can lead to not only them being extremely happy – but they could tell friends / family / colleagues about us, which is only a good thing for us.
If you want to get involved in the hospitality recruitment sector or with a chef recruitment agency, then feel free to contact us through this link, which has email addresses, phone numbers and address and directions to our office in Bristol.
Or if you know of someone with a hospitality / chef / catering background that could be useful to us and the work we do then recommend them to us via our referral scheme and earn yourself a few extra pounds if they are successful in securing a job role.