The Grand Hotel in Eastbourne is bucking the trend for a lack of people willing to take a job in hospitality, posting record figures for job applications, work experience placement and internal promotions, following a strong recruitment drive.
In 2016, the luxury hotel on the coast, part of the Elite Hotels Group, received more than 1,000 job applications, resulting in 40 new permanent staff and more being taken on casual contracts.
The Grand has been working to develop a recruitment pipeline that begins as young as 14 or 15 by offering work experience to students during school holidays and promoting the hospitality industry as a rewarding career.
58 people have completed work placements at the five-star hotel, totalling 221 days of work – three times the amount of time given to work placements in 2015.
Nine of the people who completed work placements went on to be offered permanent or casual jobs, and there are several others who will be offered work once they have turned 16.
The hotel also employs seven apprentices, working in partnership with local colleges.
In the past eight months, 24 members of staff have been promoted internally.
Sarah Hoyle, who was appointed as personnel and development manager at The Grand in 2015, said: “I am delighted with the success of our recruitment drive this year, especially given the staff shortages that are being seen across the hospitality industry at the minute. By increasing our attendance at careers fayres and receiving exposure locally and nationally through the awards we have won, we are generating more interest in careers in hospitality and at The Grand.
“Moving forward in 2017, we plan to increase the amount of work experience we offer, take on more apprentices and develop more initiatives to celebrate our staff, such as the National Waiters’ Day event we organised for all of Eastbourne’s hotels to take part in.”