I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed a reduction in the number of skilled candidates recently. Whether this is because leisure companies are getting better at hanging on to their skilled, experienced staff (very important in a people-centric industry) or less people are choosing to pursue a career in leisure, I’m not really sure yet, but as one of the UK’s leading leisure recruiters, we’re certainly seeing the pool of job-seeking leisure professionals shrink, while demand for good leisure staff is as high as ever. Well, we do like a challenge!
This doesn’t help you if you’re looking for skilled staff to push your leisure business forward and expand, or to fill gaps where staff have moved on to pastures new. If you’re finding that recruiting the right staff for your business is more challenging than usual, then you’re not alone.
Here’s what you can do to give yourself the best chance of finding great candidates, and making sure your preferred candidates say yes to your offer.
Have a look at whether your pay offer is competitive. Check out what your competitors are paying (especially those who tempted away your last skilled worker) and see if what you’re offering stacks up. Yes, you may have been competitive 18 months ago, but things can change quickly. Recent introductions such as the National Living Wage have altered the game considerably, especially for those at the lower end of the pay scale.
Read this article about the importance of pay in retaining employees
While pay is fundamentally important to lots of employees, if you’re on a strict wage budget then it’s not always possible just to solve a problem by throwing money at it. Can you offer other things which could tip the balance in your favour?
Free membership and use of your facilities may not appeal to everyone, but if the gym is something you own and control, then it’s worth a try. Same for product based companies – can you offer a substantial discount on your products?
If you’re a big company, you could negotiate a group buying discount which you can pass on to your employees – private healthcare is popular, or store discount cards so your staff can save money on their essential outgoings.
If you’re a small company or a start-up then what about offering share options in your company as a bonus, or for longer service? This is a great incentive for staff to help make sure your business is a success, and gives the staff a reward for their hard work.
There is more demand for flexible working hours. Employers have an obligation to take seriously all requests for flexible working, and where the employer cannot or is not willing to help the employee out, then that employee is more likely to start looking for someone who can.
If you can offer ‘better’ hours, then you may give yourself an advantage when attracting good candidates. Listen to what your candidates want in terms of flexibility – maybe they just want to work fewer weekends, or have the option to leave early a couple of days a week. Some flexibility on your part may make working for your business that little bit more of a viable option.
You might like this article on why leisure staff may want to work more flexibly
If you have a great pay offer, some nice benefits, and offer a degree of flexible working then you sound like a great option for good candidates. If you’re not shouting about this, then you should be! Make sure that candidates know what a great company you are to work for. Great marketing should sell your brand and your business not only to paying customers, but also to potential employees, so get your company out there and make sure that your job vacancies get under the noses of the right people.
Are you that great candidate that leisure companies are looking for?
If you’re a leisure professional in demand, then now is a great time to move. With fewer leisure professionals chasing a high number of vacancies, you’re in a great position to negotiate, not only with your current employer, but also with potential employers.
Speak to a specialist leisure recruitment company – we know a good one! – and see where you sit in the market, and to assess your worth. Look at what other companies are paying by keeping an eye on current vacancies, even if you don’t want to move just yet – it’s a great way of seeing what’s out there.
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