Maximising untapped talent by Jill Whittaker

7th February 2020

Maximising untapped talent by Jill Whittaker

Attitudes towards careers are constantly evolving. New research has revealed perceptions of jobs in hospitality are changing, while there has been a shift away from “traditional” career pathways. These emerging trends are presenting new and exciting recruitment and retention opportunities for hospitality employers.

We all know the sector has battled outdated perceptions and a lack of understanding over what it can offer in terms of career development, satisfaction and reward. As a result, a number of barriers have prevented new talent from entering the industry.

However, change is afoot as these perceptions start to shift. Previously seen as a stopgap, attitudes towards hospitality careers are moving in a positive direction. Recently, HIT Training published a report entitled Don’t Waste – The Future of Hospitality, which found more than three-quarters (76%) of parents who responded and more than half (55%) of teachers believe hospitality offers a long-term career route that can help young people develop lifelong skills.

Parents and teachers alike thought there should be a greater focus on the hospitality sector in schools, with more than four-fifths (86%) of respondents wanting to see food subjects on the curriculum, while almost two-fifths (38%) of teachers believe schools don’t provide enough advice about careers in hospitality to meet employment demand.

Showcasing opportunities

It’s encouraging to see such positive perceptions of the hospitality industry but work remains to convince more than one-third (35%) of parents who believe hospitality careers have antisocial working hours and more than one-quarter (26%) who say it’s a stopgap between school and university.

We know parents and teachers have a big influence on young peoples’ career choices. Our research also shows pupils are deciding their chosen career paths at a younger age. To attract the next generation to a career in hospitality, we need to reach pupils and parents earlier. This presents a huge opportunity for employers to shine a spotlight on the industry and showcase the roles and progression opportunities available to change any negative perceptions.

Key ways to achieve this include creating meaningful work experience placements and forging stronger relationships with primary schools to offer first-hand hospitality experiences. Another option is to provide more sector-specific information to schools and parents instead of grouping it with advice from other sectors.

Capitalise on a shift in career routes

Another key career trend is a shift from “traditional” career pathways. A few decades ago career paths were more linear, with people likely to stay at one company for longer. Society has moved away from the “job for life” mentality, with people increasingly looking to have more than one career and learn new skills along the way. Job-hopping is the new normal, especially for millennials, with three-quarters of them believing constantly changing jobs has advanced their career.

To tap into this changing work pattern the industry should view part-time workers and the gig economy differently. Employee benefits such as flexible hours and training could harness and nurture this talent pool and convert them into full-time staff. It’s also important to maintain contact and communication with part-time staff who leave the business or sector – you never know when they might return or recommend a workplace to others.

It has never been more important to take action

Now is the time for hospitality employers to nurture these changing attitudes towards careers for the greater good of hospitality – especially as the growing labour shortage threatens the future of this vibrant industry. In fact, at any one time there are 100,000 hospitality vacancies and, as a sector, it has the highest proportion of “hard to fill” positions.

To download our report, Don’t Waste – The Future of Hospitality, click here

Jill Whittaker is managing director of HIT Training

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Privacy Policy

The Recruitment Room is committed to protecting the privacy of our candidates, clients and users of our website and services. This policy sets out what personal data we collect from you and how we process and protect that data when you use our website or services. We will only use your personal data in accordance with the terms of this statement.

Any usage below of ‘we’, ‘us’ or ‘our’ is a reference to The Recruitment Room Ltd and The Recruitment Room.

We may update this policy occasionally. If we make any changes to our privacy policy, we will post the updated policy on our website. We therefore encourage you to visit our website from time to time in order to keep up to date with the terms of the policy and any potential changes. Amendments made to the policy will not jeopardise the protection and privacy of your personal data.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be applicable law in the UK from the 25th of May 2018. Your new rights in accordance with GDPR are included in this policy but will only apply once the GDPR comes into effect on the 25th of May.

Personal information we may gather from you

As a recruitment business we must process personal data (including sensitive personal data) in order to provide recruitment services to our clients and candidates. In doing so, we act as a data controller.

You may give your personal details to us directly, such as on a CV, an application or registration form, via our website or by corresponding with us by phone, email or otherwise. Personal data that we may collect includes:



email address

phone number



employment history




Please note however, that this list is not exhaustive.

Depending on the nature of the role that you have applied for or that we have offered you, we may need to collect personal sensitive data. Under the General Data Protection Regulation this includes information about your health (for example details concerning any sick leave you may have taken during previous roles), information about any disability and details of any offences you may have committed or are alleged to have committed.

Personal information from other sources

We may also collect your personal information from another source such as a jobs board, personal recommendations or LinkedIn.

Do you have to provide us with personal data?

You may refuse to give us your personal and sensitive personal data. You also have the right to ask us to delete, change or stop processing your data that we already have (see below in what circumstances). If you do not provide us with personal or sensitive personal data however, it may restrict our ability to provide you with the recruitment and other related services that you have requested.

Purpose of processing and legal basis

We will collect your personal data (which may include sensitive personal data) and process that data for the following purposes:

To provide you with work-finding services to facilitate the recruitment process;

to assess your suitability for a position;

to tailor resources and services according to your preferences;

to maintain our business relationship, where you are a candidate, client or a user of our website;

to perform administration and operational functions.

The Recruitment Room must have a legal basis for processing your personal data. The legal bases we rely upon to pursue our processing purposes are:

Our legitimate interests in providing you with our services. Such interests can however, be overridden by your privacy interests; legal obligation in some cases, where it is necessary for us to meet our legal or regulatory responsibilities; your consent to data processing for the activities not covered by our legitimate interests, which we will obtain from you from time to time.

An example of a situation where we would rely on consent is when we ask for permission to introduce you to a client; contractual obligations to which you are subject. This includes situations where we are negotiating or have entered into a placement agreement with you or any other contract to provide services to you.

Legitimate interest

Where The Recruitment Room has relied on a legitimate interest to process your personal data our legitimate interests is as follows:

To offer you the tailored and efficient recruitment service you expect of us.

As a recruitment business, we introduce candidates to clients for permanent and temporary employment as well as offering clients’ vacancies to candidates. In order to do so, the exchange of personal data of our clients and candidates is essential to our operation. In order to support our candidates’ ambitions and to assist our clients with their resourcing needs, we also require to keep a database of client and candidate personal data. Furthermore, to maintain, expand and develop our business we need to record the data of prospective candidates and client data.

We want to offer you a tailored service that is customised based on the information that you provide us with. We also want to offer an efficient service, which means that we need to use your data for payroll and other administrative activities.

Third Parties

As a recruitment business we may disclose your information to third parties where appropriate. The Recruitment Room may share your information with the following third parties:

Our clients, in other words, prospective employers.

Payment intermediaries such as an umbrella company.

Pre-employment screening companies.

Government and law enforcement authorities.

Outsourced IT and document storage providers, for example servers and cloud-based data storage services.

Third party service providers, such as lawyers, accountants and technical support.

Any third party that we may share your data with must ensure the security of that data. Third parties are also obliged to only use your information for the purposes we have outlined. We will not pass on sensitive data to third parties without your consent, unless we are legally required to do so.

Overseas Transfers

The Recruitment Room may transfer only the information you provide to us to countries outside the European Economic Area (‘EEA’) for the purposes of providing you with work-finding services. We will take steps to ensure adequate protections are in place to ensure the security of your information. The EEA comprises the EU member states plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

How long we store your information

The Recruitment Room will retain your personal data only for as long as is necessary. Different laws require us to keep different data for different periods of time.

The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003, require us to keep work-seeker records for at least one year from (a) the date of their creation or (b) after the date on which we last provide you with work-finding services.

We must also keep your payroll records, holiday pay, sick pay and pensions auto-enrolment records for as long as is legally required by HMRC and associated national minimum wage, social security and tax legislation.

Where we have obtained your consent to process your personal and sensitive personal data, we will keep your data for 2 years after the last meaningful contact with you. Upon expiry of that period we will seek further consent from you. If consent is not granted, we will delete the personal data that we hold on you.

Your rights

Please be aware that you have the following data protection rights:

The right to be informed about the personal data we process on you;

The right of access to the personal data we process on you;

The right to rectification of your personal data;

The right to erasure of your personal data in certain circumstances;

The right to restrict processing of your personal data;

The right to data portability in certain circumstances;

The right to object to the processing of your personal data that was based on a public or legitimate interest;

The right not to be subjected to automated decision making and profiling; and

The right to withdraw consent at any time.

Where you have consented to us processing your personal and sensitive data you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time by contacting our data protection officer (see below).

Complaints or queries

If you wish to complain about this privacy policy or any of the procedures set out in it, please contact our data protection officer Carole Williams at

You also have the right to raise concerns with Information Commissioner’s Office on 0303 123 1113 or at, or any other relevant supervisory authority should your personal data be processed outside of the UK, if you believe that your data protection rights have not been adhered to.

The Recruitment Room

Tel: 0113 322 0660