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Recruiting in Hamburg's hospitality sector

Hotel and catering sector turns creative amid search for new staff

Finding qualified personnel especially chefs can be difficult nowadays. Additional personnel are crucial to avoid closing a restaurant and to ensure that a business does not incur a loss. Robert Panz, Director of the Hotel Management School of Hamburg, said: “Apart from restaurant personnel, there is a lack of professional cooks at the moment.” Given the prominence of celebrity chefs on TV, this comes as a surprise. Popular celebrity chefs such as Christian Rach, Cornelia Poletto, Johan Lafer and Steffen Henssler have managed to polish up the image of 21st century chefs and make the profession more attractive. Panz remarked: “Youths want a profession with creative opportunities and new ideas are welcome in kitchens.”

New ways of recruiting

The 25hours Hotel company including the 25hours Hotel Altes Hafenamt, 25hours Hotel Hafencity and 25hours Hotel Number One is expanding at the moment. “We want to (nearly) double our workforce this year – from 600 at present to about 1,000 in 2018. That means rethinking and treading down new paths. To gain new staff, we join forces with other companies,” said Ramona Kötting, Training Manager at 25hours. Last year, the hotel held a recruiting day, dubbed, “#gehtauchanders” with the Bullerei restaurant and the NORD EVENT agency.

Kötting stressed: “We had a DJ there, live cooking and we mixed highballs. People dressed as they pleased – in T-shirts and trainers. Visitors could also hand in applications or fill out questionnaires at the event. Photographs were taken in our photo box.” Thanks to the event, 25hours hired six new employees, advertising proved effective and everyone “had fun”.

Rethinking staff retention

In early 2015, 25hours hotel created the position of “Training Manager” in a bid to retain staff. The company has also expanded further education offers. In the middle of the year, Kötting conducts a staff survey to sound out any further education needs. Security is set to play a bigger role this year. The combined measures have prompted a noticeable rise in staff satisfaction since mid 2015. “Staff who feel noticed and valued, whose needs are considered and developed, stay with the company,” said Kötting.

New webpage “Karriere-Werkstatt“

“A growing talent gap caused by demographics and reputation means the hotel and catering sector will have to grapple with this situation in the long term,” said Jürgen Gieseke, former director of the Apartment-Hotel in Hamburg. “Staff retention measures should be combined with improving the image of the sector and innovative recruiting processes,” he proposed, adding: “The spectrum ranges from job-sharing to more creative shifts especially for young mothers, who would like to return to work, to nursery schools that could be managed jointly by several hotels.”

Gieseke is also launching a new webpage with the Initiative Karriere Werkstatt e.V., DEHOGA Hamburg and voluntary caterers and hoteliers to highlight the positive aspects of the branch and to come up with solutions for existing problems. The webpage is likely to be up and running from late February. Gieseke added: “It will provide informaton about professions and career opportunities, allow people to apply and recommend ways of staff retention for caterers and hoteliers.”

Another webpage called Young Jobs Hamburg (YOJO), run by HIW Hamburg Invest, highlights professions in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region and puts jobseekers in contact with companies. More information about tourism, companies and vacancies can be found on www.yojo.de..
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Sources and further information:
www.hotelfachschule-hamburg.de
www.25hours-hotels.com
www.karriere-werkstatt.hamburg
www.yojo.de

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