Guest Blog – PrivilegeHR

How to avoid HR hindrances when it comes to hiring seasonal staff this Christmas

The Christmas season is fast approaching and this time of year means big business for the hospitality sector, with festive parties and lunches taking over bars, restaurants and hotels across Merseyside and beyond.

Human Resource expert and Founder and Director of PrivilegeHR Peter Waller-Flynn shares industry advice for managing the recruitment process this December.

It is undeniable that during the festive season, the hospitality sector thrives, with customers coming in droves to eat, drink and be merry with friends, family and colleagues. But with this increased demand often comes a whole host of issues for recruiters.

Hotels, restaurants, bars and caterers can experience an unprecedented spike in recruitment during the winter months to meet ever-increasing consumer demands. In 2015, spending in restaurants and bars increased by 8.1% on the previous month and with spending on the rise again, employers often turn to seasonal staff to ensure that operations run smoothly throughout the yuletide period.

This recruitment drive can often be a huge drain on resources for small to medium sized businesses right through to corporate giants, taking a toll on workforce, time and money. A sudden inflation in job applications can be inundating for a recruiter and finding suitable candidates can be a daunting and tiresome task.

Over a quarter of people employed in the hospitality sector are under the age of 21 and when it comes to hiring seasonal staff, restaurants and bars are often faced with a flurry of young people wanting to build up their experience; however, it is important that employers look for candidates that demonstrate a genuine, hard-working ethos. Temporary staff can often lead to long term employment for the right candidate, saving the hassle of re-recruiting in the future.

There are many reasons that candidates apply for seasonal work. They may be seeking flexibility but often the applicant may be hopeful that the opportunity will transpire into full time work in the future. To avoid disappointment or confusion, it is important for employers to be clear from the offset, stating the period of employment in the advert and again at interview stage.

Staff recruitment can be a long process and this rings particularly true during the festive season when the volume of applications received by the hospitality sector rises dramatically. Getting positions out to advert out early is one quick fire way to secure additional time to manage the process and utilise resource without straining day to day operations.

Instead of traditional interview methods, employers could consider holding assessment centres or recruitment days, which often see a large number of potential employees attending an interactive session over the course of a full or half day, dependent on the volume of candidates and how vigorous the selection process is. This is a great way to see how candidates work around others, often involving tasks such a roleplay exercises or team building whilst also allowing the recruiter to see more applicants over a shorter time period.

Due to the nature of hospitality work, around 86% of employees are paid by the hour which equates to more paperwork for the employer. With advancements in HR, there are numerous payroll solutions that can offer a cost-effective way to ensure that payments are received on time and sick pay and holidays are dealt with accordingly.

PrivilegeHR works closely with businesses in the hospitality sector and is familiar with the issues that companies face year on year. Human Resource issues are often not at the forefront of an employer’s mind amidst such a hectic season but a thought-out HR strategy and the implementation of effective systems can save thousands of pounds and make the recruitment process more enjoyable for both the recruiter and the employee.

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