From Sheffield United to luxury hotels - how Sheffield firms are struggling to fill hospitality jobs

Bosses today revealed the hundreds of jobs they are trying to fill in hospitality across Sheffield – and problems they are facing finding the workers.

By David Kessen
Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 4:42 pm

Some of the city’s big employers gathered together at the Winter Garden, next to the Peace Gardens, and told how they are struggling to fill roles at present in work ranging from hotel housekeeping to selling half time pies at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane stadium.

They were gathered at a recruitment ‘jobs jamboree’ which attracted potential staff to the venue looking for work.

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Sam French and Molly Ahmed, from Compass, recruiting for Sheffield United at the jobs jamboree at the Wintergarden

Hotels and restaurants told how they are battling to find staff, with some even interviewing staff at the event to help move forward the recruitment process.

Hundreds of jobs available in Sheffield

Nigel Coleman, spokesman for the South Yorkshire JobCentre Plus, which organised the event said: “A huge number of organisations, some of the large pub chains and bar chains, really have hundreds of jobs that they’ve got tucked under their belt and they’re struggling to recruit at the moment because I think people are slowly returning to a life of whatever the new normal is, but actually, while that’s happening, the workforce needs to be in there behind them

"It’s essential to fill these jobs especially for a city like Sheffield. We’ve got a really brilliant offer on the table as far as hospitality’s concerned. We have a great nightlife, we have theatre life. We have great bars and restaurants and nightclubs, but all those events need people to operate them. You or I, if we’re going out for a meal or drink, we need someone to be able to service us. Those industries have suffered a lot during covid in that they lost a lot of their regular staffing that they might have had, and they’re now in the market for recruiting, and hundreds of people are required to fill those jobs.”

Emma Belwood of Amaris Hospitality.recruiting at the jobs jamboree at the Wintergarden

General manager of the Mercure Sheffield St Pauls Hotel in the city centre, Victoria Camm, said they had seen a lot of interest in the roles they had on offer at the event.

She said: "We're looking for reception, housekeeping, as well as food and beverage department jobs as we’ve seen a large increase in the events taking place. Currently we’re finding it more difficult to retain than recruit. It’s currently an employees’ market and there’s lots of competition in the area, so we are finding it hard to retain the new team members.”

Emma Belwood, who does recruiting for the hotel through Amaris Hospitality, said recruiters were also finding that potential new staff were sometimes being offered more money by their existing workers to encourage them to stay where they were.

She represents five hotels, and said she thought the Mercure Sheffield St Pauls had fewer problems recruiting than some other hotels as its central location and good transport links made it popular as a place to work.

Filip Przybysz of Tim Hortons recruiting at the jobs jamboree at the Wintergarden, Sheffield

Officials from Crown Plaza, which runs Crown Plaza Royal Victoria and Holiday Inn Express said they were looking for dozens of staff, particularly chefs at present. They were also looking for restaurant managers, restaurant assistants, bartenders and housekeepers. They had received the largest amount of interest in housekeeping roles, but were also hopeful that a number of people they had met may fill their chef jobs.

Filipino Przybysz, shift manager at the Canadian fast food chain Tim Hortons was looking for upwards of 30 jobs at its Crystal Peaks site that opened in the summer.

He said: “We’re looking for team members, managers and shift members.”

"At the moment it’s very difficult to recruit in catering. There are people unsure if they have the experience required.”

Scott Hesford and Chloe Tindall recruiting for The Restaurant Group at the jobs jamboree for the hospitality industry at the Wintergarden, Sheffield

Selling pies at Sheffield United games

Sam French and Molly Ahmed were at the event for the company Compass, recruiting for catering jobs at Sheffield United at the club’s Bramall Lane stadium.

They said they could potentially look at hundreds of positions.

Regional consultant Sam said: “We’re looking for as many as possible. It’s part time casual work.

“It’s mainly on match days, but we do other events. We’ve got jobs in bar work, chefs, kitchen porters, plate waiting, and jobs in the kiosks selling pies and beer.”

“We’ve had quite a few people sign up this morning on our computer. These will go through as applications, and there would be an induction.

Staff from the Crown Plaza were recruiting hospitality staff at Sheffield Wintergarden

“It’s really difficult to find people across the board in hospitality at present.”

Recruiting for Christmas jobs in Sheffield hotels

Hollie Magee, human resources officer from Vine hotels, said she was looking for 25 staff for their hotels in Sheffield – Kenwood Hall at Nether Edge, DoubleTree by Hilton at Norton, and Mosborough Hall in Mosborough – as well as seasonal staff at Whirlow Brook Hall and Handsworth Rectory.

She said they were looking for food and beverage staff, mainly waiters and bar staff.

She said: “It’s been good to come to this. There’s been a lot of footfall, and a lot of people have taken details.

“Three or four months ago it was very hard to recruit, but it’s getting easier now.”

The Restaurant Group, which runs venues including Frankie and Benny’s and Chiquitos, was recruiting for staff for its restaurants at Meadowhall, Don Valley Centertainment, and Parkgate in Rotherham.

Scott Hesford, deputy general manager at the Centertainment site said they were recruiting staff including chefs, bartenders and waiters, as well as management opportunities.

He said: “It’s not a specific number of jobs. We’ve got the jobs and we will not turn away good people.

“We’ve had quite a bit of interest and people applying on the website. We’ve also been doing interviews informally here.

“We’ve been pleased with the response so far.”

Chloe Tindall, recruitment consultant for TRG, said it was difficult to recruit at present, and in the past some applicants had failed to turn up to interviews.

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Holly Magee of Vine Hotels was recruiting hospitality staff at the Sheffield Wintergarden's jobs jamboree