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Why it’s time to encourage diversity in the hospitality industry

Diversity in hospitality is a subject that isn’t discussed often enough but it can be a tremendously strong positive when you’re building a long-term workforce. After all, the world is an increasingly diverse place so doesn’t it make sense our industry should reflect that and be as rich and varied as the customers who walk through our doors? If we want our guests to feel included, we must start by applying that same philosophy to the way we build our teams.

When we talk about diversity, we’re talking about a lot of different things: race, colour, age, religious belief, gender, sexual orientation, disability… these are all elements that make us individual, and it’s getting the right combination of individuals together that will really make your business shine.

Don’t limit yourself

Consider this for a moment. Not only is it wrong to discriminate, we’re limiting ourselves when we do. If you recruit for a role and only look at one type of person, you’re potentially ignoring a lot of candidates who may be even more suitable. That’s one of the reasons why, when you advertise a job, you should keep the job description – and your expectations – as gender neutral as possible. After all, gender diversity is as important in the workplace as it is in the outside world so getting the gender balance right is crucial. You’re far more likely to find the perfect employee if you don’t restrict your own search criteria.

Stay flexible

We’ve already discussed in a previous blog how a mixture of full-time and part-time employees can really benefit your workforce and that’s especially true in a busy 24/7 industry like hospitality. We all have different work/life commitments but that doesn’t mean we can’t be committed to the jobs we’re doing as well. Just as importantly, a flexible workforce has a lot of advantages because you’ll always have cover available when you need it. Try not to rule out candidates if they’ve got legitimate time constraints, just plan your rosters carefully and use those time constraints to your advantage.

Does diversity guarantee a more committed workforce?

As far as we know nobody’s undertaken a study to answer that question, but in our experience diversity can definitely improve staff loyalty and longevity. Why is that? Because when you encourage diversity, you’re building a team that works because of the qualities they bring to support each other. Thanks to diversity you’re not only building a stronger corporate culture, you’re building a community – and when your staff know they are part of a community, they’re far more likely to stay.

More benefits to diversity

This sounds like an obvious benefit to mention, but it’s an easy benefit to overlook…

When you hire staff from different cultures and with different abilities (and disabilities) you’re potentially encouraging more customers who share those attributes to come to your venue. If your staff are from different ethnic groups, can speak multiple languages, and understand the specialist needs of your clientele because they share those needs themselves, it will set your business apart from everybody else. Your staff will feel rewarded and your customers will feel more comfortable and be sure to spread the word. Think of it as a long-term win-win investment.

For all those reasons and more, we’d encourage you to think carefully about diversity whenever you recruit new staff. Embrace what diversity can do for you, and your workplace will be happier and more productive as a result.

If you’d like to know more about recruiting a diverse and successful team, contact Prime Agency Recruitment today on 020 7580 4398 or email info@primerec.co.uk.

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