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Is It Just A Matter Of Time?

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Is It Just A Matter Of Time?

by Luke Butler

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Now, this is an idea for debate.


My view as to whether or not this idea would work changes frequently, however, given the current state of the on-premise recruitment market, I believe many business owners and operators would agree that anything is worth a shot.


Let me frame how this idea originated.


Having spent eighteen years working in the Hospitality Industry, and the last two years recruiting for it, I have significant exposure to the market and how employees behave within it.


Time and time again, I have seen senior managers leaders and executives, enter roles only to leave a short time later for a myriad of good and bad reasons.


Overtly or covertly, the cause often stems from a lack of connection to the long term vision for their role or the business as a whole.


They haven’t bought in.


We know that millennials are even more nomadic than Gen X’s and Gen Y’s, and this is due to their need to explore experiences rather than work in one job for 5, 10 or 15 years like many Baby Boomers did.


Couple this opportunity-rich employment market with the fact that a large percentage of the hospitality workforce sits within this ‘wanderful’ generation, and you quickly see the problem.


So, herein lies my idea. What if, as an employer, your expectations around tenure changed in order to meet the candidate market?


What if you placed a fixed timeline on key roles in your business? What if a role had a pre-determined expiry date by which time both parties knew that a new opportunity would await? Would that keep an employee attached longer?


At the end of the agreed period, the employee could choose to stay on, seek a higher opportunity internally or look elsewhere with comfort. For the employer, the opportunity may be to promote or farewell the employee, bringing some fresh blood into the business.


I can only see positives.


The forecasted upside is that with the candidate knowing they could be changing roles on a pre-determined date, they will be more focused on the task at hand until ‘the time comes’.


For the employer, they can set out a very clear itinerary for what needs to be achieved within the engagement period and tie the desired outcomes directly to the broader business plan.


The key is engaging individuals on outcomes, rather than job descriptions. If a role is related to a project with key deliverables, you will find that most individuals will become connected to the completion of the task and see them through to completion rather than leaving early.


I am not proposing an abundance of contract roles within an organisation as the idea still works if you engage an employee on a full-time contract. As an employer, you would simply be confirming a minimum engagement from an employee. After that time, you can openly discuss next steps together.


With both parties being genuinely open about expected timelines and desired outcomes, this can only provide a better result.


I don’t believe the modern hospitality professional wants to feel tied down. Perhaps the freedom of knowing the real expectations of their employer will actually encourage employees to stay a little longer.