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2022’s going to be the Year of Our People at Dalmahoy – Karina Glennie

Every single Dalmahoy team member – regardless of age and experience – can work towards a relevant qualification or accreditation

At Dalmahoy Golf and Country Club, staff recruitment and retention is a key focus for the year ahead. As one of the country’s foremost hospitality employers, we have a number of best practice initiatives in place to help us retain our talent. As a result, we have been able to hold steadier on the sector-wide trend that has seen hotels, bars and restaurants struggle to keep pace with recruitment requirements as the double whammy of Brexit and COVID-19 have made their mark.

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), in the period April to June 2021, there were an estimated 102,000 job vacancies in hospitality UK-wide. Despite data showing the total number of paidrolled employees in our sector increased to over 1.8 million in June last year, this figure remains well below a pre-pandemic figure of over 2 million.

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Now, more so than ever, attracting – and fostering – talent is key. In terms of hiring, we need the right approach. Active recruitment has to replace the modalities of old. Whether it’s going out speaking to school pupils about what hospitality is or committing time to mentor graduates, it’s only when we engage that we can attract and enthuse the professionals of tomorrow.

Karina Glennie, Director of Human Resources, Dalmahoy.

This is why we work closely with Edinburgh College and West Lothian College, supporting work placements and building a talent pipeline into the hospitality sector. Our collaboration with Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) West Lothian, has also helped to promote work experience and job opportunities in our locale.

Dalmahoy also offers a School Mentoring scheme through UK charity Career Ready. This two-year initiative, involving management mentorship and paid work experience, proved incredibly successful for us in 2018 and 2019, with all of the placements securing permanent positions and remaining part of our team today.

And we have signed up to the Young Persons Guarantee to demonstrate our commitment to attract the next generation of hospitality professionals.

Looking after our team once they are through the door is just as important as attracting them, and we’ve doubled our HR team headcount this year to ensure we can make that focus. Our in-house Learning and Quality Coach has been appointed to identify any skills gaps and to implement a training calendar filled with development opportunities for 2022 and beyond. We have extended our team member induction to 3 days, giving each new recruit a fuller understanding of the business as a whole. Experienced managers or dedicated team members such as our Food & Beverage Trainer take responsibility for new recruits thereafter to make sure everyone is confident in delivering the basics brilliantly, thus maintaining standards across the hotel.

Importantly, every single Dalmahoy team member – regardless of age and experience – can work towards a relevant qualification or accreditation. A Supervisory Development Programme, supported by @Training Matters, delivers Modern Apprenticeships for high potentials resort wide Providing our “Rising Stars” with the opportunity to gain an accredited qualification, whilst internally, we offer training for young people up to an SVQ level 7 in Hospitality Supervision.

In terms of remuneration, we have not stopped at our commitment to becoming a living wage employer. Reward schemes – be they through monetary or non-monetary incentives – are vital as are peer-to-peer recognition programmes. We’ve also looked at creative ways to alleviate pressure points in departments so staff do not feel overworked or under supported. Our “happy to help” system – enabling team members to work across department to build capacity at busy times – is a prime example. It has not only reduced the need to rely on external staff but has increased camaraderie across the whole resort.

ONS indicates that the labor market statistics for the year ahead are encouraging for the hospitality sector, but there is a lot of work to be done to not only actively recruit, but actively the right people as well as retaining them. If we collectively invest as a sector, I’m confident hospitality can realize its potential for long-term growth.

Karina Glennie, Director of Human Resources, Dalmahoy.