Employers Say Recruitment Changing In Poor Economy

Some of our islands’ biggest employers are starting their recruitment for the upcoming season.

And it appears that the poor economic conditions in the UK and across Europe are having a noticeable effect on the numbers and types of applicants.

Tresco Estate’s Personnel Manager, Emma Driscoll, says last year saw a big increase in the number of people applying for jobs and a growing proportion of those were UK nationals.

She says this reverses a trend seen in previous years of more Eastern Europeans applying.

One interesting feature has been a decline in the number of applications from Poland, and more from Hungary, the Czech Republic and Estonia, which Emma thinks could have been due to better economic conditions in Poland during 2010 and 2011.

Emma says there has also been a massive increase in applicants moving from skilled and highly paid jobs, which she described as an “upsetting” side effect of the rising unemployment on the mainland.

Emma says there is a definite trend towards more older applicants, which she thinks is fantastic as it creates a very vibrant mix of age and experience in the workforce, although she admits the student-style accommodation for seasonal workers won’t suit everyone.

But Emma says the Estate is also keen to take back former employees and many return year after year, particularly those working at the New Inn.

She says one couple from Poland are now in their 10th year at the pub.

The increased competition for positions together with the revolution in internet communications means the Estate has changed the way it recruits.

Emma says they used to organise face-to-face events in large cities like London, Plymouth and Bristol, but this is no longer cost effective and most recruitment is now done online, followed by a telephone interview, although Emma says obtaining good references is still the key step in the process.

Juliet May, who owns the popular Juliet’s Garden Restaurant, says most of their staff return year after year and she thinks this is partly linked to the poor job market on the mainland.

Juliet says they won’t start recruiting until about March but already she has many of last years workforce signed up including her head chef and his girlfriend.

Joan Shiles at St Mary’s Hall Hotel says it’s too early to determine recruitment trends for this year, although they’re likely to have a high number of recruits from Eastern Europe.

But Joan says she is also trying to find more locals to work in the hotel and restaurant and she thinks the key to this will be making shift patterns more attractive than those required from seasonal workers.