An Update from COREcruitment

Every quarter we like to analyse the sectors we work with, look for trends, industry changes and share what insights we find. Although covid is still very much with us and there are still big challenges ahead, its safe to say that 2021 is shaping up to be a more positive year! Across hospitality, retail and the service sector we saw a slow and hesitant start in January, with many businesses navigating the lockdown measures. The impact of this on recruitment was widespread with many processes being delayed. However certain positions and skill sets including Marketing, digital, HR and supply chain continued to see interest, with many businesses looking to bolster their support functions internally.  As we have neared Spring and businesses are able to utilise the road map out of lockdown to begin planning, we have seen a 50% increase in vacancies in March compared to January which is great news for job seekers. 

Our Restaurant, Retail and Pub teams have noticed many town centre or village pubs, converting their business into farm shop style/convenience stores to enable the business to continue to trade. These transitions have proven popular and many operators we speak to are considering ways to retain this aspect of their business after lockdown. As we approach Spring and many businesses are looking to build their team for the summer or prepare for new openings, our team has noticed a talent gap at junior management level, especially in the capital. Due to the financial pressure the pandemic and Brexit have created, many individuals moving out of the City or out of the UK are not looking to return and this has created more demand.  With every hospitality business looking to prepare for April and May opening, we are advising businesses to look across subsectors of hospitality and to look at core skills and motivation as key hiring points as opposed to direct sector experience. 

We are working with many new concepts and entrepreneurial businesses who have had recent investment at seed or growth stage and are taking the opportunity to expand while property is available. While property for the sector has been a difficult space, recent changes to contracts and reduced prices have given smaller businesses a gap in the market and this seems to have propelled growth! 

Non-executive search has seen a huge increase over the last 12 months and this has continued this quarter. We are finding many executives are looking to give back and support smaller operators and up-and-coming business leaders in their sector and more business are looking for mentorship, guidance and support. We have observed that NED positions in the sector have become very specific in their remit, with businesses looking to fill knowledge and skill gaps through a NED appointment, as opposed to a full time appointment. This has seen a demand for talent execs with property, finance and marketing skills who are open to taking a NED appointment. 

When looking at changes in salaries we have found that support functions have stayed relatively similar in the last year, whereas junior recruitment saw reductions across 2020 and now are increasing due to a demand in the market. Salaries for mid-level and senior management vary based on subsector. Candidates in hotel and casual dining business may notice lower base salaries with smaller business with the addition of more substantial long term incentives. For example, roles within the delivery and grocery sectors are very competitive right now and candidates with established experience can expect salary increases if moving to a growing business. Do check out some of out up to date salaries checkers:

Looking ahead to the next three months, it is going to a busy period of re-establishing the industry and recruitment is expected to be at peak. While restaurants retail and grocery have already started to see their markets pick up, the summer should present good opportunities for individuals working within the hotel, leisure and events sectors. If you would like support with your search, as a hiring business or an active candidate then please do get in touch!

Hollie Jackson - 


Date Published: 12th April 2021