The monthly ONS vacancy figures have seen a decline in the number of hospitality vacancies, with 158,000 vacancies recorded in the quarter from July to September 2022, a decline of 8.8% compared with the 173,000 vacancies in the from April to June 2022.

Conor Shaw, CEO of workforce management specialist Bizimply, said:
“While vacancies still represent a huge challenge for the sector, the drop reflects our experience that some operators are using technology to manage their workforce a little better, and maximise the benefits to the business of the workforce available.

“An employer trying to run their businesses with 10% vacancy rates needs their existing staff to be 10% more efficient, and every employee willing to work an extra shift helps to relieve the immediate challenge for employers, while employees need to know that they can fit work around other commitments.

“The recruitment crisis is already stretching wage budgets, so employers don’t always have the option to increase pay significantly for entry-level staff working front-of-house and kitchen shifts. However, it’s important to understand employee motivation at this level.

“Many of the businesses we work with rely on part-time staff, including team members who combine work with their studies, or who have childcare or other commitments. For these employees, there is the potential to take home a little more from every shift they work, through the increases in the minimum wage and the National Insurance threshold introduced earlier this year.

“Businesses that have robust workforce management systems in place can input changes such as new rates of pay, tax and NI, give employees the maximum notice of shifts, and process any changes in employees’ shift patterns quickly. Employees can use the same technology to it to let their employer know what hours they can work regularly, and if these change due to school holidays or other circumstances.

“Bizimply’s software helps businesses reduce the amount of time spent creating staff rotas and sorting out payroll. It means that GMs and supervisors can spend more time front of house, where they can have the most positive impact, making operational decisions, managing team members and interacting with customers.”