In the world of HR, we always place a strong emphasis on a potential applicants experience or skill when creating job descriptions and specifications.

However, is this the right way to approach recruiting new staff?

The essential element of having the right attitude to suit the job is often overlooked amongst the list of questions that detail a person’s experience or qualifications, and although personality tests may give us some indication of an applicant’s temperament, they cannot give us a complete understanding of what they may have to offer.


With this in mind, I suggest that recruiting processes within your organisation should shift their focus – from the priority of skills to an emphasis on attitude, and in doing so, incorporate techniques such as group recruitment into their HR structures.

It is my view that a person with 5 years experience as a bar person in another venue is no more suitable for the role than someone who has never worked in hospitality before. It is accepted that experience and a strong understanding of product knowledge is needed to best meet the requirements of a job, however it only takes approximately two to three shifts to train a person in the skills that are needed to work in a bar.

Attitude is something that is inherent in each individual and an aspect of work that not only improves their receptiveness toward building their skills, but something that training cannot completely change.

In this regard, previous experience on a resume or application should not be the only thing that is considered. Essentially, if an applicant shows that they have the availability to work shift work, as is the nature of hospitality, and meet the essential requirements of RSA and RCG training, then they are invited to attend the group recruitment process.

A group recruitment process not only collects information that you would normally gather during a one on one interview but also allows the potential employer to see an individual’s interpersonal skills as well as their ability to communicate with others and deal with conflict.

From the experience of our organisation’s group recruitment process, the advantages of the format are numerous. We are able to see approximately 30 people at a time, and the involvement of a number of managers ensures that the decision to employ a person is a collaborative effort. Furthermore, for those who insist on the one on one interview process, there is an opportunity to incorporate this technique, along with reference checks, for the successful applicants of the group process, highlighting their suitability on a number of levels.

When considering reference checks, it is important to remember that their accuracy is only as good as the referee’s ability to assess someone in a workplace context.

For example, a good worker in a bad environment is more likely to lose motivation and flare, potentially changing the perception of their abilities from the referee.

A useful technique that we have included to supplement the group recruitment process is to advertise it as an opportunity for ‘free training’, which has resulted in a 98% retention of staff during their probationary period. After the group recruitment, we ran two three hour training sessions which involved teaching applicants how to serve beverages, tray service, as well as how to make coffee and cocktails.

This approach was a great opportunity to see how staff worked – it gave our managers the chance to see who had the right attitude for the position while giving staff the chance to develop their skills and experience.

Staff members who are keen, willing to serve and have the right attitude are amongst the group you wish to retain the most. Targeting and identifying these qualities in a group recruitment process is a way in which your HR structure can improve the level of service within your business.

Attitude, not skill, is the key.

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