Recruitment and talent selection in the collective catering industry

Recruitment and selection in the collective catering industry; challenges, insights and future trends.

10.11.2021 - Italy

Recruitment and talent selection in the collective catering industry is an increasingly important success factor, especially in a country like Italy that has one of the highest skill mismatch rates when it comes to employment opportunities and job seekers' skills.

So, while the collective catering sector is seeing a gradual recovery -in fact according to ORICON (Collective Catering and Nutrition Observatory) more than 10,000 jobs will be created in the next 5 years- what are the key challenges, insights and future trends? How has the food industry changed since the pandemic and how will this affect the talent acquisition process? 

In the framework of an interview for Ristorando , Alessandro Cench, Markas' HR, Selection & Organization Manager, shares his point of view on current and future trends. 
Recruitment and talent selection in the collective catering industry - catering staff serving
The most sought-after candidates for the collective catering industry right now

For companies like Markas, with thousands of employees, who offer food services to totally different types of organizations such as healthcare facilities, schools, universities as well as companies, a great variety of professionals is needed. 

The most sought-after figures right now are cooks, cook assistants, dieticians and service staff. However, there is also the need for supervising staff such as managers, coordinators or for other roles associated with the requirements of each specific service offered. But all these jobs require different skills. 

'In general there are diverse characteristics that recruiters should search for and in some cases this can be challenging, especially if we take into account the competitiveness of the sector. For instance, the role of the cook is very important. It requires responsibility and strong relational and technical skills. But at the same time, competition is high as many cooks are attracted from the growing glamour that characterizes the more traditional food and catering industry. Another professional figure in demand is that of the dietician. We operate in many different collective catering sectors that often require a high level of technical specialization and finding the right dietician can be challenging at times', says Alessandro Cench.
Recruitment and talent selection in the collective catering industry - preparing food
Hiring for the collective catering industry in a post-pandemic future. 

The pandemic had a huge impact on the food industry. Many employees are still unable or unwilling to return to work. This has led to a shortage of staff in the collective catering industry. 'Businesses need to put more emphasis on the health and safety of their personnel. Markas has made every effort to ensure the staff's stability and continuity, but obviously the number of potential candidates has decreased' explains Alessandro Cench.    
'Recruitment and talent selection in the collective catering industry was already very complex before the pandemic. So, today the selection process is even more complex. However, this is a general trend across the entire labor market in Italy; the most specialized figures have become increasingly hard to find' he continues. In addition to staff shortage and the increasing complexity of the job market, one key factor that will also affect the recruitment sector during the coming months is how candidates choose their jobs. 

'People place much more importance on work-life balance and time management aspects. Recruiting will be a strategic factor when it comes to business growth. Consequently, talent acquisition and retention policies will definitely take on a fundamental role, together with corporate welfare schemes. Markas has always prioritized employees' well-being and this has been fundamental during this delicate period' he concludes.

Read the full interview here (Italian only).