The chef job divide

The Hospitality Recruitment Industry is changing – in fact it has already changed. Gone are the days when chef jobs in London were hard to come by or difficult to land. In fact it is completely the contrary, with the supply of talented chef candidates appearing to be at an all-time low due to the expansion within the restaurant industry in London. Talking to some of those in top chef jobs, they often mention the struggle they face when trying to recruit and retain talent for their kitchens.

As well as the shortage of candidates, hospitality organisations looking to fill chef jobs are facing an additional challenge in that motivations have changed over the past decade. Most chefs leading top Michelin-star London kitchens have backgrounds in the “old-school” way of working and therefore expect the same mind-sets from new chefs joining their teams. They also presume that the main motivation for candidates is career progression, as it was for them. But in actual fact we are hearing from hospitality candidates that having a healthy work life balance is their number one priority rather than career progression. Many chefs are no longer willing to work straight days every week in order to gain experience in top kitchens, as the value of leisure time has risen.

With most Head Chefs wanting passionate people to help create their menus to the highest possible standard and most chef candidates wanting to work and gain experience in the same great kitchens while maintaining a good life balance, both parties are now finding themselves in a bit of a predicament.

While the hospitality job industry remains candidate led, the unfortunate fact is that employers are going to have to rethink what they are willing to negotiate on when trying to land top talent or they may lose out to competitors due to basic supply and demand principles and shortages of chefs.
Our top tips for filling your chef jobs in London:

• Ensure you are using all recruitment channels available to you. Using a niche hospitality recruitment agency like Change can open up a pool of passive candidates that would not otherwise be available to you.
• Screen people upfront to find out how many hours and shifts they are prepared to work.
• Bring chefs in for kitchen trials as this is the only way to know if they will fit in both technically and culturally.
• Think about other areas you can negotiate on as well as salary.
• If you like a candidate, delve deeper into what their main motivators are. Sometimes you can avoid paying a premium by simply offering a benefit that the candidate values highly.
• Try to make the chef recruitment process and your decision as swift as possible. With such a shortage of candidates, good chefs will get snapped up quickly.

If you are a chef and are interested in a chef job in London, please get in touch with Change Hospitality Recruitment Agency. We work with some amazing restaurants, bars, hotels, events and catering companies across London and have hundreds of hospitality jobs for you to choose from.

For those looking to fill their chef jobs in London and may want to use a niche hospitality recruitment agency to help, Change is the company for the job! Take a look at what extra benefits we offer our clients and get in touch today to discuss your chef recruitment needs.