How To Attain Real Job Security In Hospitality / F&B

The past few months have been some trying times in hospitality and having a birds-eye view of the jobs market we’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons about what everybody calls job security. When you have a job the money that gets deposited in your account every month is comforting but it’s really only providing an illusion of security.

The truth that so many people are facing this year is that sadly job security is never guaranteed. And so if you want to ensure that you have an income, something to cover your basic needs and beyond, you need to do so much more than just land a job.

Job Security – Becoming Indispensable

Job Security

I really want to talk about how to maintain and how to sustain income and job security. First, you need to become indispensable. You do this by getting really good at what you do, by investing your time and energy in mastering your craft.

Malcolm Gladwell popularized the 10,000-hour rule – the idea being that if you want to master anything, you need to invest around 10,000 hours into your craft.

He says – “Every great classical composer without exception composes for at least 10 years before writing their masterwork. Mozart was composing at 11, but he was composing garbage at 11. He didn’t produce something great until he was 23”.

Cultivate your craft

The exact number of hours you need to learn a craft is really arbitrary and depends on what you’re learning. But the main point is the best in the world weren’t born great. The best in their fields all had to devote themselves to their work to get better and naturally as they did so their income security/job security improved.

One of my favorite channels on YouTube is Mike Boyd’s channel . Mike Boyd has dedicated the past few years to learning new skills and he’s quantified the actual time, the exact hours it takes for him to learn new things with some fascinating and entertaining results.

Mike says “People really resonate with the idea of quantifying something in hours. It’s much more tangible and understandable, like an 8-hour shift at work. That’s something people understand so when someone says, Oh it took me eight hours to learn to do this, it seems like you can do it. If someone says it took me six weeks to learn to do this, even though the actual time was only 6 hours or eight hours, that seems much more insurmountable”.

Key points

Mike Boyd has learned a lot about learning. I want to share a couple of his ideas here that I think are really useful and can help us along the way to job security.

  • Schedule practice time. Whatever you’re learning do it in a way that doesn’t really interrupt or disrupt your routine. If you can reduce the barriers to practice it just makes learning that much easier.
  • Isolate issues. Look at issues that arise In a more pragmatic way. To do things better you can identify problems and issues in your techniques. Mike was trying to get better at muscle-ups. He identified that the issue really was not strength. It was much more the actual technique of getting his arms over the bar. He was able to isolate that issue with resistance bands. This then enabled him to get the technique down and then the strength.
  • Think of learning as the discipline in and of itself. Mike’s experiments show you just how quickly you can pick up new things if you dedicate yourself to the process consistently.

Job Security

Of course, by becoming a master at something, creating skills that are valuable, you become indispensable to your boss or clients. Which takes your job security to the next level. It just takes repeated practice working your way up to around 10,000 hours to master a subject. It’s worth remembering that as soon as you start you are well on the way to increasing job security as others will note your dedication. As they do your value to employers or clients increases accordingly.


As a hospitality / F&B recruiter, I realised that we had to continue to deliver project after project. If we screwed up, if we missed the deadline, if we didn’t complete a project on time, then we would likely never see that client again. There was very little room for screwing up and making mistakes. So we had to learn to deliver very quickly.

When we did deliver, then we saw those clients come back over and over again. I was able to increase our income. I was able to develop my skills even more and that quick feedback loop helped to push me forward. This was the first step that really helped me gain true income/job security.

Expect the unexpected

The next point is just as practical and has to do with money and creating financial freedom. When you have a job and buy into the idea of job security you assume that your income will always be there. You rarely ever think about the worst that could happen. Or maybe you’re simply pushing it to the back of your mind and pretending like it could never happen.

But the truth is that you could lose your job. But since you’re not thinking about it, you can’t prepare for it. Perhaps the most valuable thing that I took away from the beginning, starting out in recruiting was that I never had a stable income. I never had that constant monthly paycheck that I could rely on. That might not sound like a good thing to you. But it taught me to be really conservative and really thoughtful about the money that I was saving. To prepare for the absolute worst-case scenario as a business owner.

In the beginning, I never had the illusion that I had a secure income. I would have busy months and slow months. Some months I made $0 – $1000 and other months I made $10,000. I learned that if I wanted to weather these storms, I needed to learn how to control my finances and my spending.

Although I didn’t realise it at the time I was entering into this market that was completely unstable. I was trying to build my own business, trying to find new clients, and struggling in the beginning. At the start my career path was defined by the idea that I might not be able to have enough money to pay rent this month.

Prepare for a rainy day

That forced me to be extra conservative, extra responsible when I finally did get those projects. I started out by storing away $1000 for my emergency fund. I would not touch this unless I absolutely had to. This wasn’t for beers on the weekend. It was for the broken-down car, the potential medical bill. The unexpected will happen so planning for the unexpected becomes absolutely vital for job security.

After that, I started to build up this emergency fund even more. Eventually I built it from $1,000 to $5,000 and then $10,000 and eventually over $20,000. The idea was that this money would give me padding. What I didn’t realize at the time was that this was providing me with true freedom. Now if I got sick, if I couldn’t work I’d have my basic needs met for at least six months to a year. The weight that was removed and lifted off my shoulders because of this was immense.

Job Security allows you to pursue the things you care about most

job security

It also allowed me to pursue the things that I really cared about when I had that sense of income/job security that that padding provided me. I was able to say no to projects and clients that I didn’t care about, that didn’t have the budget and focus my energy and time on things that really excited the hell out of me. I cannot tell you how much that changed my life.

Planning for the worst and building a rainy day fund gave me a sense of freedom and income/job security that I had never experienced up until that point.

Job Security – Conclusion

Regardless of whether you’re a business owner or if you have a career, the principles to follow are still the same:

  • Get really really good at what you do
  • Try to improve every single day – Invest back into yourself
  • Be smart about your finances – Put money away for a rainy days. Build up as much financial security as you can

So the best advice I could give for this is really this simple – Just start!

As you are picking up new skills you’ll feel like a total newbie. It may even be totally cringy during that period where you’re just picking up something. But that’s when you’re going to make the biggest progress! And all you have to do is get out the door and start!

Let me know what you think and if you have any tips to share that enhance job and income security.

Until next time, wishing you all the very best!


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Updating Your Recruiting Process To Ensure Top Hires

As more and more organisations are implementing social distancing practice, transitioning to a remote interview process can seem a little daunting when you are just getting started. Thankfully we live in a world where we have a wealth of resources, so conducting a virtual interview can be accomplished whilst retaining a wonderful candidate experience.  When you look at how most organisations and candidates already interact, phones and screens are already utilised widely. So, the good news is you can concentrate most of your focus on perfecting the remote experience. This will require thoughtful planning, coordination and communication. This walkthrough will highlight  every consideration needed for your team to deliver a faultless candidate experience that allows the professionalism and the confidence of your team to shine through. plan for success hospitality recruitment


Before jumping straight into communicating the setup with the candidate, start by getting a few key things straightened out  that will inform the logistics of the interview. 


There are several effective video conference tools to choose from including Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and so on. Due to recent events, some of these providers are offering free use of their platform – take advantage. Once you have decided upon the service that’s right for your organisation, plan to carry out each interview in the same “environment” , by using the same meeting link for a seamless experience. This is going to assist in keeping things on track and ensures the tech side of things remains simple for the interviewers and also the candidate. 


When a candidate has reached the conference call stage of the process, they have most probably spoken to several people on the team, including the recruiter and HR manager. Therefore, it’s important that, even though they will be interviewed by multiple interviewers in the hiring team, there is one clear single point of contact. Choose one person that can coordinate and clarify any questions or any issues that may come up related to the system you are using. 


HR TEAM hospitality asia Remote work is indeed becoming more commonplace, some employees will already have a a place set up at home to accommodate such schedules and situations. At the outset start coordinating with the HR team, check with each member about their set up to make sure they have what they need. For example, that they know that they need the area to be well lit and quiet in order to conduct proper video calls, does their mic work well, will they require headphones?


If you have a panel interview arranged that will be conducted with more than one interviewer, it’s vital to plan ahead. Social cues are still going to come through via conference interviews, although they may be more difficult to interpret in real-time whilst you’re in conversation. To get ready, together with the interviewers, trial a mock run through of the interview questions, the order in which they would like to ask the questions and how they can eliminate misunderstandings if an issue arises.  evaluate interview


Documentation is a vital element of the hiring process to eliminate bias. When your team is deciding upon the logistics of your virtual interview, suggest the best practice of note taking during the interview. You want to ensure the interviewee remains engaged throughout the conversation with the applicant, all the while recording important insights that are to be used to arrive at a final decision. Tip: If you utilise an Applicant Tracking System, it could be a good idea to input your questions in the system so that interviewers can record the notes whilst they’re interviewing the candidate.


A virtual interview should utilise the practices you would be mindful of utilising during in-person interviews. Aim to make the interviewee feel both respected and at ease by outlining your organisation’s values and culture. You will have both invested a great deal of time into this and you will both be keen to make the most of the discussion. Below are several key elements that will make all the difference. 


You only get one opportunity to make a first impression. Whether it’s poor audio or your video not working, technical difficulties at the beginning of a conversation is never the right way to start. Double check your internet connection is working well along with speakers (or headphone) and mic and you will have confidence in knowing you have everything set up and ready in advance of the interview. in advance of the interview


When a potential employee enters your office, it is a reflection of the organisation and the team that work there. Your remote workstation carries out the same role. Set up a workstation that is tidy and free from distractions, with good light and demonstrates that you take your role, and the interview process seriously.


Prior to the interview, carry out a digital and workspace check. Do your utmost to ensure you won’t be having people pass behind you by making sure your back will be facing a wall or similar. On the digital front, put your phone in silent mode, set your computer to do not disturb to ensure notifications are muted and, if possible, connect your laptop to it’s charger in order to avoid potentially running out of batteries during the call. All of these small details add up to you being sure you can fully focus on the job at hand, which is evaluating the candidate that you’re interviewing.


Lastly but possibly most importantly is the importance of your body language, it is said body language accounts for the vast majority of all nonverbal communication. Besides words, there are a huge array of ways you can convey a certain tone or point with nonverbal inputs. First andformost is to make eye contact; it may seem like a small thing, but it goes such a long way in showing the candidate that you are giving them your fullest attention, that you’re present and listening. present and listening



After going through the list above, you’re now ready to start bringing together information to share with the interviewee. Set their expectations and communicate effectively in order to make sure both the interviewee and other interviewers are confident about the process going smoothly. It is vital that technical issues and miscommunications are avoided to ensure it does so. Additionally we suggest creating a best practices checklist for interviewees. This can be a google doc or pdf that you can forward a few days before the interview.



It’s always appreciated if you can provide resources to candidates upfront that show you are committed and invested in their success. We’ve put together an online interview guide that you could share with interviewees as they get ready for their interview. get ready for interview


  • Provide contact info for a main point of contact should issues come up during the process 
  • Instructions for accessing the software they will be using 
  • Ask them to check their video and audio quality along with their internet connection
  • Provide a direct link to the conference space that will be utilised for their interview
  • If you can use the same link for the whole sequence of interviews, this will minimise the risk of confusion for the candidate and interviewer. 
  • Provide contact details for each one of the interviewers on the panel, (email and phone number), in case there are any technical difficulties and they need to contact them via other means 
  • Share a clear schedule of their virtual meeting including full names, job titles and time allocated for each interviewer.


A good way to finish off your checklist is with resources that will introduce what it’s like to work for your organisation. As they won’t be coming into your workplace for the interview, utilise such information as a chance for them to browse through what it’s like to be part of the team. You could include photos from recent events, and images of what the work environment looks and feels like. This will get candidates engaged about their upcoming discussion, and gives them an invaluable understanding to prepare for the interview and the nature of what it’s like to work for your organisation. 


As with any onsite interview, the follow up communication with the candidate is a vital element in keeping the candidate engaged and excited about the role. After the virtual interview, ask the candidate’s point of contact (recruiter or HR manager), get in touch and clearly outline next steps. Actively communicating with the candidate, strongly demonstrates how your team operates beyond the interview process. 


No matter how daunting a virtual interview may appear, it’s absolutely possible for it to be done well if you plan in advance. Taking time to consider logistics, and setting up your team for success goes a long way. With online interviews becoming more prevalent than ever, the ability to deliver an engaging virtual interview unlocks a huge pool of talent and brings access to a range of candidates that any innovative company should be taking advantage of.

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TOP 5 Questions To Ask The Interviewer In Your Next Hospitality Job Interview

Having these questions ready in your next Hospitality Job interview is going to set you apart from the rest.

It also helps you to understand more about the position and know if it is the correct role for you.


Here are the top 5 questions you should be asking..

1. Regarding the direction of the organisation, what do you feel are going to be your greatest achievements over the coming years?

Companies should be able to consider between three to five years into the future. However, it may not be great to join an organisation that is only focused on the future. Thinking is great, but look for organisations that act, those who are building things now and also have great vision about exactly what they’re going to do both in the present and in coming years, such companies are worthy of you… aim to Join them!

This is a wonderful question to ask because it helps you comprehend if the organisation have vision, what that vision is and if they are able to translate that into a concrete picture regarding exactly where they want to go and what they want to build.

The next questions (two, three, and four) are about you and your position in the organisation…

2. What are the attributes of those who achieve the most success in this role?

You’re seeking to understand the skills the employer values. This is a great question because you’ll get to know the precise traits they’re evaluating you on and you can utilise that insight straight away to outline how you, your experience and background equate to those traits! Additionally, it’s an awesome question for setting up the following one.

3. If you were to offer me the role and I was to accept, in 12 months from now, what specifically would I have achieved that would cause you to consider taking me on to be a raging success?

This provides you with the clarity to ensure that you can really achieve those objectives. Additionally, it provides you ammunition to use within the interview or following interviews to lay out exactly how will achieve what they consider to be a success. You now comprehend what their (annual) goals are. Aim to get them to see you carrying it out for them. Boom, this one is a big win in the interview, however you’re not quite finished yet!

Now let’s pile it on a bit…

4. If you were to offer me the job and if I was to accept the role, within 7 days of starting the position, what is going be my greatest surprise?

This is a bit of safety net question. You are ensuring you’re discovering any information that you might not have done with the previous questions you’ve been asking. It causes the interviewer to think “hmmmm, what else is this candidate going to ask in this job interview, what can I share with them about what surprised me when I first joined the organisation?”

5. Could you describe your management style and what your expectations for position are that you may not have already outlined? 

Four out of five people in the Hospitality industry leave their jobs due to their employer, as such you have to be sure that you comprehend the style of management of the person who will be managing you so that you can understand if this is the style complements your work style.

You want to discover the specifics around what they will consider to be success for the position, are they hands on or is it more hands off, and you should try to make sure you are synchronised with that type of employer.

I hope these 5 tips have been helpful for you and that you will be able to use them in landing your next great role!

As always happy job hunting,


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The Very Best Way To Answer The Question… “What’s Your Salary Expectation?” In Hospitality Interviews

I know it’s tough to answer the question… “What’s Your Salary Expectation?” it’s a question we deal with every day of every week. It can be a frustrating one, many prefer not to commit to a figure at the start of the process. It can make many of you nervous. Many are worried about actually giving a number and rightly so. So I’m going to outline a text that you can use when asked so you can worry no more.

Aim high or low?

Many of you don’t wish to provide an exact salary outline because you are looking to avoid either shooting too low, whereby you’re setting the employers expectations that your salary requirements are on the lower end or you are concerned that you might put yourself out of the running because you aimed too high.

Often times you won’t ever wish to actually give a figure.

Why? First of all it’s an uneducated standpoint. You don’t have a full understanding of what it’s like to work at the establishment, what will you need to do, who will you get to work alongside, what the training and development opportunities are, and vacation and benefits. Therefore, it’s quite hard for you to get it precisely right by giving them a figure so early on in the process.

Secondly there’s need to worry. It’s important to appreciate that there isn’t a headhunter ever who decides whether you get the role or what you get paid. HR managers handle this responsibility. So there’s no need for concern. Honestly, they aren’t going to be the one who decides what you’ll be paid. Even if you do provide an outline about the your salary expectations up front.

The area in which the recruiter does have a huge impact is at the outset of proceedings. Here’s where they could exclude you from the process if they know that your salary requirement is above their outline. As they may have a request from their client not to put candidates forwards above a certain salary level. 

However the recruiter mightn’t exclude you from the process if they feel you have an exceptional background and experience. Even if you don’t provide an exact salary expectation. This will usually apply more to more junior positions where a fixed salary is in place. Here the recruiter will tell you the salarys fixed, that you won’t get a higher salary than outlined. in such a situation you will need to decide from there if you would like to apply.

What happens when you provide a salary range?

You may think when answering the question “What’s Your Salary Expectation?” “I should give a salary range?” Well, that’d be ok. But if I’m a HR manager and you say, “I’d like to earn between 80,000 and 100,000”. What do you suppose I would hear? I heard 80,000, when you were thinking something more like 100,000, correct? So, you’ll end up in a situation where you are providing a salary lower than you’d really be comfortable accepting. Providing salary ranges aren’t great, they are still not educated.They tie you to your lower figure when you are thinking about your higher number. Far better is that you gain a clearer understanding of the role, provide a number based on that further understanding.

What you should say instead

When you asked to answer the question… “What’s Your Salary expectation?”. I’d propose you to say something like the following…

“While compensation is an important factor, I would really like to look at the entire value of working at your organisation. What I get to do, the people I get to do it with, the opportunities related to training and career progression, benefits, vacation and all of the other elements that are part of working at your company. I’m excited to understand about these throughout the interview process and upon this understanding I would be in a position to provide you with a much clearer idea of what I would expect in terms of salary related to all of these factors, however at this stage to give you any kind of approximation would be uneducated on my part. So, I look forward to gaining a further understanding of these areas and I look forward to starting the interview process”.

You could be well be thinking… “That sounds evasive, the Hiring Manager is going to be put off if I don’t give figure”?

What is going to unfold is you don’t give them a salary expectation? You’ll be positioning yourself to gain lots of points during the interview process whilst coming to a more educated understanding.

What’s going to transactionally happen at that moment? The thing that most don’t understand is if you’ve got the correct experience and training, your CV is in good order and you‘re a fit for this position in terms of character, they are going to be highly likely to want to hire you.

Why it works

When asked to answer the question… “What’s Your Salary expectation?” if you don’t provide a salary expectation and the recruiter really believes you are right for the role, the recruiter is going to go to the hiring manager and say something along the lines of…

I really like this person’s experience, but they didn’t want to advise on what it was that they were expecting in terms of compensation”. If you look right for the role, the hiring manager is going to say..

“OK let’s arrange an interview so we can understand her/him more and take it from there”.

I hope you found this helpful, if so keep an eye out for further tips over the coming days.





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Here’s The Best Way To Handle The Worst Interview Question

How to deal this worst interview question?

Before we start let’s get on the record that this question is probably the absolute worst job interview question out there.
 I don’t know why it gets asked so much, we all have weaknesses, I do, you do and so does the interviewer, but this question does nothing to tell whether or not someone is going to be a good employee. 
I want to give you some tips about how to answer the “greatest weakness” question.

You can’t control if you are going to get asked this question or not but you can control your response.

So let’s start with the basics first,

1. Don’t ever, under any circumstance actually give them a weakness. There’s no reason for you to as you get to control what comes out of your mouth, so  DO NOT TELL THEM SOMETHING YOU’RE ACTUALLY BAD AT. If they’re going to ask this question you don’t need to justify it by giving them an actual weakness.

2. This may be contrary to what you’ve heard but under no circumstances should you give them an actual strength either.
It is a little insulting to be asked this question in the first place, so don’t compound the problem by insulting them back and telling them that you’re too “conscientious” or you “work too hard”  or “you want do everything yourself” because you are “so diligent”, none of this type of thing works, they get it all the time, they just eye roll and you’ve both just wasted a load of time with their question and your answer, so stay away from those types of answers.

3.  I don’t want you to use negative words as you’re talking about this “weakness”. Don’t say “I’m bad at this” or “I’m not good at that”.  Don’t use any of those ways in describing anything that’s about to come out of your mouth.

What I would prefer that you do, and the best way to deal with this question so that you’re actually answering it and they view you as having given it a good attempt is to talk about something that you have yet to have an opportunity to do, something you don’t have any experience in, and something you would like to do.

What you might say is something like “one of the areas for improvement is, I am yet to have an opportunity to perform ( X ) function at work (or in this industry)”, or “to study (X subject)”, whatever it might be that interests you that is related to your job.

They’re not going to penalise you for not having had an experience and you’ve just offered up a so called “weakness”, in addition you’ve shown them that you have a desire to grow your skill set and have a plan for moving forwards in your career.

NEXT you always want to make sure that you follow this up with what you’ve done in order to gain that experience so far. So first you have said something like “I haven’t yet had the opportunity to do ( X )” and then follow that up with, “what I’ve done so far to gain that experience is, “I’ve read ( X ) books”, “I’ve watched ( X ) videos”, “I take ( X ) training classes”, whatever it might be to show them that you’ve got a great attitude to learning. So that’s how I would answer it.

If you like this type of information. I’ve got a training course coming up, it’s all this type of information in much more depth, finding your purpose, writing resumes, cover letters, interviewing, all the way to career acceleration. Everything careers related. I’d also love to hear from you, so if you have anything you would specifically like learn that’s jobs related or any questions, let me know by replying to this email. 

And if you want a reminder of how not to do it, here’s a clip from Spud from the movie Trainspotting ; )

Until next time, happy job hunting,


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