By Amelia Ball

While recent figures reveal the economy lost 44,000 jobs in December, the hospitality and liquor industries are so far painting a different picture.

After experiencing ongoing skills shortages around the country, publicans are reporting an increase in quality applicants for the first time in years.

Western Australia has until now been one of the worst affected in recent times due to the mining boom drawing hospitality professionals out of the industry.

However, reports from Perth reveal job seekers are again walking in off the street to enquire about available positions, according to Compass Hotel Group’s MD Bryan Northcote.

“We also believe graduates coming out of university will have to look at other fields of employment, which is good for us,” he said. 

“It will take time to filter through the industry but we’ll definitely be able to be more choosey from a skilled pool of talent, rather than take whatever we can get.”

Similarly, Perth’s Brisbane Hotel GM Mark Patterson reported a recent job ad drew almost 200 per cent more applicants than previous responses. He said it was also encouraging to see that candidates were of a high calibre.

Liquor and entertainment recruitment consultant Simone Allen from Mondo Search said she wasn’t seeing the usual movement from job seekers in the liquor industry at this time.

“I’m actually seeing employees become more loyal,” she said.

“From the point of view of commitment from staff, people are valuing what they’ve got. They don’t want to be faced with the challenge of looking for jobs in this climate.”

Allen said unlike the financial sector, the first priority for the liquor and entertainment sectors is not to cut heads but to instead rethink expenses, external consulting and PR services, and other outlays before retrenching internally.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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