‘I understand my fellow hospitality colleagues are suffering from this also, leading some to not even open their business this year,’ said Craig Senior, Herm Island CEO.
Brexit, travel restrictions and self-isolation regulations were given as key causes, along with the immigration process and UK furlough scheme.
‘But we are getting there and welcoming lots of staff from around the world, some of whom have worked and lived in Herm previously,’ Mr Senior said.
Hundreds of applications were received for 65 positions advertised, however 15 have yet to be filled because many of the people were not qualified for the roles.
Substantial staff housing is needed for self-isolation. There is an on-island first aid team trained to take test samples.
More than 30 new seasonal staff were recruited in March and they self-isolated on the island, ready for Easter.
Another 20 were due to arrive last week, with more expected in May and June.
Over winter, 15 staff were retained from last year’s season who could not travel and had nowhere to live.
Mr Senior said the island was very keen to recruit additional seasonal staff to commute from Guernsey.
Successful candidates will generally have a positive can-do attitude.
‘We are not restrictive to any candidates, Herm Island just needs the best staff possible.’
Volunteer gardening positions were advertised for up to six hours on Fridays from 21 May to 3 September, the reward for which is a free lunch at the Mermaid.
Herm’s gardening team is led by Liam Gaughan and there are three full-time gardeners.
Mr Senior said after hosting corporate gardening days, appealing for volunteers had been considered for some years.
‘This year, after receiving lots of positive feedback and requests from guests about the gardens, our head gardener wanted to develop the wellbeing opportunity further after opening up Valley Panto with a new zen garden area last year.’
After this year’s lockdown, attention was needed across the island as well as for floral borders at the hotel, summer planting and living walls at the Mermaid and the White House Hotel.
Some 20 volunteers have enquired already, so the Friday slots are now limited, with gratitude expressed to those who made contact.
n Visit herm.com/about-herm-island/recruitment/ for information.