Deputy Chris Blin, who is president of the Overseas Aid & Development Commission and the boss of the Caterquest recruitment company, is currently working with the Guernsey Hospitality Association to fill more than 250 vacancies with overseas workers in time for early spring.
He said that new immigration processes and laws were a permanent part of recruitment in Guernsey that employers were learning to live with.
‘It’s a very hard time to plan for hospitality, and we’re very aware of these problems, but we hope to make the recruitment process as smooth and painless as possible,’ he said.
In the post-Brexit era, visa processing for each employee takes approximately 12 weeks, and it costs much more than previously.
Deputy Blin said that these were big costs for hospitality businesses to absorb and it was a financial difficulty.
‘The good news is that through our work with the Guernsey Hospitality Association, we’ve identified partners in other jurisdictions and we’re utilising connections in other places,’ he said.
‘There are lots of professionals we’re identifying in countries known for their great hospitality staff.’
Deputy Blin said it was important that hospitality businesses start to think about their staffing needs for the summer now because of the lengthy visa process.
‘The hardest part of recruiting now is the uncertainty for the future and for the tourist rebound.
‘It’s a very different strategy than we’re used to. However, we should know the bare minimum staff we need to keep up with the local demand, as we saw this year,’ he said.
As previously reported, Caterquest will help the GHA to find staff through partnerships with a number of global organisations, including one with an international agency in Dubai.