Yes and no. In a way almost anyone can get a job at Hawksmoor, because we have entry-level jobs in the kitchen and front of house. I say almost anyone, because the test isn’t education or experience – you can come and work here if you left school at 16 with no qualifications and have never had a restaurant job in your life – it’s character. Our basic test is something like this: can this person work hard and be nice to people at the same time?
Of course, many jobs at Hawksmoor do require experience and skill, a few require specific qualifications (no one seems keen on me hiring an accountant without qualifications for example) but the principle is the same.
We think about that kind of thing a lot – how do you interview for character? How do you find people who will fit in at Hawksmoor while still promoting diversity? How do we make ourselves an incredible place to work for that kind of person?
I think we do a pretty good job (in 2019 55,000 people applied to work at Hawksmoor!) but more importantly I think it’s such a great thing about our industry generally. Sometimes hospitality gets a bad rep as somewhere where anyone can get a job, irrespective of lack of experience and qualifications (hello UK Government!). I kind-of get that, but if you just change the language a little to say experience and qualifications aren’t important but character and skills are vital then I think it paints us in a very different light, and the fact that so many restaurateurs and chefs understand this point is a huge part of the reason that Britain has one of the best hospitality industries in the world.
Will Beckett – Co-Founder