Hospitality & Catering News

Hospo & Catering NewsHospitality and Catering News – This week we met with Only Chefs Founder Mark Milner to gain a better understanding of this recently launched online chef recruitment platform.

Hospitality & Catering News: Tell us about Only Chefs

Only Chefs is all about helping chefs get hired and employers find great talent. Based on this simple premise, I’ve built a platform where chefs looking for work and employers looking for chefs – meet.

We’re not a recruitment agency or a job board. We’re designed to be a destination platform for recruiters looking for chef talent, and chef talent to promote themselves directly to potential employers.

Chefs post profiles. Employers search chef profiles on the platform, contacting chefs of interest directly to discuss their job opportunities.

The idea being chefs no longer have to apply to endless job adverts and potentially never hear anything back. Employers and their jobs find them.

Equally as important – employers are no longer tethered to considering just the chefs that apply to their advertised role. And by signing up to Only Chefs, employers do away with the need for an intermediary like a recruitment consultant. Saving both time and money.

Everybody gains in the recruitment process.

Where did the idea for Only Chefs come from?

My background is marketing within the recruitment space. For the last 15 years I’ve held senior level marketing roles for big names in the industry that include Reed and Michael Page.

During this time, I’ve always been fascinated with how jobseekers and employers interact with each other, especially online. I’ve also been frustrated with the fact that for as long as the Internet has been used for recruitment purposes the format has largely remained the same – employers and recruiters post a job, candidates apply. With Only Chefs we aim to change the status quo.

Why focus on hospitality?

Because I love the industry. I am a trained chef with experience in commercial kitchens (to 1 Michelin Star level), and a big foodie – so it made sense to focus on a sector that I’m passionate about and can relate to.

Hospitality & Catering News: How’s Only Chefs being received?

Only Chefs went live December last year. We’ve attracted great early adopters – 1,000+ chefs have already registered with us, from trainee through to executive chefs.

It’s early days but we’re delighted to be getting positive feedback about the site from both chefs and employers. Recruiters currently range from large multi-site branded restaurant groups to single site venues. I’m also delighted that we’re being used by a couple of Michelin star chefs looking to expand their brigades.

What would you say are the key benefits of Only Chefs?

The platform benefits both chefs looking for work and also employers looking to hire.

The benefits for chefs

1. Chefs don’t have to apply for jobs, once they have a profile they can be found directly
by employers looking to hire.

2. It is quick and easy for chefs to create a profile and concise pitch as to why they should be hired.

3. Chef profiles are optimised for search and social media.

The benefits for employers

1. Only Chefs is building a global talent pool of professional chefs who are interested in being contacted about job opportunities and are motivated to take the next step in their chef careers.

2. The platform is designed to empower a targeted candidate search. Chef profiles are displayed in a way that means key candidate information can be reviewed quickly – so shortlists can be drawn up faster.

3. Reduced recruitment costs. Recruitment agency fees and posting to job boards is expensive. Only Chefs lets you search, view and shortlist chef profiles (in basic mode) as many times as you like, completely free of charge. Thereafter, we are competitively priced in comparison with other more traditional recruitment methods.

What are the things to know if you’ve not used Only Chefs before?

Registration for both jobseekers and employers is free. Also, chefs who join the site and post a profile get access to some amazing resources from exclusive first to see job opportunities over email, to invitation only events, and loads of career building extras including deals on CV services and chef publications.

Hospitality & Catering News: What are your plans for the future?

My aim is for Only Chefs to become the global destination to access chef talent. We’ve got some great site development in the pipeline to empower that vision and mission. But like the making of a great executive chef, I know these things take time and focus. So as we grow, I know the platform will continue to be refined to give the best experience for all those using it – that’s a given whatever the future holds.

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