How can UK research findings be leveraged in Greece, where job vacancies in the hospitality industry number in the thousands?

What are the motivations of industry professionals? According to Dr Kourtidis, , Senior Teaching Fellow and Course Director in Human Resources Management at Birmingham City University, research has shown that there are two internal (some of them intrinsic) motivations that work in favor of keeping a highly skilled chef in a business. “The first is what I call “fit in, feel good”, i.e. the professional’s feeling that he fits into the environment of a business in a natural way and feels good in it.

The second is the acquisition of the “expert identity” through work, the sense of excellence and authority that creative cooking gives” he says and adds that other motivations are related to career development in the next 10-15 years, the new techniques that he has the opportunity to learn through the work of the chef, mobility in other places, etc.

Impressive is the finding of the research, according to which if the first two motivations are present – i.e. “fit in, feel good” and the possibility of obtaining the identity of the expert – even difficult working conditions, such as a strict owner or manager, they may affect the individual, but it seems that they are not enough to “break» the edifice of staying in a business. The highly skilled, talented person will not leave the profession, because he develops resilience and a psychological connection with his profession, if there is a sense of belonging and even greater expertise and authority.

According to Dr. Kourtidis, in order for Greek catering and hospitality businesses to retain skilled staff, there needs to be a change in thinking in terms of how recruitment is done, with an emphasis on people with resilience, who wish to make a career in the field and not simply make a living from it.

In fact, the next step of Dr. Kourtidis’ research is the tools and procedures for evaluating those characteristics in the candidate’s profile, which make them employees with perspective.

These characteristics are: resilience (which can be assessed by identifying instances in the candidate’s past where he/she has shown resilience or monitoring his/her reaction to stressful situations), balanced behaviour, inspiration from family and other people – standards, love for food and cooking, internal motivation of the individual, orientation to high customer service, creativity, appetite for continuous training, tolerance/acceptance and ability to work with less educated people and willingness to provide guidance to others (mentoring). _