Miles Hull on how to stand out from the crowd in hospitality

Dark Horse Hospitality Group’s Miles Hull’s advice for those wanting to make their mark in hospitality this year? Just go for it.

We caught up with the WA hospitality operator ahead of another busy year to find out about the three fundamental qualities he looks for in a candidate and what applicants can expect in a role at one of his venues.

Now that the world is reopening and people are moving around the globe with a lot more freedom, what does the hospitality recruitment landscape look like in 2023?
While it is great to see and hear of a lot of people starting to travel again, I think we still have some time before we see the return of the volume of the ever-important students and backpackers that are so critical to supplementing the ongoing needs of our industry.

One positive sign as we get some distance on the peak of the impact of Covid is that there appears to be a little more confidence in our local market to look for new roles and challenges. I certainly think there’s been hesitation amongst a number of employees not to leave a secure job over the last couple of years, just in case we return to lockdowns and the uncertainty that that brings. We have definitely seen an increase in the number of senior staff looking for new roles too.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to really make their mark in the industry this year?Just go for it! Show everyone what you’ve got, lead by example and impart your skills on those more junior around you. There are some exciting new venues opening, so it’s a great time to be developing your career here in Perth. I would certainly suggest to someone coming up through the ranks to choose your employer carefully and select someone that will recognise their talent, nurture them and provide an opportunity to grow.

What are the three top things you look for in a potential candidate?
Fundamentally, we are in the service and entertainment business; hospitality comes down to those two things and candidates need to be able to deliver on those two fundamentals. Service is about common sense and putting the customer first: focusing on their needs and delivering. I need to be able to sit and have a great conversation with the candidate, if they show interest and engagement in others then they will provide that to our customers. The entertainment factor is how we dress it all up and make something fun and enjoyable, so that people go out. The right candidate needs to understand how that translates into a venue and be in tune with the venue’s concept. If you have these things, everything else will follow.

What kind of “on the job” experiences can people expect at your venue?
We try hard to treat everyone with the respect that we provide our customers. Everyone is an individual on their own life path and we understand that for the most part, a lot of staff are only with us for a finite time so we aim to develop everyone’s passion for hospitality during their employment with our group, so that they can share in our love of food and drink and be able to impart that passion with our customers.