“Today, they no longer accept the same constraints”: seasonal workers are increasingly desired in Haute-Loire

“Today, they no longer accept the same constraints”: seasonal workers are increasingly desired in Haute-Loire
“Today, they no longer accept the same constraints”: seasonal workers are increasingly desired in Haute-Loire

Like every year at the dawn of the summer season, the hunt for seasonal workers is launched in the hotel and catering sector. Professionals are trying to adapt to the scarcity of this one-off workforce, in a context where candidates now have the power to go wherever they want. Focus in Haute-Loire.

” It’s catastrophic?! » Dimitri Pays pronounces this sentence like punctuation when we talk to him about hiring seasonal workers. The owner of the Planét’Au Dîner restaurant, at the Brives-Charensac campsite, is one of the many restaurateurs who call on these one-off jobs every year, during peak periods. A very stressful, even “agonizing” obligatory step for this business manager who always faces the same recruitment problem.

“Today, they no longer accept the same constraints”

If the world of catering already suffers from a cruel lack of labor all year round, the summer season only amplifies this phenomenon, to the great dismay of professionals who are eager to work. “We are honestly at the end of our rope. We bring them in thanks to a good salary but when it comes to training and motivation, we are far from what is required. We find a lot of cooks, for example, who want to do lunchtimes but never evenings. The same goes for seasonal workers who work indoors. Before, when we had a season, we knew that we were coming to coal all summer. Today, seasonal workers no longer accept the same constraints. Some leave overnight and leave us in catastrophic situations. They no longer want cut schedules. But to be efficient, it takes weeks to train someone,” rages Dimitri Pays, who has been running the restaurant for almost 12 years.

Candidates “in a position of strength”

For him, as for many restaurateurs in Haute-Loire, these problems are symptomatic of a profound change in society and the evolution of the relationship with work in many professions.
Lack of motivation, job-related constraints… CVs arrive in droves in the mailboxes of restaurateurs and hoteliers. However, they are increasing the number of recruitment announcements (cooks, multi-skilled employee, kitchen assistant, waiter, etc.) on social networks. Because they have a hard time finding shoes that fit their feet.
“They want butter, money for butter and creamery,” says Denis Gagne, president of the Union of Trades in the Hotel Industry (Umih) of Haute-Loire.

Even if they are fed, housed and cleaned, the problem remains the same. They are not professionals, they have to be trained on site and they no longer want to make the sacrifice of working all season.

Working only a few weeks and not the whole season is the new demand that many employers are experiencing during the summer season. Nathalie Beauvié, manager of the Audinet campsite in Brives-Charensac, has adapted to these new seasonal worker profiles to hire lifeguards and other ticket clerks. “We receive many CVs but often, they don’t stick. Particularly in terms of temporality, because they do not want to work both months. As a result, we only offer one-month contracts. It’s more complicated for us since we find ourselves at the beginning of August forming a team in the middle of the season. However, we still have much fewer problems than in the restaurant industry where positions are more difficult to fill, particularly in relation to evening work,” explains Nathalie Beauvié.
Same speech from the L’Émotion restaurant.

“It’s mission impossible to find someone who will be willing to do the whole two months. I think the real problem is cutting work, but restoration is like that. Seasonal workers know that they are in a position of strength and that restaurants are looking for.”

Michael Ruat (the chef of the ponot restaurant)

Beyond work during this summer period, the malaise seems to be much deeper in the catering sector, which requires specific skills with suitable profiles which are missing. Even the renowned restaurant Le Chamarlenc in Puy-en-Velay struggles to find a qualified waiter. “For a year and a half, we haven’t had a CV. We are looking for a sommelier or a waiter and we cannot find one. The people sent to us by Pôle emploi are just there to clock in and touch their aid. There is a problem of valuing work compared to those who stay at home, even if the salaries are good,” says Yoan Delorme, the manager of the now Michelin-starred restaurant.
Working conditions, temporality, qualifications… Societal developments have considerably modified the profile of seasonal workers who must now be attracted and retained.

Christophe Coffy

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