H&C News meets Only Chefs

21 Feb, 2016

Article taken from Hospitality and Catering News

This week we met with Mark Milner, Founder of Only Chefs to gain a better understanding of this newly launched web business. Only Chefs is a unique and exciting new platform set-up to help chefs find work.

Tell us about Only Chefs?

Only Chefs is all about helping chefs get hired and employers find great talent. How? Well, it’s simple really. We’ve built a platform where chefs looking for work and Employers meet.

Neither a recruitment agency nor job board our approach is simple, but unique – chefs post (a profile), we promote and employers search, contacting suitable candidates directly to discuss their job opportunities. That’s right, no longer do chefs have to apply to endless job adverts and potentially never hear anything back. Employers and their jobs find them.

Stop applying for chef jobs
Where did the idea for Only Chefs come from?

Having spent the best part of 15 years working in senior marketing roles for recruitment companies and job boards such as Michael Page, Monster.com and Reed, 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 hospitality? I’ve always had a passion for food and as a trained chef spent a number of years owning and running an upscale Thai restaurant on Koh Samui. In developing this concept it made sense to launch it in to an industry that I really enjoy being part of, and where I can bring together my love of food and recruitment industry experience.

When did you launch and how’s Only Chefs being received?

Only Chefs officially went live at the beginning of December last year. We currently have around 1,000 chefs registered with us, from trainee level, right up to some amazing executive chefs.

It’s very early days but we’re getting some really positive feedback about the site from both chefs looking for work and employers – who 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 are the key benefits of Only Chefs?

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

Benefits for chefs:

  • As we’re not a job board, we put candidates (not job ads) centre stage – promoting them to employers not only via our website, but through social networks as well to increase visibility. We even do paid for advertising campaigns for our featured jobseekers.
  • Jobseekers post and employers search which means the frustration that is caused by applying for job ads and not hearing back is completely eradicated.
  • Our clever employer matching technology ensures that chefs get contacted directly about jobs that are relevant to them.
  • Our platform enables chefs to quickly develop a profile that not only demonstrates their skills and experience to potential employers, but also lets them highlight why they should be hired. We’ve done this in a way that ensures each chef ‘pitch’ is concise and focussed – after all, with employers spending just 20 seconds reviewing a CV to decide whether or not a candidate is a good fit for their job, there’s no time for rambling if you want to make their shortlist!
  • In addition to each profile being accompanied by a CV, chefs can also choose whether to upload a photo or even a relevant YouTube video to support their post. They can also activate links to their online social media accounts to further boost their profile.


Connect directly with chef employers

Benefits for employers:

  • Our focus is quality over quantity. One of the ways we achieve this is by getting our members to post a profile. This takes longer than the 30-second registration process used by many of our competitors, but means our members are more engaged and are actively seeking a career change. Two things that ultimately help make a hiring managers job easier.
  • As we don’t display job ads on our site, there’s no need for employers to write one! They just need to register and start connecting directly with great talent.
  • All our chef profiles are displayed in a way that enable employers to search for and review key information about each candidate quickly – allowing shortlists to be developed much faster than solutions offered by traditional recruitment providers.
  • Lets face it recruitment agency fees are expensive and so to is posting an ad to a job board. Standard CV database access can also be costly with other suppliers too. With Only Chefs you’re in control and we’re the only site where you can search, view and shortlist our chef profiles (in basic mode) as many times as you like, completely free of charge. Now that really is try before you buy!
  • To gain full access to the chefs we have registered on the site we offer a range of recruitment ‘passes’ that start from £50 for one day – giving even the smallest of operators access to great talent at really competitive prices.


Hire better chefs, quicker

What else do people who’ve not used the site before need to know?

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.

What are you’re plans for the future?

We’re currently focused mainly on London, so we’re keen to expand the reach of the site across the UK. We’ve also got some great site development in the pipeline that includes an app and even a dedicated platform to make it easier for temp and relief chefs to connect directly with employers for hourly paid, short term work.

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