Harri UK: Recapping 2021 Events and Highlights

2021 Events Review

It’s safe to say that 2021 has been a turbulent year, but we pushed through it, and now we’re stronger than ever! In the last 12 months we gained over 100 new UK clients, including Fuller’s, Hall & Woodhouse, St Austell Brewery, and Pizza Hut. We were even shortlisted for The Caterer’s Supplier Awards for our bespoke workforce management solution – a huge achievement for the team!

To wrap up the year, we’ve outlined some of the virtual and in-person events we got to host, sponsor and attend.

February: Kickstart Webinar

We began 2021 by launching Kickstart, a non-profit scheme that aims to help the industry get back on its feet by placing young people in the workforce, in association with UKHospitality, the Scottish Tourism Alliance, and the Springboard Charity. In February we hosted a Kickstart webinar with Marta Mazur from The Youth Group, Kelly Johnstone and Bhavna Patel from Springboard, and Adam Harwood from D&D London to provide those in the hospitality, retail, and tourism sectors with information on how to join the scheme.

March: Harri Recharge Series

To prepare hospitality operators for post-pandemic recruitment challenges, we launched Harri Recharge, a series of webinars to educate employers on the features and benefits of our platform. In the sessions, we covered automated screening, career branding, video interviews, job templates, the candidate experience and much more. 

“I need [a] centralised recruitment process as much as possible without losing standards and candidate experience, and Harri gives me the tranquility that that’s going to happen properly.”

Head of HR & Recruitment at Ibérica Restaurants

April: QSR Webinar

Our QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) webinar was a huge success and we have our attendees to thank for that! In the session, QSR leaders from around the world came together to discuss how the industry has developed immensely during the pandemic, driving the acceleration of technology, multi-lane drive-thrus, and online ordering. 

“The launching of Harri and the innovation of the technology has played a crucial role in the retention of employees because they ‘believe’ in the brand.”

Head of People at Wingstop

May: Rebuild & Reinspire Webinar

In May, we launched the Rebuild & Reinspire Hospitality Recruitment Summit, where we hosted three events in a single day: Recruit, Retain & Reinspire. These sessions highlighted the importance of recruitment, retention, and engagement in a post-pandemic world, and featured industry leaders including Kate Nicholls (CEO at UKHospitality) and Ann Elliott (Founder of Ann Elliott Hospitality Consultancy). 

July: Redefining Staff Retention

Following the success of our Hospitality Recruitment Summit, we hosted a series of webinars titled ‘Redefining Staff Retention in a Post-Pandemic World’. These sessions focused on two sectors: Restaurants & Bars and Hotels & Leisure. They discussed the importance of retaining staff from both an operational and financial perspective, which will no doubt continue to be a relevant topic going into 2022.

“I had a candidate who applied for a job in 2019 and I messaged them [via the Harri app] and said something is available. They responded to say, ‘Thanks, I know it’s been a while, but I’d love to have a chat’.”

People and Operations Director at Humble Grape

The events we loved in 2021

Of course, we couldn’t end the year without sharing the events we loved, attended, and sponsored…

July: D&D Summer School

In July, D&D London hosted the first of their summer school sessions. They invited new recruits looking to find their place in the industry to a week-long training programme. We were lucky enough to be asked to talk to the participants and lead a session that covered careers and opportunities in hospitality.

Summer School

September: Casual Dining Show

This year, the highly anticipated Casual Dining Show returned to London, and Peter Martin, Founder and Executive Director of Peach 20/20, gave an insightful presentation titled ‘time for change-makers’. In it, he outlined the people (and ideas) that will shape the future of hospitality, and made reference to the Great Resignation.

September: Atlantic Club

Another event that returned to London this year was The Atlantic Club, a forum that brought together some of the biggest leaders in the UK and US restaurant and bar markets. This was run in partnership with Harri, and was the first face-to-face Atlantic Club event since the start of the pandemic.

November: Restaurant & Bar Tech Live

We had the privilege to attend and present at Restaurant & Bar Tech Live, Europe’s largest exhibition showcasing the emerging technologies transforming the future of restaurants and bars. At the event, Roy Walker (Harri Sales Director) discussed the ongoing labour crisis, along with a solution that could solve your recruitment and retention issues.

“We started recruiting for our Reading restaurant when much of the UK had restrictions on social distancing. Harri allowed us to overcome that by using video technology in lieu of in-person interviews, allowing a candidate to upload a video of themselves answering pre-set questions.”

UK Operations Director at Wendy’s

November: HOSPACE

Of course, we couldn’t leave HOSPACE, the annual conference designed for hospitality professionals, off our highlights list. This year’s hybrid event focused on attracting and retaining the next generation of talent, and featured key decision makers, directors, senior hospitality experts, C-level executives, CEOs, business owners, and investors.

November: Peach 20/20

This year, we sponsored Peach 20/20, where the wonderful Peter Martin brought together more than 300 industry leaders to discuss the key challenges facing the out-of-home industry. The conference comprised a diverse range of speakers with a variety of fresh perspectives on the current state of the hospitality sector. 

“If you went into any of our restaurants, both the restaurant manager and any team member will tell you it [Harri] is the best thing ever, because it’s just made it easier!”

Operations & People Director at Demipower Group

Propel Interviews

Also in 2021, Harri sponsored two series of Propel leadership interviews, one of which took place post-lockdown, and another six months later, in December. In the sessions, UK industry leaders discussed the challenges of skill, attraction, and retention in the hospitality sector, and how they’re working to overcome these obstacles. It was interesting to hear how their opinions changed so dramatically after just half a year.

How Harri has evolved

As the years go by, Harri continues to progress. Our platform has matured from a simple hiring tool to a recognised, all-in-one workforce management solution with payroll integrations. We’ve since launched Carri, a smart conversational ambassador, and we’ll continue to support the hospitality industry in the new year with the launch of our latest platform: CommsHub (more on this soon!).

Ultimately, our goal for 2022 is to be the first word someone associates with ‘workforce management’, but this wouldn’t be possible without you. So, if you’re yet to take advantage of our technology, request a free demo or contact us today to see how we can help with your recruitment and retention plans.

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