Rest Less is more than just a job board for over 50s. We connect our partners with top talent from the UK’s valuable pool of later-life workers, help improve each organisation’s diversity and culture, and break down stigmas surrounding over 50s in the wider world of work.
One partner in particular that we’d like to shine a light on is Fuller’s. Founded in 1845, Fuller’s now has 377 pubs and hotels across London and the south of England with 5,500 employees.
While the hospitality industry is known for employing a large number of younger workers, Fuller’s aims to foster a workforce that’s more representative of the local communities they’re a part of. So, last year, after learning about Rest Less from her father-in-law, who’s a member, Recruitment Manager Sarah Dickinson was keen to see how we could help Fuller’s become more age-diverse.
We sat down with Sarah to discuss her experience of working with Rest Less.
“Given the potential we saw in the trial, it was a no-brainer to do something more long-term”
“Most of our recruitment is done through online job boards,” Sarah explains. “They’re a huge part of what we do, and our partnerships with those job boards are very much on a pure return-on-investment basis. So we look at how many applications, hires, and at what cost.
“What I liked about Rest Less was that it wasn’t just a job board. There was a lot for people to do on the website – it wasn’t just about finding a job; it was connecting with the whole person. This fits with our values as a business.
“I filled in a contact form on the website, and within half a day, Ian Wilkinson from the Rest Less sales team had replied to me and asked for a chat. I liked that, as many other companies get straight into price and volume, whereas Rest Less was much more about how we might work together.”
So Sarah signed Fuller’s up for a three-month trial. Within days, their roles were uploaded on our jobs section, along with an age-diverse employer profile, where job seekers could go to learn more about Fuller’s and what they stand for.
Sarah says, “We had to think about how we should present ourselves on this platform; what stories we want to tell, what roles we want to profile, and how we meet the needs of that community. We worked with Ian on the age-diverse employer profile, and there was great advice and support throughout.”
And the work that Sarah did with the Rest Less team paid off in an unexpected way. As well as creating plenty of interest in their jobs, the partnership generated lots of positive external press, which the Fuller’s and Rest Less PR teams were keen to make the most of. It wasn’t long before press releases about our work together were being picked up in the trade press and even national newspapers.
“The partnership with Rest Less had a huge impact beyond recruitment results,” says Sarah. “Lots of people at Fuller’s were talking about it – including our PR manager and CEO. Given the potential we saw in the trial, it was a no-brainer to do something more long-term, so we signed up for a 12-month agreement.”
“It never felt like we were getting a one-size-fits-all approach”
As you can imagine, the work didn’t stop there. Keen to make the most of the momentum, Ian and Sarah spent some time thinking about what Fuller’s long-term goals were.
Sarah explains, “Ian was brilliant. It never felt like we were getting a one-size-fits-all approach. In the first six months, we enhanced our employer profile, created an employee story that was shared with the community, and started work on a career change guide with our apprenticeships team – apprenticeships are too often only thought to be for school leavers, which really isn’t the case!”
Ian also suggested a survey of Rest Less members. The over-50s audience has very different requirements than the younger end of the job market, and, as Sarah explains, it’s very easy to make assumptions about what they want from employment. A survey provided a great opportunity to gain real insight into what older adults thought about the hospitality industry.
It revealed that 90% of members had the perception that hospitality work was for younger people, and around half of respondents would like flexible working, often because of caring responsibilities.
“That said,” Sarah tells us, “there were a diverse set of results. And these really helped us educate our general managers at Fuller’s about not making assumptions about what the over-50s are looking for at work.”
“I now have general managers asking to know more about Rest Less”
Nearly 19.5k Rest Less members have viewed Fuller’s jobs over the last 12 months. Over two thousand three hundred of these have been referred to complete an application for a range of different roles – from kitchen and front-of-house staff to housekeeping and managerial positions.
While this is a good result, what was more impactful was the indirect influence their work with us had on other hiring platforms.
“For example, on another major platform we use, they ask job seekers what age category they fall into,” Sarah says. “Twelve months ago, 1% of people said they were over 50. Today, it’s 7%.
“We regularly get emails from people over 50 saying they’ve read about Fuller’s in a magazine or newspaper, used to work in a pub, and are considering giving it a go again. That’s the stuff that really matters to me, and this can be attributed in large part to the work we’ve been doing with Rest Less.”
In their time working with Rest Less, the proportion of over 50s working in Fullers’ pubs and hotels has grown from 7% to 10%.
“Our partnership with Rest Less has created conversations around age,” Sarah says. “There are over 200 hiring managers across Fuller’s, so not everyone will adapt at the same pace, but I now have general managers asking to know more about Rest Less. We are definitely going to do something next year about inclusive recruitment training, including age inclusivity.”
By taking a personal, tailored, and focused approach, Rest Less has been able to help Fuller’s deliver what other recruitment sites haven’t: not only an improvement in the number of over 50 hires but a lasting change in perceptions and attitudes, both within the company and outside of it.