Director of Development Finance, London – Position Filled

Fantastic opportunity to join a growing property group, specialising in development, management and investment within the broader hospitality sector.

This privately owned group is now seeking a Director of Development Finance to assist the Group Finance Director and Development Director to ensure the delivery of new projects on time and within budget, including tracking of debt positions and monitoring of interest payments and deadlines.

The role will also be responsible for ensuring schemes are completed to required standards, in line with brand or true standards.

The group currently has a number of properties under construction with further plans in place for additional projects.

Candidates will have a background in real estate / property finance, ideally within hotels or student accommodation development.

Although the company head office is in London, it is possible for this role to be home based, with occasional visits to the head office.

For more information or to apply, please contact Chris at or call on +44 20 8600 1160

Are businesses taking too long to appoint their ideal candidates?

With a backdrop of remote hiring, which has been a mainstay of the past year, plus added complexities and sometimes bureaucracies of the recruitment cycle, many companies are taking longer to confirm candidate appointments. Meanwhile, the ongoing fallout surrounding the pandemic and Brexit continues to impact the intricacies of the recruitment process, with fewer available candidates in the market.

What is the optimum time between meeting a candidate and hiring?

With the average time-to-appoint across most industries around four weeks and a growing number of job seekers expecting an offer within the first week of the first interview, most companies are falling short when it comes to meeting candidate expectations. (Yello)

In larger organisations, the recruitment cycle is further extended. Layers of candidate assessment, screening, reviews, scheduling of various interviews all too often add unnecessary time to the process and risk the best candidates withdrawing in favour of a company that got there quicker.

Shifting expectations and demographics of the candidate market 

With the changing landscape of recruitment, accelerated by the pandemic and restrictions in the movement of talent, another variable for companies to navigate is the changing demographics of the candidate market.

At one end of the spectrum, we will start to see more of Generation Z entering into the marketplace. Their high-tech upbringings shape the way they approach employment, with many not even considering an application if recruitment methods are long and outdated.

At the other end, the fastest-growing segment of the labour force in the coming decade isn’t millennials or the newest band of Gen Z workers. According to Glassdoor’s UK Job & Hiring Trends for 2020, it’s aging Baby Boomers.

This demographic of age 65+ workers are healthier, engaged and more in need of retirement income than previous generations. In the UK, the 65+ population is expected to grow by nearly 60 percent over the next 25 years, faster than any other demographic group. The dynamics of the changing talent pool can leave companies with added layers to navigate, all adding additional time to the recruitment process.

What is the impact of a prolonged recruitment process?

When it comes to acquiring top talent, companies need to have the resources in place to act quickly, hire fast and provide a positive candidate experience. For recruiters, a prolonged recruitment process takes time away from nurturing relationships with candidates on behalf of their client’s company.

Contacting every stakeholder involved in interviews and juggling schedules should be streamlined.  On average, ⅔ of the overall hiring process time is spent confirming the interview schedule. The back and forth to finding a time that works for everyone slows down the overall process and risks signifying to the candidate that a company simply isn’t organised and risks losing quality candidates before they’re even able to confirm an interview.

All of these challenges ultimately have a knock-on effect in the market and impact all stakeholders. A poor candidate experience for job seekers affects their confidence in the company’s brand and affects recruiters’ ability to fill future roles quickly and efficiently.

What can be done to optimise the recruitment process?

Review the multiple layers of candidate screening and benchmarking exercises that companies feel are required to identify the right talent and safeguard companies from the expense of hiring the wrong candidate.  Interview schedules should be agreed upon with your recruitment partner at the commencement of the process meaning key stakeholders then have the interview dates in their diaries for the recruiter to fill with appropriate candidates. This is where the benefit of having a dedicated recruitment specialist helps take charge of much of this activity and streamline the whole recruitment process.

FM Recruitment is perfectly positioned to support businesses to enhance their recruitment process, helping to reduce the time to appoint the right candidate. We have been established for over 35 years and have an exceptional network with proven experience to attract talent from tech-savvy Gen Z and millennial workers to experienced seniors.

At FM Recruitment, we are here to support both businesses and candidates to navigate the world of hospitality recruitment. We are specialists in financial recruitment at all levels in the UK and internationally.

For support with your next career move or to improve your recruitment strategy, please contact FM Recruitment now using any of the below details:

Office +44 20 8600 1160 I Email
Chris Denison Smith +44 7775 711923 I Email
Andrea Shaw +44 7714 236469 I Email

Success Stories – In Conversation with Howard Field

Howard Field, hospitality icon and industry stalwart, speaks to FM Recruitment to share the story of his life-long career in hospitality, what inspires him most about the industry and what advice he’d offer someone just beginning their professional journey.

With a career in the hospitality industry spanning over 55 years, Howard’s first major appointment was as Finance Controller for the Royal Garden Hotel, London. He progressed to top financial roles with multiple hospitality companies – including the Carlton Tower, Commonwealth Holiday Inns of Canada’s European division, and The Savoy Group (now the Maybourne Hotel Group), and as an industry consultant.  In these roles, he experienced first -hand, the challenge of sourcing and hiring good finance professionals which led him to found London-based FM Recruitment, specialists in financial recruitment for the international hospitality industry, in 1985.

In addition to his consultancy and advisory activities, he currently serves as Chair of the Savoy Educational Trust, and is a Visiting Fellow of Oxford Brookes University. He has been for many years been a mentor for undergraduates and masters students.

Howard is the author of guides to a number of finance-focused reference books for the industry. His best-known work is A Practical Guide to the Uniform System of Accounts for the Hospitality Industry.

Howard was a founding member and a HOSPA Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and also the recipient of top US 2012 Paragon Award for significant and lasting contribution to US-based HFTP and the Hospitality Industry worldwide.

 In conversation with Howard Field

  1. How did you get into Hospitality Finance? Originally by chance, having completed my chartered accountancy professional exams, and being assigned to assist at what was the newly opened Royal Garden Hotel while awaiting the results. I was offered a position there.   Having almost accepted an offer for my next position with a manufacturing company, I saw an advert for a position at the Carlton Tower – and from then my whole career has been within the hospitality industry.
  1. What are the most important aspects of financial roles in hospitality and how has the role evolved over the years? Perhaps the key consideration is that it is a fast moving, people-centred industry, where the finance function has to balance control with supporting operations to provide consistent standards, as well as profitably.  Hotels are capital intensive businesses to own, and need to operate at high levels of occupancy and efficiency to meet their commercial goals.  From the control aspects, hotels are 24/7 operations, and systems and information flows require financial managers to understand the business dynamics and be capable of contributing at senior management level. The greatest change that has occurred over the years is the separation of property ownership, brands and management, and the need for financial managers to understand and deal with the resulting complexities.
  1. What do you consider your biggest achievement so far and why? Establishing the first professional recruitment service focused on financial and related management functions within the hotel industry – that is still flourishing 36 years later is certainly the highlight. You say ‘so far’; I feel privileged having the opportunity to continue contributing to the industry in other ways after so many years.
  1. What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their career in the industry? Seek advice from experienced professionals at all stages, including from recruiters, to be aware of how the industry and career opportunities are constantly changing; network; and if possible, connect with one or two mentors on the various programmes available to support career development.
  1. What are the biggest opportunities in the hospitality industry as it recovers from the pandemic? Perhaps ‘challenges’ would be more appropriate than ‘opportunities’.  Many historic standards and performance measures will no longer be appropriate as the industry re-awakens and markets re-open.  More than ever, working smarter, recognising and minimising risks and exploiting opportunities will mean being having to be constantly creative.
  1. What would have been your Plan B? I have thoroughly enjoyed (and still do) my career in the hospitality industry that has encompassed many aspects, made me many friends, and spanned a period during which there have been so many fundament changes.  It evolved without a clear plan, and I am not sure that I would want to have changed anything.

For support with your next career move or to enhance your recruitment strategy, please call FM Recruitment on +44 20 8600 1160 or contact Chris Denison Smith or Andrea Shaw on now.


Why a new job is like buying and selling a house

It’s a significant investment, a long-term commitment and affects so many areas of your life. Getting a new job is all of the above, just like buying a new house. On the other side of the spectrum, for businesses appointing a new employee, it’s an equally large commitment with bearings on resourcing, team dynamics and corporate culture.

It’s a symbiotic relationship – just like buyers and sellers of houses. They both need each other, but they also need someone in between to ensure they are getting the best for both parties.

As a central component in the recruitment process, we share our top tips for a successful appointment.

For Candidates

Invest time when it comes to your next career move to really consider the full effect of a new job on your life. It’s often the case to think the grass is greener and take a leap of faith without perhaps considering all of the variables.

Just like moving home, a new job can bring with it a new lifestyle; an altered commute, a different childcare requirement, a new group of colleagues to get to know and to work alongside.

But it takes time to search through vacancies, shortlisting, interviewing, negotiating and deciding to take the plunge into a new role. This huge investment in time and energy can be even more challenging if you’re already in job.

Finding your next role is something that requires research, diligence and strategic planning. It may feel a little daunting and overwhelming and this is where the insights of a specialist can really add value and help offset the burden.

For Businesses

Whilst many businesses have well-connected in-house teams to support with recruitment, working closely with a specialist recruitment consultant brings pre-qualified relevant candidates to the table, who are open to new roles and often outside your current network.

The benefit of having access to experienced resources to share intelligence of the candidate market is valuable for businesses to make highly informed decisions, leading to long-lasting candidate appointments.

  • Which candidates will accept offers, and if not, why?
  • What other roles are candidates at?
  • What is the role worth in the market, compared to what competitors are looking for?

These are some of the many insights that can be shared to optimise the time and effort dedicated to this crucial process.

At FM Recruitment, Andrea and Chris have often been likened to the Kirsty and Phil of Financial Recruitment, and not just due to Chris and Phil’s similar hairstyles!  By helping candidates and businesses to navigate the recruitment process they can offer support and advice, honed from their long-standing expertise in the industry. Their extensive knowledge of the market will ensure both parties can save time, money and ensure recruitment isn’t just filling a gap, it’s creating longevity in the relationship.

For support with your next career move or to improve your recruitment strategy, please contact FM Recruitment now using any of the below details:

Office +44 20 8600 1160 I Email
Chris Denison Smith +44 7775 711923 I Email
Andrea Shaw +44 7714 236469 I Email



I love it, but the paragraph in yellow is a bit long and wordy but I am not sure how to fix it…. do you want to have  ago? [AS1]


Hi Andrea, I’ve tweaked this text and spaced it out using bullets. Hope thats better 🙂 Thanks [GU2]

Where are all of the candidates?

With a surge in vacancies as hospitality reopens, the expectation that there would be a plethora of quality, available candidates in the market hasn’t materialised. Recruiters and businesses are all crying out for candidates, but where are they?

Despite the huge influx in vacancies, job seekers are remaining hesitant to apply for roles in the hospitality industry after the turbulence of the past 13 months. There are 335,000 fewer people employed in the hospitality industry compared to last year, according to the ONS.

Whilst the recent re-opening of indoor hospitality has resulted in an increase in hiring, with job adverts for hospitality roles running above pre-pandemic levels for the first time since the start of the crisis and the total number of vacancies close to 1 million*, recruiters and businesses are struggling to fill vacancies. (*Adzuna)

Why are there fewer candidates in the marketplace?

A cocktail of Brexit, a decline in confidence of job security, talent returning to their home countries, deciding to remain in their roles or being attracted to roles in other industries have resulted in a perfect storm for the decline in available talent in the hospitality industry.

A recent survey of 15 large hospitality brands, including InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Compass Group UK and Ireland and BaxterStorey, by the charity Springboard found many are facing major recruitment challenges.

As reported in The Caterer, one in three respondents noted that they do not have enough employees to manage re-opening indoors, 80% said there was a lack of skilled candidates, almost 90% are struggling to recruit for kitchen and back of house positions despite reduced capacity and over 30% are unable to fill senior management roles.

The Brexit Effect

Brexit, compounded by the pandemic, has seen hospitality lose many employees and future candidates as they return home overseas and are prevented from returning to the UK due to the introduction of the points-based immigration system.

Under new rules, applicants coming to the UK to work must be paid at least £25,600 a year, which for entry level roles across the hospitality sector will preclude many talented candidates, who would otherwise be nurtured into a career in hospitality.

The financial and administrative challenges associated with visa sponsorship present many challenges alongside severe penalties for employers who are found to be non-compliant. This is likely to lead to many employers electing to not hire overseas workers, which would add to the candidate shortages due to the recent uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the new immigration system.

The Saviour of Furlough but Masking the Reality

As furloughed employees (across all sectors) fell from about 5m at the end of March to around 3m by late April 2021, the reality of employee shortages became realised. Whilst furlough was the saviour for many businesses, allowing them flexibility to manage their work-force and protect more than 11 million jobs since the pandemic began (BBC), it often masked a true representation of the situation in hospitality, which has now been unveiled.

Perceived Confidence of Job Security

Vacancies are drawing fewer interested candidates than pre-pandemic with some candidates noting a decline in the confidence of job security as a reason for looking for a new position in hospitality. This has led to many candidates choosing to remain in their existing roles, or those who have been offered a new role, employers often engage in bidding wars for candidates, offering them attractive salary increases to remain with their company.

The Transferable Skills of Hospitality

The transferable skills developed whilst working in the hospitality sector can be easily applied to other industries and this has been seen with candidates choosing to pursue careers in other sectors, retrain or setting up their own businesses as a result of changed circumstances.

Where do we go from here?

Whilst there remains a number of challenges, there are encouraging initiatives across the sector to invest in training, development, wellbeing and accelerating careers.   Developing hospitality at the grass-roots level by working with colleagues, university students and graduate programs to produce talent for the industry will also be essential.

Springboard charity is spearheading this movement and has launched an initiative called Springboard to 2022, which is aiming to train 10,000 young people to work in the sector by December 2022.

At FM Recruitment, we are here to support both businesses and candidates to navigate the world of hospitality recruitment. We are specialists in financial recruitment at all levels in the UK and internationally. We belong to the Hospitality People Group who offer a wide variety of roles from c-suite level and everything in between.

For support with your next career move or to improve your recruitment strategy, please contact FM Recruitment now using any of the below details:

Office +44 20 8600 1160 I Email
Chris Denison Smith +44 7775 711923 I Email
Andrea Shaw +44 7714 236469 I Email


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