Will flexible working become the norm?

What is flexible working?


By definition, flexible working offers employees increased freedom –working from where they choose, flexible work schedules and fitting work around other responsibilities. Whilst flexible working has been increasingly adopted by companies over the years, it’s been accelerated since the start of the pandemic.


Research on the UK Government website shows that 9 out of 10 job seekers want increased flexibility, be it remote working (60%), flexitime (54%) or reduced hours (26%).


In March 2021, the Minister for Women and Equalities, called for flexible working to be “normalised” as part of the UK economy’s Covid-19 recovery, to capitalise on the shift in mindset triggered by the pandemic. Ministers are now preparing to make flexible working a permanent feature of British life post-pandemic, with plans to strengthen employees’ rights to work from home or ask for different hours.


Benefits of Flexible Working


Increase in Job Applications – UK Government-backed Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) and jobs website Indeed, shows offering flexible working explicitly in job adverts increases applications by up to 30%. The research, which analysed nearly 20 million applications and is the largest of its kind ever conducted in the UK, shows greater transparency in job adverts would create at least 174,000 flexible jobs to the UK economy per year.


Best of Both Worlds – Flexible working offers the freedom of working from home but access to the community of the office to drive increased collaboration. According to a recent survey of 2000 UK workers by Currys PC World and Canon, 37% identified a better work-life balance as one of the main benefits of remote working, with 54% citing not having to commute as their favourite part.


Increased Opportunities for Equality – According to the minister for women and equalities, “flexible working could help boost job opportunities for women (who are more likely to have to disrupt their careers as a result of caregiving duties) and reduce geographical inequality.”


Spreading the commuter coin – Whilst city-based businesses are reliant on the influx of commuters to city centres across the world, there has been a re-balancing of revenues, with more local businesses benefiting from the shift of working patterns. Over time, with a return to a combination of part office, part home working, it’s encouraging to see this wealth being spread across businesses both in city locations and in local communities.


Is flexible working here to stay?


It depends on many factors – there are many predictions that flexible working is here to stay but on the flip-side, the Centre for Cities think tank predicts the five-day office week will become the norm again within two years as featured in a BBC News article in June 2021.


Ultimately, it will be driven by individual businesses and employee’s wishes, and won’t be a one size fits all approach.


Sector Specific – A flexible working environment naturally suits some sectors more than others. For hospitality, the pandemic was a catalyst to introducing more flexible working practices which improved work-life balance. As the business of hospitality re-opens, naturally many roles are guest-facing so require employees to be present in their place of work


Hospitality, like many sectors, are aware of the importance of their employees’ wellbeing and its impact on performance and productivity, so have been adjusting their return to work policies to introduce a variety of measures to create a better work-life balance for their teams. Hybrid working for those working in non-customer facing roles and a four day week have been some of those policies being trialled currently.


Re-imagining of the Office – With changing working patterns evolving and a move to increased hybrid working, the office space will need to be used differently. More collaborative space, places where people can come together and create and innovate and a revised layout of desks are all some of the practical changes that businesses are adopting as they look to navigate the road back to the office.


At FM Recruitment, we work with clients across all areas of hospitality and associated industries to navigate flexible working. We work alongside our clients to showcase their company’s approach to work-life balance and its employee wellbeing focus to find the best candidate for the role.

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 fm@fmrecruitment.co.uk   

Chris Denison Smith +44 7775 711923 I Email chrisdenisonsmith@fmrecruitment.co.uk
Andrea Shaw +44 7714 236469 I Email andreashaw@fmrecruitment.co.uk 

Group Management Accountant, London – Position Filled

This position has now been filled. Please check our latest job opportunities here

We are recruiting for a high-profile international owner/operator who is actively expanding throughout the globe.

The position of Group Management Accountant will report to the Group Financial Planning and Analysis Manager.  Due to the nature of the role it will involve an element of travelling from time to time. The role will predominantly involve Management and Financial Accounting, with a strong emphasis on accurate and timely reporting to key stakeholders. The position will require close collaboration with the Corporate Finance Team as well as the Hotel Financial Controllers.

The role will include the following tasks and responsibilities:

  • Preparation, Review and Analysis of weekly and monthly management information
  • Assist in interpreting results and drafting monthly financial commentary for the Executive Committee, Financing Banks and other Stakeholders
  • Assist in challenging financial reports, forecasts and budgets submitted by the hotels; direct and proactive liaison with the hotels
  • Assist in forecasts, budgets and KPI analysis for the Management Board and the Group’s Financing Banks
  • Co-ordination and consolidation of three / five-year plan for Group
  • Co-ordinate budget process
  • Assist the in suggesting and delivering improvements to the format and content of management reports, covering financial information and key performance indicators
  • Prepare financial information for Operational Performance reviews of the Hotels and Corporate Office
  • Assist with the preparations of business plans and feasibility studies for potential new properties to the portfolio
  • Assist with the integration of new properties into the required reporting format
  • Assist with the monitoring and controlling of central revenues and costs

The ideal candidate:

  • Exceptionally strong attention to detail and accuracy
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Commitment to meeting tight reporting deadlines
  • Ability to work under pressure and to organise one’s own work to ensure priorities are delivered on time and expectations of stakeholders are appropriately managed
  • Ability to plan ahead and make sufficient time to quality control one’s own work
  • Superior communications skills to establish credibility with the hotels
  • Enthusiastic, self-motivated and results-driven with good inter-personal skills

For a full job description, please send your CV to Andrea at andrea@fmrecruitment.co.uk and let us know your availability for an initial conversation.

Success Stories – In Conversation with Michel Checoury

Michel Checoury is an industry veteran, with over 30 years international experience in financial leadership in luxury hospitality. Now Chief Financial and Administrative Officer for Kerzner International, Michel is responsible for the strategic financial planning and fiscal procedures across all aspects of the brand, supporting the company’s growth, profitability and performance.

A strong and innovative leader, Michel joined Kerzner International from Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, where he held the role of Chief Financial Officer overseeing 85 properties in 27 countries.

FM Recruitment continues to have a long-standing relationship with Michel. Jillian Malone, our former Managing Director, placed Michel in his role with Mandarin Oriental in 2008 as Regional Director of Finance for EMEA and as a Regional Director of Finance with InterContinental Hotels Group in 2003.

Throughout his career, Michel has held many other notable financial leadership roles overseas and in his native country, France. These include Regional Director of Finance for Aman, overseeing Finance and Strategic Planning, IT and Retail across 31-properties as well as working with Jumeriah Group and Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

In conversation with Michel Checoury

  1. How did you get into Hospitality Finance?
    It was actually by accident! I began my early career as a Senior Auditor with Deloitte but at  the time had ambitions to work in the US. I saw an advert for an Internal Audit role with  Disneyland Paris, ahead of its opening in the 1990’s and I thought this would be a great  opportunity to work for an American company. Shortly after, I was approached by senior  management to take on a Financial Controller role at a hotel. At first, I was a little unsure  whether this would be the right step to take but I quickly fell in love with the job and the industry. Hospitality finance is so varied- there are many areas to consider from  accommodation to food & beverage, spa to maintenance, and all are operating in a  24/7/365 environment.
  2. What are the most important aspects of financial roles in hospitality and how has the role evolved over the years?  
    I believe that investing the time to understand all of the hotel operations; the challenges,  how it works and what support it needs, is integral to effectively manage the financials.  Whilst you don’t need to be an expert in all areas of the operations, you need to appreciate  how any decisions you take will affect the employees and the brand. Decisions, particularly  the most challenging ones you need to take, should be clearly communicated with empathy  to all stakeholders.
  3. What do you consider your biggest achievement so far and why?
    All of my successes have been attributed to a team success. Whether it’s getting out of a  crisis, managing to turn around a situation or a success to celebrate, it’s always been  because of a team rather than an individual effort.
  4. What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their career in the industry? 
    I can speak from personal experience with this as my son recently decided to pursue a  career in hospitality. I recommend taking the time, early in your career, to really get to know  the business of hospitality. That means working in the kitchen, housekeeping, front office,  night audit etc to really understand each area of the business and how they’re inter-linked.  My son undertook a number of internships with global hospitality brands as well as  specialising his education at some of the best international hotel schools. This foundation of  internships and studies will effectively prepare individuals for their career in hospitality,  whilst building credibility as their career matures.
  5.   What are the biggest opportunities in the hospitality industry as it recovers from the pandemic?
    I think the leisure segment will be the first to recover, accelerated by the ultra-luxury sector, who can charter a plane, rent a private island and aren’t deterred by the expense and logistics of PCR testing. They will be looking for exceptional experiences, exemplary service and exclusivity, in which top luxury hotels will reap the benefits. The corporate market will be the slowest to return in my view – we’ve all become accustomed to conducting business over video calls and working with our fellow colleagues through digital platforms so the justification for corporate travel, as it was pre-pandemic, will take some time to evolve.  I also think there will be substantial acquisition opportunities within the top niche of the hotel market, with some significant asset buy-outs and mergers on the horizon.
  6. What would have been your Plan B?
    I come from a family of accountants therefore I feel my path was quite set from an early  age! I’ve always loved my job and haven’t ever considered a Plan B.

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 fm@fmrecruitment.co.uk
Chris Denison Smith +44 7775 711923 I Email chrisdenisonsmith@fmrecruitment.co.uk
Andrea Shaw +44 7714 236469 I Email andreashaw@fmrecruitment.co.uk




Is Relocation a thing of the Past?

The hospitality industry has long advocated the excitement and career benefits of international relocation. Many hospitality employees point to these experiences as being huge stepping stones in their development, but has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way the industry will be able to offer these opportunities?

Re-location, Re-location, Re-location

In April 2021, international research conducted by Wakefield Research, revealed that candidates were now more willing than ever to consider relocation. “Eighty-four percent of workers say they would relocate for work when COVID-19 is no longer prevalent throughout the world, and nearly half (46 percent) would be willing to do so internationally.”

The pandemic has been the catalyst to a giant reset. Candidates are open to and taking opportunities that they may never have considered before. For so many, the last year has encouraged people to focus on their well-being and work-life balance. With the rise in hybrid working, there is a freedom to take risks and explore the options that may have been seen as a fantasy in the past.

In Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index, 41% of those surveyed suggested that they would consider leaving their job in the next year. While this figure may be alarming in terms of retention, it is clear that there will be an international scramble to lure the very best talent. In a hybrid world, this talent is everywhere.

Re-location Roadblocks

However, whilst relocation and international opportunities are likely to be popular amongst candidates as the pandemic eases, there are likely to be some new challenges for employers looking to recruit candidates who need to relocate.

  • Employee wellbeing – There has always been a responsibility on the employer to ensure the well-being of candidates who are relocating, but there are likely to be additional considerations in the post-pandemic world.
  • Brexit – For relocation between the UK and the EU, there is now the points-based immigration system to now consider following Brexit, meaning that it’s harder for EU citizens to relocate to the UK.  This is having a huge impact for the hospitality industry, as applicants coming to the UK to work must be paid at least £25,600 a year. For entry-level roles across the hospitality sector, this is precluding many talented candidates the opportunity to relocate.

Even with these additional roadblocks, we are confident that relocation remains a popular and important factor in international recruitment – there are just new variables to navigate.

The team at FM Recruitment are specialists in international financial recruitment at all levels and we have strong relationships with international relocation partners, who can advise and support businesses.

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 fm@fmrecruitment.co.uk
Chris Denison Smith +44 7775 711923 I Email chrisdenisonsmith@fmrecruitment.co.uk
Andrea Shaw +44 7714 236469 I Email andreashaw@fmrecruitment.co.uk


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