If you're wondering why your local bar is always so short staffed these days, it's because younger generations don’t find working in a bar appealing. According to research by GWI, they don’t see bar work as a valuable experience for their career.
That's why Heineken, in its latest campaign geared to helping out the hospitality sector, is weighing in and saying that it will actively recruit employees who have bar work experience at its HQ in the Netherlands. Created via Publicis Italy and Le Pub, its “Bar Experience" initiative aims to help bars find staff, by showing young adults that bar work should not be overlooked because it’s a great opportunity to master lots of important skills such as team management, verbal communication, logistics, customer service, sales, constructive criticism, active listening and more.
Heineken has created a dedicated job platform on which potential candidates can apply for bar job opportunities. Once hired, the applicant will be provided with an official Heineken “Bar Experience” certificate by their employer. The brand also created an official LinkedIn version of the certificate that can be uploaded on their profile by those who took a bar job. In the future, this certificate will support a candidate’s job application for positions within Heineken.
The brand is also promoting the intiative via outdoor ads on the back doors of bars all across the Netherlands, with the message: “This backdoor can lead you to our front door.”
According to Heineken, it is the first company in the world to both officially certify and consider bar experience as valuable to get hired.
“My own time working at a bar gave me precious experience that still helps me with my job as Heineken’s marketing director: understanding customers, communications, promotion. That’s why we also want to invite other companies to hire people with bar experience," said Els Dijkhuizen, marketing director at Heineken in the Netherlands, in a statement. "Because an employee that can handle a Friday night happy hour, can handle everything. No comparison.”
"Heineken is not only recognizing bar work as a key requirement to get hired at any big company, but is elevating its value as a profession, while supporting bars in their recruitment drive," added Bruno Bertelli, Global CEO of Le Pub and global chief creative officer at Publicis Worldwide. "After all, what better experience is there to work at Heineken than having served the brand’s customers directly?"
Heineken has a history of projects aiding the hospitality sector, especially since the pandemic: previous initiatives have included Shutter Ads, where the beer brand diverted its outdoor media budget from advertising on poster sites to advertising directly on the shutters of closed bars in Argentina to help them find the money to reopen. It won a Cannes Outdoor Grand Prix. Another campaign from Brazil helped bars stay afloat during the pandemic by encouraging people to buy a beer online to drink later in a bar, and matching their payments with donations.