Hotel Recruitment: Is a Talent Shortage Looming?

By Paul Feeney Managing Director, Sanford Rose Associates - Wayne | October 28, 2008

Self-assessment Can Identify Where Problems Exist

Like the boy who cried wolf, too many prognosticators for too long have been predicting a massive talent shortage - with frustrated employees departing their jobs in droves.

"The new year is expected to usher in a flurry of job hopping," announced USA Today. A large staffing firm quantified the percentage of disaffected employees as being "more than half," while a retained search firm put the number at precisely 42 percent. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 38 percent of HR professionals believe employee turnover is increasing.

To date, few if any organizations have seen a mass exodus from their ranks. In truth, talent shortages will begin to catch many employers unaware - but that problem is not across the board, nor will it happen all at once. As is often the case, the devil is in the details.

For instance, some occupations are relatively stable, while others are relatively fluid. Some skills are increasingly in high demand, while others have waned. Some departments and business units enjoy exceptionally strong morale, while others are in chaos. And the amount of entropy, or disorder, in a modern organization only increases with size.

For all those reasons and more, it is necessary to dig beneath the surface in order to determine where the greatest vulnerabilities lie. Let's start with supply and demand.

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Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.