Re-training Your Approach to Talent Procurement and Growth
By Kevin Wilhelmsen Dean, University of Phoenix School of Business | February 22, 2015
All employers face challenges when it comes to recruiting and retaining qualified talent, but hospitality workers often enter the field with particularly diverse backgrounds and experience, which can make talent management even more demanding. Ultimately this diversity stands to benefit hospitality employers because it can spur innovation and help companies be more relevant to a diverse customer base. There is no doubt however that procuring and growing talent is often difficult in an industry with so many career paths. In fact, as University of Phoenix was developing its new Hospitality Fundamentals associate degree and certificate curriculum, we spoke with hotel leaders around the country who often expressed the hiring process can feel more like a "casting call."
As the economy improves and workers get more confident to test the job market, recruitment and retention strategies are critical. Training and education are evolving to be more customized and finding the right mix for your organization is crucial in attracting and growing the talent that will be vital to your success.
Start by Attracting the Right Talent – Your Employment Brand
There is no doubt there are dynamic hospitality career opportunities, but to many, this is somewhat of a secret. A strong employment brand can be instrumental in attracting the right talent and competing with other industries for this talent. Where do you start? The answer is close to home. Your employees – particularly those you have identified as strong performers possess very valuable information. Engage them in honest dialogue about what drew them to the organization or a hospitality career in general, what surprised them, what makes their employment experience unique and what they think others do not understand about the career opportunities that exist in the sector.
You likely conduct regular employee opinion surveys. Don't limit your questions to job satisfaction, use the opportunity to gain insight about promoting your employment brand. If you want to get more targeted, identify employees throughout the organization in roles and levels who are seen as top performers and investigate this with them through in-person interviews and surveys. Consider creating a committee that includes these top performers and give them the opportunity to affect the organization in new ways. Not only will you gain valuable insight, but you can also contribute to job satisfaction for your most valued employees because they will know their voices are being heard.
You may find in this assessment that your employment brand isn't exactly what you hoped. Be careful about overstating it. Instead, do the due diligence to introduce programs, policies and training that embody your unique brand.