Tips and Tactics to Attract and Retain Great Hospitality Talent

By Brenda McGregor Director of HR, Chesapeake Hospitaliy | November 19, 2017

It might seem self-evident, but you need to have talent to get talent: strong recruiting efforts start with a skilled recruiting expert. An experienced professional with a strong background in recruiting can introduce your company to new ideas, design, deliver and oversee new recruiting and training programs, and help shift your company’s recruiting mindset to help you understand what you need to do to consistently attract and retain top talent.

The right professional in this position will not only bring an entirely new level of recruiting expertise (with new programs, initiatives, priorities and practices), but will apply expertise both at the corporate level and at each of your individual properties, as well.


The first step in recruiting is to make sure you know what you are selling. Do you have clarity around a strong and appealing brand, and do you have consistent language to express what your brand and company culture mean? If you can’t articulate who you are, why would top candidates want to come and work for you? You can’t fake it; your employees must feel it and live it.

Here at Chesapeake, for example, we invite prospective employees to “Experience What’s Possible.” We want them to clearly identify us as a place they feel they have opportunities to grow. We emphasize the “Chesapeake Way” in everything we do, distilling our philosophy down into four pillars:

1. A culture of integrity: treating each employee with fairness and respect
2. Practicing an entrepreneurial management style: providing clear
opportunities for advancement
3. The pursuit of excellence: emphasizing results and accountability
4. Giving back to the community

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Paul van Meerendonk
Kelly McGuire
Tema Frank
Andy Dolce
Michelle Millar
Richard D. Hanks
Nelson Migdal
Mike Kistner
Bruce Fears
Roger G. Hill
Coming up in April 2018...

Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.