Utilizing Social Media to Find the Best Hotel Employees
By Frank Speranza President, Hospitality Talent Scouts Executive Search | March 20, 2016
Many individuals and companies might not realize this, but social media is changing the face of recruitment in many ways, including a company's ability to secure the best talent. They are doing this by utilizing social media to provide incredible insights into candidates' backgrounds, personalities, the company they keep, and what their personal life looks like. Employers are looking at social media sites more and more as they check candidates to find out who they may know in common.
Secrets are no longer secrets anymore, and many back-door reference checks are being done by employers, thus increasing the risk of word getting back to a candidate's employer that they are window shopping for positions outside their own company. As a result, candidates are becoming more spooked and not as willing to entertain interviews without the security that there will be no leaks back to their current employers.
Yes, I'm at it again. Trying to inform the industry on what is really happening in the trenches of securing talent. Yes, I think I probably have one of the better pictures of what is really going on out there. I know that sounds a little aloof of me to say, but please remember that I spent almost 30 years in significant leadership positions in the industry before starting Hospitality Talent Scouts more than 10 years ago. I think with 40 years of a progressive, profitable career under my belt, and at the ripe old age of 56, I actually do know a few things.
Many have heard me say this before, but the number one question I still get from employers is, "Why is it so hard to find good people?" As a matter of fact, not only is it the number one question, but it is being asked more and more often every day across the board by Brands, Independent Hotels, Management Companies, Ownership Groups, and Asset Managers. I'm certainly not lacking for business. As a matter of fact, business is the best it's ever been because of this shortage and difficulty in securing talent. But before I go down that road, my friends at Hotel Business Review asked me to write an article on the role social media is playing, positively and negatively, feeding into this talent shortage crisis that everyone is feeling.
Probably a good place to start is with what most would consider the top business-centered social media site: LinkedIn. There are very few business leaders in hospitality that do not have a LinkedIn profile. It is a great tool to identify talent, and many employers seeking talent utilize it with great success, as do many candidates seeking a position. But like any database, you'll find that it is labor intense, and the information is only as good as the data entry person, which in most cases is the individual doing their own profile.
Most hospitality organizations that utilize it put a not-so-senior-person on it who really does not know what they are looking for. Thus most organizations underutilize this tool. Others over-emphasize the importance of LinkedIn in their recruiting efforts and thus miss many opportunities securing the best talent through other venues.
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