Out-of-the-Box Ideas for Finding the Talent You Need

By Joyce Gioia CEO, Employer of Choice International, Inc. | March 26, 2017

Worldwide, the hospitality industry is going through a transformation. In response to workforce shortages, many employers have looked for---and found---ways to reduce staff by using automation. Despite this trend, there are continuing shortages of skilled workers from frontline housekeepers to general managers. Hospitality leaders are looking for and finding innovative ways to find the talent. This article will give you an overview of what’s working for general managers and their human resource professionals to find the people they need to staff their properties.

Connect Early

While many hoteliers are participating in programs with high schools and community colleges, far fewer have recognized the value of reaching out to elementary schools and even pre-schools to offer property tours and explanations of the careers that are available to graduates. Hospitals are soliciting pre-school visits; why shouldn’t hoteliers be doing it, too?

And when the youngsters come to work with their chaperones, have your own staff describe their jobs in ways that sound fun and engaging. Use your best frontline staff, those employees who are enthusiastic about their jobs. Enthusiasm is contagious; use it to your best advantage. You could even create a video of each of your best employees talking about how much they like their jobs and put that in the careers area on your website. Your employees will love seeing themselves on the screen, and it will help you to recruit others

Reach Out to Schools and Colleges and Let Them Know What Skills You’re Looking For

Many employers are frustrated when graduates don’t have the skills they are looking for. School, college, and university instructors are not clairvoyant. They do not know what skills you value in your employees, unless you tell them. They might even be able to put those skills into a curriculum. If your need is great enough, you could even reach out to a local vocational high school and ask them to create a certificate program for you in housekeeping or hospitality engineering.

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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.