Taking Recruiting to the Next Level: Choosing Your Team

By Jesse Boles Executive Director of Operations, FreemanGroup | July 03, 2011

Any good chef will tell you that if you put garbage in, you'll put garbage out. Just as it is best for chefs to know what dish they are preparing before they go out in search of the best ingredients to make it, hotel professionals are better off when they know what they are looking for in staff members before they hire and train them.

When an organization hires just one person for the wrong job, the effects can be damaging to the entire enterprise. When an organization makes bad hiring choices a habit, the results can be disastrous. At best, bad hiring choices result in poor service; at worst, they cause safety and health risks and perpetually high turnover. Unfortunately, despite the negative consequences of poor hiring choices, many organizations still put little thought and planning into recruiting and interviewing.

Who Do You Want?

Without a clear objective in our heads, most of us will simply go into the market and pick out whatever looks best without really taking into consideration how the items will combine when they are thrown into one pot. We can fool ourselves into thinking that this approach is a good one by saying things like, "We are going to hire experienced people with the right skills, so we won't need to do much with them once we get them," but the truth is that if we don't have a clear recipe for hiring the right employees for the right jobs from the very beginning, we are probably going to wind up with an inarticulate culture made up of people who are each doing their job in a different way.

If you want to recruit and hire effectively, you must be able to articulate exactly what you need and expect a candidate to bring to the table prior to training. You should also be able to articulate what you will be able to provide to candidates during training. Being confident in your training program frees you to focus on building the right culture during hiring instead of merely assessing candidates' technical skills.

One oft overlooked benefit of having a good training program is that it allows you to present potential hires with fewer boxes to check on their applications in order to qualify for a particular job. Allowing more people to qualify for a job expands your pool of qualified applicants and enables you to base your final selections on the more desirable characteristics you will be able to uncover during the interview process.

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Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.