The Key to Hospitality Success: Your Seasonal Workers

By Megan Schuyler Director of Strategic Accounts, Adecco Staffing USA | November 13, 2016

While the busy summer season may have just wrapped up for most hotels, another equally busy season is right around the corner: the winter holidays.

According to a past survey, about 58 percent of Americans plan to travel within the U.S. over the holidays. Of those who are planning to travel, about 43 percent of respondents prefer to stay in a hotel rather than at a family member's house. This surge of guests means opportunity to receive positive reviews, so your hotel should make delivering top-notch customer service a priority. To do so, having a strong, reliable workforce is critical.

However, you may face challenges. Not only are hotels competing to find staff to meet their increased demand, but you must look for talent that can quickly be trained and leave a positive impression on guests.

The good news is there are simple steps you can take to attract the best of the best, whether it's for this holiday season, next summer or beyond. Consider the following:

Determine Your Seasonal Needs

The first step in devising a successful seasonal hiring strategy is to determine your hotel's specific needs. Take the time to sit down with managers across your organization and discuss what roles need filling and at which times. While there is no way to determine the exact number of additional staff members needed, there are a few options for gauging what these needs will be:

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.