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.

Recruiting

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

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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.