Hotel Phone Interviews: New Basics

By Zoe Connolly Co-Founder & Managing Director, Hospitality Spotlight | July 22, 2018

The candidate screening process tends to include a number of early steps before connecting for a face to face interview, and ultimately making an offer for employment. Whether you're looking for a front line employee for a hotel property, or trying to find the right developer for a travel tech company, there tend to be common steps, such as rifling through a huge number of resumes, and selecting a handful of candidates to move into the phone screening phase.

While these are only the first steps to finding the right employee, there are a number of pitfalls that may inadvertently disqualify the best candidate. This can lead to roles being filled with less than ideal candidates (and an increase in the necessary training time), or even adding to the amount of time a company operates while understaffed (putting undo burden on current employees and hurting productivity). Here are a few tips to ensure that phone interviews, an early phase in the hiring process can be easier and more effective.

Build a Scouting Report

Before making the first call to a candidate, hotel leaders and hiring managers should find out more about with whom they will be speaking. If the candidate was sourced by a recruiter or another manager, it's easy to take a few minutes to review their resume, but also ask for more details. Hirers can look at who employs them and how long they have been there. Some hotels and travel tech companies are known for hiring a specific type employee. While the reputation may not be applied to that particular job candidate, it's good to keep in mind. Others hotels and travel tech companies have a history of being tough and employees that are successful in that environment can be successful almost anywhere. These types of employers are great for training future employees. It's also helpful to do a quick Google search and see if anything pops up about this candidate. Everything from LinkedIn to Instagram can help to paint a picture of a candidate.

Formally Book the Call

It's easy to think that a spontaneous call is convenient, and that catching someone off guard will make them think on their feet. The reality, however, is that the approach won't give the candidate the opportunity to prepare and present their best self. When current employees show up to the office, they have time to mentally prepare; candidates should get the same opportunity. 

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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.