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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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.