Increasing ROI Through These 4 Essential Hotel Recruiting Techniques

By Zoe Connolly Co-Founder & Managing Director, Hospitality Spotlight | August 26, 2018

In the hotel management space, the role of 'recruiting' seems to fall somewhere between dentist appointments and eating vegetables. These are necessary evils. However, leadership that places an emphasis on proper recruiting will see tremendous ROI, in the form of stronger employees coming on and less time with open positions.

Define the Precise Role

The first step to finding the right candidate is having a clear idea of what the role entails, and effectively communicating the role in the job description. This document should have a clear and simple explanation of what the job entails, including typical day-to-day tasks and any 'must have' requirements. It should also list out a few 'nice to have' requirements. These are qualifications or experiences that can help separate a candidate, but might not be a deal breaker in the hiring process. The job description shouldn't identify which items are 'must have' vs 'nice to have,' that information should be kept internally.

There is another component of a job description that can help a hiring manager cast a wider net in the right talent pool, specific information about the company or property. Company culture is growing in importance in terms of job satisfaction and can serve as a key differentiator when trying to attract top candidates. The company information in the job description should go further than information that can be found on the company's website. This is not an opportunity to copy and paste the 'about us,' it's a chance to show premium candidates why they should want to work for a property or company. Unique perks and culture differentiation should all be a part of this discussion.

Address the Right Candidates

Almost as important as the job description is the location of where it is found. Recruiting and marketing share a tremendous number of skills, and the ability to effectively target a specific audience is one of them. Recruiters should consider who their ideal candidate might be, and then advertise/post roles in the online destinations where those individuals spend the most time.

  • Alternative job sites- This might mean venturing outside of typical job boards (like Monster) and social media (like LinkedIn) to find the right candidate. A hotel chain looking to find a developer to improve and maintain their PMS might be more likely to find a perfect candidate on DZone.com than a traditional career site.
  • Social media- On the social media side, some properties break their HR/Corporate information into separate accounts. For those that keep one single presence on a site like Twitter, it can be helpful to recruiters to promote open roles. While it's often guests that visit a hotel's website, there's no rule that says a guest can't convert to an employee (especially if the guest had a great experience and wants to be part of it).
  • Referrals- One other way to attract great talent is referrals. It's advisable to create an internal company-wide referral program, and to promote it regularly to employees. Hotel leaders can ask team members to refer former colleagues and professional friends. There are a few inherent benefits for referral programs. For employees, being able to work with people they like is a great incentive on its own. Hotels should consider adding a monetary benefit/referral fee, in order to make it a more obvious choice for employees.
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Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.