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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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.