Recruitment Basics: Sell Your Hotel, Your Team and Your Goals

By Zoe Connolly Co-Founder & Managing Director, Hospitality Spotlight | September 23, 2018

People, colleagues, human capital, teammates, coworkers (whatever you choose to call it) are the most important factor in executing against a hotel or travel tech company's vision. As such, it's imperative to attract the right candidates, and sell them on the long term goals.

Candidates that buy into the overall company vision will have a clear understanding of who they'll be working for and what they'll be spending all their time working towards. We do, after all, spend quite a bit more time at work then we do anywhere else, which means helping people see what they're building towards, the vision, is incredibly important at every step of the employment lifecycle. Below are a few tips on how best to sell yourself as an employer to your candidates and future employees, as well as how to keep the vision alive for employees.

Brand Your Hotel

Today, a hotel's brand is about more than the logo on the door, and more than the 'customer promise' that hotels publish on their website. It includes elements like location. Is a property in the middle of downtown or does it get a lot of foot traffic from convention center attendees? Is there a music hall nearby that brings in international guests? If the property is close to the capital of the state or any other unique tourist locations, these can be critical components in building a property's brand.  Candidates appreciate knowing what they'll be packaging for their guests, and if they're local, might even find out about places they were unaware of.

For current employees, it's important for hotel leadership to keep its finger on the pulse of what's happening in a neighborhood. If a new bar is opening up (one that doesn't compete with the restaurant on the property), it may behoove the hotel management to be aware of it, and convey early thoughts. It's always best when hotel employees can speak about their town based on their experience, but if the information can't be first hand, management can offer basic feedback about local establishments.

A property's bran also includes the key internal features. Does a hotel have free bikes for guests, a great award winning spa, a Michelin Star restaurant and/or anything else unique about it? If so, share this information with candidates and employees alike. If there are extra rooms now and then, treat them to the hotel experience. This is a great courting practice for candidates, and a reminder for employees about what they're trying to accomplish. Again, this is about creating the ability to speak to the hotel on a personal level.

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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.