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 February 2019...

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.