Hotel Recruiting Obstacles: Budget, Brand Reputation, and Location

By Zoe Connolly Co-Founder & Managing Director, Hospitality Spotlight | December 16, 2018

Every property, management company and travel tech company (and really any organization) has recruiting challenges to overcome. While no two properties are exactly alike, there are commonalities that tend to appear, and can be lumped into three buckets: Budget, Brand and Location.

Each bucket tends to include a variety of issues, but all of them can be overcome (yes, even location). For recruiters to be effective in getting beyond these hurdles to identify and secure top talent, however, they need to work with a wide range of stakeholders in identifying organizational approaches to each challenge. This goes beyond basics like knowing the highlights of the property or the job. It means securing buy-in from other departments, like marketing, and roles, like GM.

Addressing the challenges in the interview process is extremely important. Transparency goes a long way with candidates. In this article we will discuss the common obstacles hiring managers and recruiters come across and how to tackle them.

Budget

The cost of making the wrong hire is astronomical, often surpassing the actual salary of the new hire, when accounting for things like onboarding, productivity, impact on staff morale, etc. However, for many hotels and hospitality tech companies, it's easier to cut budget aimed at recruiting. Though an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, many hotels lack interest in preemptive spending when it comes to securing the right talent. This isn't an excuse for failing to source quality candidates. Instead, it is an opportunity for recruiters and HR leaders to get more creative.

If a property or management company's budget for recruiting is on the lower end, HR teams can partner up with the marketing department to leverage existing materials, and even advertising. This can be basic things like "borrowing" brochures and existing hard copies of materials or using sections of existing artwork to spruce up LinkedIn and Job board ads. It can also be to partner up and expand the reach of recruiting by incorporating hiring elements into current ad spending (for instance, including a line about the property hiring or a link to the careers section of the website).

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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.