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.


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 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.