Finding the Perfect Hotel Employee

By Zoe Connolly Co-Founder & Managing Director, Hospitality Spotlight | January 06, 2019

Making the wrong hire can have ghastly repercussions for a hotel property or travel tech company. Between the costs associated with paying for poor performance, the drain on employee morale, time spent in training and onboarding, time needed to find another new employee, recruiter fees and the opportunity cost of not selecting the right person, getting it right the first time is critical. The US Department of Labor estimates that the cost of a bad hire is 30% of that person's income; for a startup in travel tech or an established property, this is a massive investment in… nothing.

However, nearly no company can succeed without bringing in outside talent. Whether it's replacing an employee who's moved into a new department (or new company), roles shifted because of technology, or even basics like retirement, companies in the travel space are required to make hires. Following are tips that help to ensure that a new hire is the right hire.

Know Your Team

The first step in the process of finding the right employee is to evaluate your existing team. It's important to have a realistic grasp on who they are, how they operate, where they are exceeding expectations and where they are lacking or need improvement. With this information, it is possible to shift the focus of the job description, allowing hiring managers to more easily find great candidates and also empowering the property or company to use the hiring window as an opportunity for growth, as opposed to lateral movement. In addition, there are corporate culture elements that should be considered when thinking about an existing team, after all, this is the group that will be handling a majority of training.

Having working knowledge of the team in place also makes it it possible for recruiters and hiring managers to offer a realistic view of the team to candidates. Not every property is willing to put potential hires through group interviews, or hire by committee. This places the onus on recruiters and HR folks to know exactly what an employee is getting into by accepting the role. After all, if potential employers paint a pretty picture and the candidate/new employee makes a potentially life altering decision to join a new company, the last thing they want to find out is that they were deceived. That is the quickest way to ruin your reputation as an employer and have people quit.

Develop a Referral Pipeline

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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.