When to (and Not to) Use a Hotel Recruiter

By Zoe Connolly Co-Founder & Managing Director, Hospitality Spotlight | February 10, 2019

Finding talent for a property, hotel chain or travel tech company is expensive. From screener interviews, to the time team members need to spend interviewing candidates, to the lost costs of a role going unfilled, dollars and time add up as companies look to bring in new talent, a process that usually takes nearly a month an a half.

Many of these cost centers can be mitigated through a partnership with a recruiter. These individuals can largely eliminate the screening process for hotels and tech companies, shake loose passive candidates who might be better qualified for a role than someone who's on the market, and even help with little things like creating job descriptions that will accurately represent the role.

That's not to say every company should always be engaged with a recruiter for every hire. Below are a series of green and red flags companies should consider (green for 'hire a recruiter' and red for 'holding off') before enlisting the help of a hiring professional.

Green Flag: There is flexibility in the role

Oftentimes, when a role opens up, the responsibilities have changed from the job's original description. Perhaps this is because technology has evolved, or maybe it's because a standout employee took on more than was expected. It can also be because a company wants to add someone who fits the description, but thinks there is an opportunity to add elements to the role.

Regardless of the reason, finding the right fit for what is essentially a moving target can be incredibly difficult for in-house hiring managers, and this is where recruiters can shine. Generally speaking, recruiters have amassed a wide range of current and passive candidates that offer an extensive range of possible fits.

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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.