Using Social Media and Mobile Technologies to Recruit, Engage, and Retain Hotel Talent

By Joyce Gioia CEO, Employer of Choice International, Inc. | March 16, 2014

Most people value their smart phones over their laptops(1). Unfortunately, many business leaders, not only human resource professionals, have overlooked the value and growing importance of mobile technologies in people's lives.

We all know that the youngest generations, especially The Millennials, love this technology. Not only do they enjoy connecting with technology, it's almost as if it is an extension of who they are. They live and breathe social media and mobile applications.

As the hospitality industry replaces its sometime tech-reluctant retiring Baby Boomers with its tech savvy Millennials, we will see a growing importance to these, now established, technologies.

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That's why we were so impressed after meeting with Daniel Welk, the brilliant General Manager of the Hilton Kuala Lumpur. Daniel shared a story of one of his front desk clerks who had upsold a guest to their Presidential Suite. Instead of waiting until the next staff meeting or even the next morning, as soon as he found out, Welk sent a text to all of the department heads to "spread the word" about what his exemplary associate had done. The department heads, in turn, told all of their reports. Through the rest of the day, coworker after coworker stopped and took the time to congratulate the employee on her special accomplishment. One can only imagine the reinforcement that the employee received; and because everyone knew about it, she became a role model for others as well.

Social Media: The Recruiter's BF

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.