Hiring and Training the Millennial Hotel Employee

By Suzanne McIntosh President, McIntosh Human Capital Management | February 28, 2016

What attracts the Millennial colleague? How do we keep them engaged during the hiring process? How do we on-board them to ensure they assimilate quickly within our organizations. What's important to them to feel part of our team as quickly as possible? How do we keep them for the long term?

Millennials will make up 50% of our workforce within the next several years. Our hiring managers need to understand how to attract, develop, and retain this new talent. Methods are changing and we must change with them to attract the best of the best. To hire and retain the Millennial who has the core competencies and values that "fit" with the job, most organizations and managers must shift how they interview and engage employees. They also need to consider what strong Millennial candidates look for in an employer and what their organization has to offer. They are interviewing us just as much as we are interviewing them.

This generation looks for jobs through social media channels, among friends, by working their alumni. They network to understand the best companies to work for and word travels faster than ever before. Clearly if you have a work environment that is collaborative, creative and supportive, your current satisfied Millennials will attract their high performing friends to your company. The social media channels they employ will communicate that your company is a good place to work. (Conversely, if they are not challenged or rewarded, this news will also travel fast.)

The hiring process needs to be thorough and timely. They expect us to communicate with them differently and rapidly. It is important to engage with Millennials on the social media platforms they use in their daily lives. By creating and maintaining Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin company profiles, potential employees will easily get to know your company, its products, and services. Blogs and pages must be kept up to date and ideally managed by a colleague that understands the target audience. Millennials want to know that they are engaging with real people like them not corporate identities. Ultimately, a Millennial wants to know why they should take this job. How will it help them with their overall goals? Creating a company Linkedin page and not keeping it current will reflect negatively on your organization.

Millennials want to know they will be challenged, have a sense of purpose, a sense of community and are being sought after. Companies must sell Millennials not on just why they should join, but what their career progression will be, and most importantly how they'll make an impact on the organization. Companies also need to be seen as socially aware. This communication needs to be as rapid and immediately impactful. If you don't engage them quickly, they will move onto the next job posting with the next click.

Your interview process needs to reflect the culture you want to promote about your organization. A lengthy, process-oriented interview process will not work for the Millennial candidate. If you are a fast paced, innovative lifestyle hospitality company, you can't put candidates through an arduous, bureaucratic series of interviews. It will reflect negatively on what they can expect upon hiring. They must have a personal feel for the person that they will ultimately report to and have free access to asking questions. To assign the negotiations to a third party or if they feel disconnected from who will be their immediate leader will promote a sense of old style "top down" style management. They must have a sense of collaboration and speaking with current employees just like them will help them to get a sense of the community they would be joining.

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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.