Out-of-the-Box Ideas for Finding the Talent You Need

By Joyce Gioia CEO, Employer of Choice International, Inc. | March 26, 2017

Worldwide, the hospitality industry is going through a transformation. In response to workforce shortages, many employers have looked for---and found---ways to reduce staff by using automation. Despite this trend, there are continuing shortages of skilled workers from frontline housekeepers to general managers. Hospitality leaders are looking for and finding innovative ways to find the talent. This article will give you an overview of what's working for general managers and their human resource professionals to find the people they need to staff their properties.

Connect Early

While many hoteliers are participating in programs with high schools and community colleges, far fewer have recognized the value of reaching out to elementary schools and even pre-schools to offer property tours and explanations of the careers that are available to graduates. Hospitals are soliciting pre-school visits; why shouldn't hoteliers be doing it, too?

And when the youngsters come to work with their chaperones, have your own staff describe their jobs in ways that sound fun and engaging. Use your best frontline staff, those employees who are enthusiastic about their jobs. Enthusiasm is contagious; use it to your best advantage. You could even create a video of each of your best employees talking about how much they like their jobs and put that in the careers area on your website. Your employees will love seeing themselves on the screen, and it will help you to recruit others

Reach Out to Schools and Colleges and Let Them Know What Skills You're Looking For

Many employers are frustrated when graduates don't have the skills they are looking for. School, college, and university instructors are not clairvoyant. They do not know what skills you value in your employees, unless you tell them. They might even be able to put those skills into a curriculum. If your need is great enough, you could even reach out to a local vocational high school and ask them to create a certificate program for you in housekeeping or hospitality engineering.

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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.