Recruitment Basics: Sell Your Hotel, Your Team and Your Goals

By Zoe Connolly Co-Founder & Managing Director, Hospitality Spotlight | September 23, 2018

People, colleagues, human capital, teammates, coworkers (whatever you choose to call it) are the most important factor in executing against a hotel or travel tech company's vision. As such, it's imperative to attract the right candidates, and sell them on the long term goals.

Candidates that buy into the overall company vision will have a clear understanding of who they'll be working for and what they'll be spending all their time working towards. We do, after all, spend quite a bit more time at work then we do anywhere else, which means helping people see what they're building towards, the vision, is incredibly important at every step of the employment lifecycle. Below are a few tips on how best to sell yourself as an employer to your candidates and future employees, as well as how to keep the vision alive for employees.

Brand Your Hotel

Today, a hotel's brand is about more than the logo on the door, and more than the 'customer promise' that hotels publish on their website. It includes elements like location. Is a property in the middle of downtown or does it get a lot of foot traffic from convention center attendees? Is there a music hall nearby that brings in international guests? If the property is close to the capital of the state or any other unique tourist locations, these can be critical components in building a property's brand.  Candidates appreciate knowing what they'll be packaging for their guests, and if they're local, might even find out about places they were unaware of.

For current employees, it's important for hotel leadership to keep its finger on the pulse of what's happening in a neighborhood. If a new bar is opening up (one that doesn't compete with the restaurant on the property), it may behoove the hotel management to be aware of it, and convey early thoughts. It's always best when hotel employees can speak about their town based on their experience, but if the information can't be first hand, management can offer basic feedback about local establishments.

A property's bran also includes the key internal features. Does a hotel have free bikes for guests, a great award winning spa, a Michelin Star restaurant and/or anything else unique about it? If so, share this information with candidates and employees alike. If there are extra rooms now and then, treat them to the hotel experience. This is a great courting practice for candidates, and a reminder for employees about what they're trying to accomplish. Again, this is about creating the ability to speak to the hotel on a personal level.

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.