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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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.