Hotel Recruiting Obstacles: Budget, Brand Reputation, and Location

By Zoe Connolly Co-Founder & Managing Director, Hospitality Spotlight | December 16, 2018

Every property, management company and travel tech company (and really any organization) has recruiting challenges to overcome. While no two properties are exactly alike, there are commonalities that tend to appear, and can be lumped into three buckets: Budget, Brand and Location.

Each bucket tends to include a variety of issues, but all of them can be overcome (yes, even location). For recruiters to be effective in getting beyond these hurdles to identify and secure top talent, however, they need to work with a wide range of stakeholders in identifying organizational approaches to each challenge. This goes beyond basics like knowing the highlights of the property or the job. It means securing buy-in from other departments, like marketing, and roles, like GM.

Addressing the challenges in the interview process is extremely important. Transparency goes a long way with candidates. In this article we will discuss the common obstacles hiring managers and recruiters come across and how to tackle them.

Budget

The cost of making the wrong hire is astronomical, often surpassing the actual salary of the new hire, when accounting for things like onboarding, productivity, impact on staff morale, etc. However, for many hotels and hospitality tech companies, it's easier to cut budget aimed at recruiting. Though an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, many hotels lack interest in preemptive spending when it comes to securing the right talent. This isn't an excuse for failing to source quality candidates. Instead, it is an opportunity for recruiters and HR leaders to get more creative.

If a property or management company's budget for recruiting is on the lower end, HR teams can partner up with the marketing department to leverage existing materials, and even advertising. This can be basic things like "borrowing" brochures and existing hard copies of materials or using sections of existing artwork to spruce up LinkedIn and Job board ads. It can also be to partner up and expand the reach of recruiting by incorporating hiring elements into current ad spending (for instance, including a line about the property hiring or a link to the careers section of the website).

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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.