Finding the Perfect Hotel Employee

By Zoe Connolly Co-Founder & Managing Director, Hospitality Spotlight | January 06, 2019

Making the wrong hire can have ghastly repercussions for a hotel property or travel tech company. Between the costs associated with paying for poor performance, the drain on employee morale, time spent in training and onboarding, time needed to find another new employee, recruiter fees and the opportunity cost of not selecting the right person, getting it right the first time is critical. The US Department of Labor estimates that the cost of a bad hire is 30% of that person's income; for a startup in travel tech or an established property, this is a massive investment in… nothing.

However, nearly no company can succeed without bringing in outside talent. Whether it's replacing an employee who's moved into a new department (or new company), roles shifted because of technology, or even basics like retirement, companies in the travel space are required to make hires. Following are tips that help to ensure that a new hire is the right hire.

Know Your Team

The first step in the process of finding the right employee is to evaluate your existing team. It's important to have a realistic grasp on who they are, how they operate, where they are exceeding expectations and where they are lacking or need improvement. With this information, it is possible to shift the focus of the job description, allowing hiring managers to more easily find great candidates and also empowering the property or company to use the hiring window as an opportunity for growth, as opposed to lateral movement. In addition, there are corporate culture elements that should be considered when thinking about an existing team, after all, this is the group that will be handling a majority of training.

Having working knowledge of the team in place also makes it it possible for recruiters and hiring managers to offer a realistic view of the team to candidates. Not every property is willing to put potential hires through group interviews, or hire by committee. This places the onus on recruiters and HR folks to know exactly what an employee is getting into by accepting the role. After all, if potential employers paint a pretty picture and the candidate/new employee makes a potentially life altering decision to join a new company, the last thing they want to find out is that they were deceived. That is the quickest way to ruin your reputation as an employer and have people quit.

Develop a Referral Pipeline

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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.