Anyone who works or has worked in hospitality can tell you it's a fast-paced and complex industry, unlike any other. When it comes to recruiting, HR is often plagued with unique recruiting challenges and obstacles. Does this sound familiar?
Common Recruiting Challenges in Hospitality
- High turnover. According to a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, hospitality had some of the highest turnover rates of any industry. High turnover equates to higher HR costs and unfilled positions.
- Decentralized recruiting. Hiring managers often handle most of the hiring, but consistent processes are lacking. It can be challenging to streamline communication between all parties and departments involved.
- Time constraints. Hiring managers need simple, straight forward and efficient processes because they're either short-handed or paying overtime to existing employees. Hospitality managers often need to fill positions immediately and don't have the time to wade through piles of resumes. And, frankly, they can't wait until HR has the time to forward resumes to them.
- Lost paperwork. Manual processes are cumbersome and applications can get misplaced or lost in the shuffle, especially during transitions, pre-openings and busy seasons.
- Securing great talent. It can be challenging to be competitive and visible in the recruiting landscape and to attract the best applicants.
- Careers pages don’t reflect your Brand. Hospitality is very much about brand recognition. When resources are often limited, careers pages can look unfriendly and unattractive to candidates. It’s important that your careers page shows applicants who you are and what you represent.
Although these challenges may seem commonplace, the hospitality industry is evolving to address these areas of concern. First off, companies are more focused than ever on finding and retaining great employees. After all, hospitality companies depend on good customer reviews and experiences, and employees are a direct reflection of a company's reputation and brand image. Another way employers are improving processes and attracting quality applicants is by leveraging technology.
How to Improve Recruiting in Hospitality by Leveraging Technology
1. Build a strong brand image online. Attract top applicants by highlighting your company's culture, values, and benefits. John Schadler, managing partner of Schadler Kramer Group, encourages companies to, "Advocate what your hotel/resort brand stands for and provide a sense for how your company represents a better opportunity, a better work environment or an overall enhancement of life for the prospective employee." Here are a couple ways to build a strong brand presence online.
- Social media. Use social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to develop relationships with applicants. This is a great way to communicate more about your company.Greg Smith, EVP of People Services for Commune Hotels + Resorts, says social media is a way to communicate with younger applicants and "a powerful tool to connect with a brand, get a glimpse into the experience, and a deeper understanding of the culture."
- Careers page. Create a well-branded careers page where you can promote your company. Include your mission statement and information about perks and benefits. Make sure applicants can easily apply online and that the process is user-friendly. Some best practices to follow are allowing applicants to submit a resume or application online, having a mobile friendly site, asking prescreening questions that are appropriate for the position and sending a thanks for applying message. You can also use an internal careers page to encourage growth and movement for existing employees.
2. Extend your online reach. Get your jobs out there. Utilize job boards and social media to make sure your job openings are being distributed to a wide audience of qualified applicants. Take advantage of numerous free job boards or industry specific job boards. Also include social buttons on your careers page to make it easy for applicants to share positions with friends and their professional networks. Most applicants are applying online these days and it's important that you have a strong online presence when it comes to recruiting.
3. Choose an online applicant tracking system (ATS). An ATS like The Applicant Manager (TAM) provides an efficient, cost-effective recruiting infrastructure that manages candidate information and helps cultivate relationships with applicants. Other benefits include facilitating communication between HR and hiring managers and initiating background checks, reference checks and assessments online. ATS’s are now used at every level of the hospitality industry to make recruiting, a seemingly inefficient process, more manageable.
- It’s about the experience. Treat your applicants as you would your guests. The right ATS provides your team and your applicants with a great experience. Make sure that the ATS is intuitive and easy to use or your hiring managers won’t use it. They may not have the time or interest in learning another complex system. Finally, the system that you select has to be easy to use and welcoming to applicants as well.
In the hospitality business, brand presence and communications are key to attracting quality applicants as well as guests. How can you leverage technology around recruiting to take your organization to the next level?