Originally featured on HotelExecutive – https://www.hotelexecutive.com/business_review/5786/increasing-roi-through-these-4-essential-hotel-recruiting-techniques?type=trend

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In the hotel management space, the role of ‘recruiting’ seems to fall somewhere between dentist appointments and eating vegetables. These are necessary evils.¬†However, leadership that places an emphasis on proper recruiting will see tremendous ROI, in the form of stronger employees coming on and less time with open positions.

Define the Precise Role

The first step to finding the right candidate is having a clear idea of what the role entails, and effectively communicating the role in the job description. This document should have a clear and simple explanation of what the job entails, including typical day-to-day tasks and any ‘must have’ requirements. It should also list out a few ‘nice to have’ requirements. These are qualifications or experiences that can help separate a candidate, but might not be a deal breaker in the hiring process. The job description shouldn’t identify which items are ‘must have’ vs ‘nice to have,’ that information should be kept internally.

There is another component of a job description that can help a hiring manager cast a wider net in the right talent pool, specific information about the company or property. Company culture is growing in importance in terms of job satisfaction and can serve as a key differentiator when trying to attract top candidates. The company information in the job description should go further than information that can be found on the company’s website. This is not an opportunity to copy and paste the ‘about us,’ it’s a chance to show premium candidates why they should want to work for a property or company. Unique perks and culture differentiation should all be a part of this discussion.

Address the Right Candidates

Almost as important as the job description is the location of where it is found. Recruiting and marketing share a tremendous number of skills, and the ability to effectively target a specific audience is one of them. Recruiters should consider who their ideal candidate might be, and then advertise/post roles in the online destinations where those individuals spend the most time.

  • Alternative job sites- This might mean venturing outside of typical job boards (like Monster) and social media (like LinkedIn) to find the right candidate. A hotel chain looking to find a developer to improve and maintain their PMS might be more likely to find a perfect candidate on DZone.com than a traditional career site.
  • Social media- On the social media side, some properties break their HR/Corporate information into separate accounts. For those that keep one single presence on a site like Twitter, it can be helpful to recruiters to promote open roles. While it’s often guests that visit a hotel’s website, there’s no rule that says a guest can’t convert to an employee (especially if the guest had a great experience and wants to be part of it).
  • Referrals- One other way to attract great talent is referrals. It’s advisable to create an internal company-wide referral program, and to promote it regularly to employees. Hotel leaders can ask team members to refer former colleagues and professional friends. There are a few inherent benefits for referral programs. For employees, being able to work with people they like is a great incentive on its own. Hotels should consider adding a monetary benefit/referral fee, in order to make it a more obvious choice for employees.

Be a Diligent Screener

With a few key approaches in place to attract candidates from a wider pool, it’s important to create a diligent screening process that ensures no candidates fall through the cracks. This means reading all resumes and CVs, even if a candidate seems like they might not be a fit based on the initial scan. There can be a significant difference between a candidate who is qualified and one who’s had a professional resume writer tidy up their credentials, and it is easy to overlook the former in favor of the latter.

If a candidate’s documents lead a recruiter to think “yes, they could be a fit,” it’s time to set up phone interview/screeners. In screening interview, the interviewer should have access and knowledge of every position that might be open that apply to the candidate. Once a candidate starts researching the company, they are likely to review all openings. There’s an industry-wide stigma against considering candidates who have applied for multiple roles in a property or chain. There shouldn’t be. A candidate who is interested in joining the team in whatever role suits them best isn’t a bad or unfocused candidate. They’re an eager candidate.

By being able to discuss multiple open roles, screeners can actually run the interview across multiple roles, perhaps directing a candidate to another position or even another team as someone who’s already made it through the screening process. This will save time in the long run.

All of this can be simplified through the use of various technology. On the internal process side, using an ATS (applicant tracking System or software) is important. An ATS is where all resumes, candidate phone screen notes and interview notes are stored. It creates a central repository for all things hiring, and enables recruiters to be more organized, while also sharing information, possibly between locations. For instance, a recruiter may find out background on a candidate who once interviewed at a property, but is now trying for a role in a corporate setting.

When a candidate isn’t local or doesn’t have the ability to come to the office due to their schedule, FaceTime, Duo, Skype or any other video technology can help them expedite the interview. For video interviews, it’s important for hiring leaders to be sure the candidates are pre-screened and qualified (vetted) prior to the interview. While most of the same advantages and stresses will apply when a candidate is interviewed virtually vs in person, hiring leaders should be certain not to “calendar fill.” There’s a balance between casting a wide net and interviewing candidates who have no chance at a particular role.

Whether it is in person or virtual, there are tips that hiring managers can incorporate from the recruiters who’ve screened a candidate should include to get the most out of their conversations with a prospective employee. The first is about expected growth. A call screener should ask something about an applicant’s long term career goals. As a hiring manager, knowing the goals, and being able to connect them to the current role can have a powerful impact on a candidate’s ultimate decision (remember, quality candidates are unlikely to be available for long periods of time, meaning there is a chance they are speaking to multiple organizations about multiple roles).

Conduct Team Interviews

Hiring managers should also interview for company fit. While it’s important for a hotel to include info about its culture in order to attract quality candidates, it’s equally important for hiring managers to have good feelings about whether a candidate will be a strong contributor to that culture.

Finally, hiring leaders should rely on the wisdom of their teams. Group interviews, or one-on-one meetings with the members of a team a candidate would work with are perfectly acceptable, and create additional data points about a candidate. Team interviews can be intimidating for a candidate, and hiring managers can overcome this issue in a few ways:

  • Having each member of the team introduce themselves and offer quick insight into their own roles. This helps a candidate establish some sense of hierarchy.
  • Asking team members to come with prepared questions/requests, as opposed to basic info like ‘tell me about yourself.” It can be difficult for a candidate to give the same ‘elevator speech” about themselves over and over again.
  • Providing a ‘buddy,’ or someone who checks in between interviews to make sure everything is moving along and see if the candidate needs anything. It can be intimidating to ask for basics like a glass of water or bathroom break with a hiring manager, having a friendly face check in a few items alleviates this concern.

A final note on recruiting: In sales, the ABC acronym (always be closing) is fairly common. IN recruiting, it might be ABL (always be listening). It’s impossible to know where the next quality candidate and hire will come from. If a barista at a local coffee shop gives continuously excellent service, it behooves recruiters and hiring managers to him or her a business card and invite them to apply for a role. A job can be trained, but a person with amazing charisma and great customer service skills can’t. Team members should be encouraged to do the same.

This is also true of hotel industry events. It may be counterintuitive, but very few leaders attending events tend to think of the fact that employees from competitors or vendors might become a great asset for a property or chain.

The easiest way to get the most out of the hiring process is to be thorough and never stop recruiting. It’s inevitable, teams are always changing and reshaping. For hotel leaders, putting some time and energy into recruiting will ultimately pay off, as properties face less time understaffed and are able to bring in stronger employees.

 

 

Originally featured on HotelExecutive – https://www.hotelexecutive.com/business_review/5786/increasing-roi-through-these-4-essential-hotel-recruiting-techniques?type=trend

 

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