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5 Tips in Hotel Recruiting Transparency

Originally featured on HotelExecutive – https://hotelexecutive.com/business_review/5836/5-tips-in-hotel-recruiting-transparency

Basics.jpegIn nearly every industry, from government to social media, and education to hospitality, the term ‘transparency’ has gone beyond buzzword, and become part of the lexicon. In the HR world, there’s salary transparency, leadership transparency, and yes, transparency has made its way into the hiring process.

When recruiting, the moment a candidate’s trust is lost is also the moment their interest in the position is gone. It’s even worse if the candidate is hired and then quickly comes to understand that they were mislead. Regardless of the level of the opportunity and the experience of the candidate, they will talk to their network and your organization will have to live with it….whatever that may be. Below are 5 tips that will improve transparency throughout the hiring lifecycle.

1. Be Transparent About What is Needed Within a Role

Successful team building has a number of components to it. On one hand, there is the obvious goal of finding people who interact well with each other. On the other, it can be about positioning each team member to take advantage of their strengths. It can also be about finding opportunities for growth, and building a funnel of talent to replace individuals who have been promoted. Regardless of the goals, as teams change, so to do the responsibilities for its members.

This places the onus on managers to to be forthcoming for current and prospective employees alike. When the need for a new employee arises, it’s likely there is a description laying around from previous recruiting efforts. While this is a great place to start, hotel leadership must ensure that the description accurately reflects the desired position, and edit it to the needs of today. In many instances, the ability to accurately reflect a role will determine the quality of candidates who fit the description.

To build or refine an accurate description, it is important to review the hotel team and any changes that may have occurred since the last round of hiring, as well as discussing the role with current employees. In some instances, this can open up the ability to increase a current employee’s responsibilities, while hiring to backfill other components of a role.

Exit interviews are also an important part of understanding the perception of a role, versus the realities. Exit interviews should include questions about day-to-day responsibilities, how a soon-to-be former employee might do differently in a manager’s role, and information on how the old description has become obsolete. During exit interviews, hotel leaders may come to realize that as an employee this person took on more responsibilities than required, and probably should have been recognized for their effort. This might change the management approach to the new hire, or change the role itself.

Another key to hiring has to do with accuracy and transparency about the technology a company has in place. While someone who’s comfortable in a Microsoft setting likely won’t encounter major issues switching to Google’s enterprise edition, changes in the day-to-day technology stack that an employee is used to can lead to increased ramp up times, and general frustration over diverging job descriptions and realities.

Finally, it’s also a good idea to scout the competition, looking at the websites of competing properties to identify the way they are positioning roles. After all, you’re not just competing with them for guests; you’re competing with the for talent as well.

2. Be Transparent About Growth Opportunities

Communicating career path is important for every role. From the most junior role to the most senior role in any company, almost everyone wants to know, “after I rock this, what is next?” This question is often a critical reason that candidates are on the job market to begin with. After all, if there is no line of sight to a promotion in their current role, then maybe it is time for a new ‘current role.”

When a candidate asks what their career path will be it’s because it can be different from property to property. It also shows they want to perform well enough that they will be given opportunities to grow and succeed.

Even if the candidate doesn’t ask during the interview process, hiring managers should explain what a career path might look like. People tend to assume quite a bit when the new job opportunity is within the same industry or even similar properties. As such, managers should discuss the standard time they’ll be expected to be in this particular role and where they can move forward after. If there are many options, perhaps a manager can help them pay extra attention or get extra involvement with those other teams that are anticipated to have growth opportunities available, so when the time comes, an employee who is in line for promotion will already have an inside track. Knowing what you’re working towards can be a great motivator to continue to do a great job.

It’s also important to explain where a particular role is unlikely to go. While there are fictional (and real) examples of hotel executives who began as a busboy or coat check girl, these stories are relatively few and far between.

3. Be Transparent About the Health of the Property

This is a major point that can’t be understated. To deliver on any of the promises of individual growth parth, it’s important for leaders to have an understanding of, and be able to convey, the realities of a property’s (or region’s) situation. On the financial side, this makes obvious sense. But going beyond that, it’s also important to explain to a candidate the shape the property is in, and the vision for where leadership wants to take it.

If the property is in great shape financially, it might provide a bigger budget for employees to come up with ways to improve the guest experience, or create a more comfortable environment for sharing ideas. If a property might be described on Zillow as “needing a little TLC,” it’s possible that a great candidate who thrives on new challenges can emerge. In these instances, it is also possible that a less technically inclined prospective hire is optimal… someone with a great personality can often overcome a few minutes of computer lag. However, without clarity up front, it is impossible for candidates to emerge and highlight their best qualities.

With a firm understanding of a property’s standing, new hires can can go about their day making sure they are meeting the goals set out for the role, whether that means maintaining high standards and coming up with new local ideas, or helping to right the ship.


4. Be Transparent About Changes in Property Ownership or Management

While it may not seem important to share with the employees that the property might be sold or that a new management company is coming in to taker over, this information is critical. I’m not advocating to undermine or ignore non-disclosure agreements, but for a prospective hire, it is important to know that they may be subject to change in the near future.

That change can be in the form of benefits (different hotel chains obviously offer different packages), as well as corporate culture. When candidates accept a position, they are buying into the company as a whole. If they start and things dramatically change, then they might feel deceived, even if the changes were for the better and the new owner or management company has a better reputation. Once the trust is lost, employees can start seeking to work for other employers that are more transparent.

5. Finally, Be Transparent About Standards & Goals

Every property has set standards and goals. It’s important to be able to clearly express what they are. These standards and goals will affect an employee’s day to day role, as well as their opportunity for growth. An employer who rants and raves about ‘our company standards’ when none are formalized and shared is going to lose employees, at a rapid pace.

Conversely, if a candidate’s work ethic fails to align with the standards, and if they aren’t interested in striving to achieve the goals, there is a chance that candidate will weed him or herself out of consideration.

As kids, we are taught that honesty is the best policy, if you lie you won’t be trusted, don’t cry wolf and so on. In other words, we’re taught about transparency. In the recruiting world, transparency harkens back to the same lessons, and is just as important for the hiring manager’s reputation and the property’s reputation. Being transparent with potential future employees, as well as current employees, will create a more comfortable and happier work environment, and can inspire loyalty from employees and guests alike.