3 Lessons Learned From Recruiting In Hospitality
Learn three lessons to overcome hiring obstacles.
While recruiting the best in the business can be difficult in any industry, securing new staff is particularly challenging for hotel and restaurant employers due to the specialized skills some positions require, stiff competition for candidates, and the changeable nature of the marketplace. Fortunately, these obstacles are surmountable. Whether your company is in need of a guest services manager or an executive chef, consider these three lessons every hospitality recruiter needs to learn.
1. Use the right tools to find specialized hospitality talent.
From managing the creation of menus, preparation instructions, and individual dish specifications by ingredients and corresponding portion sizes to experience with the Front Office software program, some hospitality jobs require professionals with a highly specialized skill set. If you want to find one who has everything your particular position requires, you’ll need to cast a wide net using an array of online recruiting resources from social media to job boards to your company’s employment website.
Job boards are particularly popular with both job seekers and recruiters. According to a study by Millennial Branding, a research and consulting firm, 87 percent of Baby Boomers, 82 percent of Generation X, and 77 percent of Generation Y professionals turn to job boards first when searching for opportunities online. Another study found that 45 percent of HR professionals have found candidates on job boards. That’s more than the number of professionals who have been hired through their company website (18 percent) or employee referrals (17 percent).
While online job aggregators—such as Indeed—reach a wide audience, many of the professionals who see your posting will be in industries other than hospitality. Niche job boards such as Hcareers, on the other hand, target the specialized talent pool you need. Their career development advice and engaging blog attracts passive candidates in addition to professionals actively seeking new employers. That adds up to a large pool of potentials. According to Jobvite, 71 percent of the U.S. labor market is either actively seeking or open to hearing about new opportunities.
2. Emphasize the advantages your hotel or restaurant offers.
Whether you’re located within a hospitality hotbed—such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, or Las Vegas—with a higher concentration of industry opportunities, or in a geographic area with fewer hotels and restaurants, there is always competition for the best professionals. If you want to secure them for your team, you need to emphasize the advantages your organization offers.
When identifying these advantages, consider both the tangible and intangible. Tangible advantages include professional training and mentoring programs, internal advancement opportunities, and a competitive salary and benefits package. Intangible benefits include the quality of life in your geographic area: affordable housing prices, low crime rates, great schools, and plentiful recreation and entertainment resources. Communicate these advantages at every step of the recruiting process.
3. Prepare for fluctuating hiring needs.
Change is a near constant in the hospitality industry. Dining trends come and go, and consumer travel fluctuates with the economy. Both internal and external factors frequently affect the amount of business your hotel or restaurant sees, and you must consider this when planning to address your hiring needs. For example, if a potential hotel expansion prompts you to hire too many new employees too soon, you will increase labor costs unnecessarily. However, hiring new employees too late is equally dangerous, as an overworked staff is also detrimental to the bottom line.
It’s essential that you maintain open channels of communication with every department in your hospitality organization as well as senior management. This will better enable you to anticipate business developments that may require a change in hiring strategy. Additionally, building a pool of qualified candidates and developing relationships with them can reduce your time to hire whenever you need to bring on additional staff.