Hiring Hotel Workers: A 2019 Guide


The tourism sector is currently enjoying a golden age. Low-cost flights and the growing number of people taking long weekend breaks, are just some of the reasons why hotels, in particular, are seeing profits rise.

However, profit margins are slimmer than ever, and that means hotel efficiency has never been more important.

High staff turnover can result in a huge cost, which is why your recruitment strategy is so vital. Attracting the right staff means paying more attention to the way that you hire, and making sure that your employees have the positive work environment that will keep them loyal. If you’re concerned about your existing hiring processes, then here are some key factors to consider.

Hiring Point: Social Media

If you’re not using social media to advertise vacancies then you may be missing out on valuable applicants. According to one report, up to 79% of people looking for work will turn to social media before looking at traditional vacancy advertising platforms. The key to a better, more rounded team is to get as many people looking at your vacancies.

Social media is also a useful tool for promoting your work environmen and should be used to showcase what it’s like to work in your hotel.

Use behind the scenes videos and content created by employees to show prospective candidates that your workplace offers more than your rivals. Don’t limit yourself to Facebook either. Big chains have adopted Snapchat, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn into their recruitment strategy, and you should consider setting up accounts on each if you haven’t already done so.

Offer and Highlight Flexibility

While more people than ever are looking for a more flexible work/life balance, it can be challenging to offer the most popular flexibility options when you’re hiring for a hotel. Remote workers may be on the rise for office workers, but for hotel staff it’s more often a case of having to be on location.

Certainly for entry-level positions in your hotel, remote working is not an option, and that means being more creative in how you offer flexibility.

Scheduling is the key, and you should consider making use of software and an opt-in schedule for shift workers. This means that they have much greater control over when they work, and will have a far easier time managing their family, other employment, or education schedules. This can dramatically reduce staff turnover, while also making it easier to engage with your existing employees.

Hiring Point: Referrals

Studies indicate that staff referrals result in the best employees. A 2013 white paper suggests that not only do referrals have a 25% higher retention rate, they also perform up to 15% more efficiently as well. The key to integrating referrals into your hiring strategy is to incentivize your current team. Encourage them to refer people they know if they believe that they are suitable for a position.

You can also make further use of social media with an employee referral program, and one single post on Facebook by one of your employees can result in a much higher number of people seeing that you are advertising for new team members.

However, the important thing to remember about referrals is that your current team need to be happy with their work environment and working conditions. Unhappy staff will not make for good referrals.

Protect Your Team

Staff turnover is a constant drain on hotel profits, which is why you need to look after your team as much as possible. This covers many potential eventualities, and it can mean a lot of work for your management team. However, the safer that your staff feel, the more loyal they will be to your business, and that will only improve turnover rates and productivity. Focus on:

  • Practical Security: Have a robust security protocol so that staff belongings are at less risk from theft. You should also ensure that team members are not left alone for long periods of time in case of violent guests.
  • Online: A strong online security strategy is vital for all businesses, so you need to ensure that your team are looking after their online data. Hold security training sessions, and highlight the need for password management systems. Invest in online safety and your business will benefit as much as your team will.
  • Legal protection: Anyone can fall foul of the law, and you need to be able to fight for the rights of your team. In the current political climate, offering backup to your employees is more important than ever and if an employee has a negative encounter with organizations like ICE, then this reliable company can help you offer more in the way of legal protection.

The key thing to remember is that you are a team, working together to provide the best service for guests. Protect your team at all times.

Be Proactive

You don’t have to sit in your office and try to attract new staff members. While you could sit back and wait for the best applicants to find you, getting more proactive will mean that you will have a much better chance of finding the best hires. Employment fairs and conferences are always a good option, but schools and colleges shouldn’t be overlooked either.

The hospitality sector can be a hard sell for those looking for a career, so target those schools and colleges that have hospitality or related courses. Offer apprenticeships and develop your brand so that it has a very clear identity.

You should also highlight and market your in-house promotions, and build a staff development program so that even those new team members who have other career goals might be encouraged to remain on a clearly identifiable career path.

The hotel industry is challenging. It can mean long hours and a high workload. That makes it especially difficult to attract employees who will be up for the task and willing to remain with you long-term. The more that you can create a workplace that rewards them for their hard work and offers plenty of potential for growth, the more likely that you will build the best team possible and your turnover rates will drop. Focus on building the best team and your hotel will only be more secure.

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