Are you looking for people to fill jobs, or trying to help people launch and advance careers?
The challenge for hotels, as for any business these days, isn’t just finding ways to appeal to a new generation of customers. They also must attract a new generation of employees. That entails everything from figuring out how to penetrate the ideal candidate’s digital defenses to get on their radar to countering digital landmines such as bad reviews on Glassdoor.
Announcing “I’ve got a job opening” doesn’t get attention the way it did in the wake of the financial crisis in 2008.
Hiring talent for hotel operations, and grooming them for hotel leadership positions tomorrow, requires a shift in emphasis and tactics. You’re talking to millennials and even members of generation Z, who were born after 1995. Their priorities and values have been shaped by 9/11, smartphones, YouTube and The Great Recession.
Expressing a larger purpose
The last time our country enjoyed such low unemployment rates was in 1969 -- the year of the Apollo moon landing, the debut of the Boeing 747 jumbo jet, and the final public performance of the Beatles.
Low unemployment means it’s difficult to find employees at any level, let alone top talent. Combine this with millennials’ approach to work, and you may find that limiting your recruitment efforts to advertising open jobs does not draw the candidates you want and need.
Millennials place equal value on their personal and work lives. They want to know how much impact they can have in a given position, so they can gauge how fulfilling it will be. They want to work for organizations on a mission to change the world, disrupt an industry, or improve lives one customer or one employee at a time. They expect employers to articulate this clearly on their career page with examples of how they are changing the industry through innovative design, giving back to the community, becoming more environmentally sustainability and helping employees advance their careers.
Kimpton Hotels, which earned J.D. Power’s top ranking for customer satisfaction among “upper upscale hotels” again in 2018, has used this employer branding approach to recruiting, hiring and training efforts successfully for decades
Promoting a career path
Salary remains very important, but a clearly defined career path is crucial. Take a look at your recruitment communication. Does it focus on just the job? If so, you may not be getting in front of today’s workforce prospects.
We hear repeatedly that millennials are more interested in experiences than things. When it comes to employment, millennials may value careers, or at least job security, more than the 20- 30- and -40 somethings of the preceding generations. And millennials are keener to know the impact their efforts will have. Georgetown University’s Gray Shealy, who’s the executive director of the college’s hospitality management program, told Skift.com that attracting talent to the industry starts with how the industry talks about itself.
If you don’t think a photo of associates standing behind your front desk is going to portray the type of experience that will attract millennial guests, then why use it in your recruiting efforts? Shealy challenges the hospitality industry to promote the diversity and depth of opportunity they offer beyond what’s portrayed in such outdated images.
“Careers in hospitality are secretly dynamic and captivating,” he says.
This means not just listing the responsibilities of and qualifications for a job, but explaining how the person who fills it will help your hotel fulfill its mission. Consider talking about how those who have held the position in the past moved on to positions of greater responsibility or influence in your company, or the hospitality industry at large. Are you a training ground for larger and more prestigious brands or entrepreneurs? If so, embrace it.
Social media assisted hiring
Integrate social media into your recruiting efforts just as you have integrated it into your overall marketing and customer service operations.
Marriott uses Facebook to feature open positions. Prospects can spend as much time as they want learning about Marriott’s approach to hospitality. The company also offers what they call “career chats,” where actual Marriott employees field questions from prospects. This is powerful. Hotels – any organization, for that matter – have built-in promotional and recruiting sources, otherwise known as current employees. Give them permission, and a platform, to find others just like them.
Social media is a visual medium. Potential employees will use it to see what it’s like to work there.