5 Ways to Attract Good Employees in the Hospitality Industry

October 16, 2019

In a tight labor market, recruiting and retaining quality employees is a challenge.

In the last few years, this has been the case in many industries, especially hospitality. As unemployment rates have trended lower and tighter restrictions are placed on work visas, recruitment has become much more difficult.

The American Hotel and Lodging Association estimated in 2018 that there were 900,000 unfilled positions in the US hospitality industry. Add to this fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics findings that the turnover rate in the hospitality industry is two to three times the rate of other industries and you can see the challenges of staffing in today’s market. This trend isn’t going to end any time soon. However, there are several ways hospitality companies can attract and retain quality employees to help power a positive brand and an exemplary guest experience.

Here are five strategies to consider for attracting and retaining quality staff.

  1. Focus on your company’s culture and employment reputation.

    Today, thanks to the internet, information about the internal operation of your company is readily available to potential employees. According to a LinkedIn survey, 75% of candidates have researched a company’s brand and reputation before beginning the interview process.

    You need to put a social media strategy in place to meet and engage with potential employees where they gather online to build your reputation. When employees leave, conduct an exit interview to help maintain a positive reputation in the online world. These interviews can give you insight into areas in which you need to improve.

  2. Make potential employees work throughout the interview process.

    There are some benefits to having a robust interview process. It can help minimize poor hires, give the candidate a clear idea of what the job entails, and also gives them a sense of “earning” a position within your company.

    The process should contain levels. First, a screening process, then a behavioral-based interview. If they pass this stage, invite potential employees back for a “panel” interview. And finally, one last interview with the senior leader of your firm.

  3. Emphasize the position’s value within your organization.

    We spend the majority of our waking time at work, so it makes sense we want to feel that our work has value. Often, in hospitality, your employees’ interaction with guests is critical to your guest experience with your brand.

    It’s important to stress the value of their role and how it makes an impact on the guest experience. This should be reinforced both in-person and on social media. This can help shift your employees’ focus from “short-term job” to “long-term career,” seeing their role in a larger more positive light.

  4. Encourage your team members to embrace their individuality.

    Create an environment that recognizes and rewards individuality and self-expression. Not all employees are driven by the same factors. Customize training and integrate incentives that are individualized to allow associates to progress and engage at their rate. Strive to celebrate the uniqueness of each team member and encourage them to live your brand!

  5. Prove that there is a career path!

    Everyone loves a success story. When recruiting potential employees, share positive stories about entry-level employees who have moved into leadership positions and have tangible examples of how an entry-level position can lead to other roles within your company.

In today’s competitive job market, it’s important to emphasize your company’s benefits. Show your potential employees that the work environment they are about to enter values them and offers a path to growth.

Implementing these five strategies are a great way to help attract and retain quality team members!