Bill Venteicher headshot
Bill VenteicherMarch 6, 2024
Topics: High-Volume Hiring

12 Best Ways to Improve Your Hospitality Recruiting Strategy

The hospitality industry thrives on the quality of its customer service, which is directly influenced by the talent and dedication of its workforce. 

However, because of its fast-paced environment and rapidly changing needs, recruiting great talent in this sector comes with its unique set of challenges. Whether you are handling seasonal hiring spikes or managing high turnover rates, with the right strategy you can hire the right associates quickly, keep costs low, and meet your customers’ needs. 

In this guide, we'll explore 12 ways to formulate an effective strategy to enhance your hospitality recruitment efforts. Implementing and following these tips can ensure you attract, engage, hire, and retain the best talent — all while staying ahead of the pack in a very competitive market.

What is Hospitality Recruiting?

Hospitality recruiting refers to the process of attracting, hiring, and retaining staff within the hospitality industry, including hotels, restaurants, and other customer service-oriented businesses. 

This specialized form of recruitment focuses on finding individuals who not only have the necessary skills, work ethic, and experience but also prioritize customer satisfaction and exceptional service experiences that are critical to your business’ success.

Common Challenges for Recruitment in Hospitality Industries

Recruitment teams that are responsible for filling roles in the hospitality industry face several unique challenges:

  • High Turnover Rates: The hospitality industry often grapples with higher turnover compared to other sectors. To keep up with demand while providing the level of service required, many hospitality business leaders lean into proactive and always-on recruitment efforts.

  • Seasonal Hiring Needs: Many hospitality organizations require additional staff during peak seasons — like vacation time, spring break, or when there are major local events — making it necessary to attract and retain full-time employees and find temporary staff.

Related: Tackling High-Volume Hiring — No Matter the Season

  • Diverse Skill Sets Required: Positions range from front-of-house roles, like receptionists and waitstaff, to specialized roles, like chefs and event planners. The number of staff and speed to be able to clean areas to prepare for the next guest have a direct impact on your bottom line. You have to attract a diverse skill set and make sure that all aspects of a customer’s experience meet their expectations.

  • Competition for Talent: In an industry bustling with opportunities, and with many businesses vying for the same qualified candidates, distinguishing your job openings and employer brand is crucial. Today’s job seekers want to work for a company that reflects their ideals, aligns with their values, offers fair compensation, and provides a rewarding work environment. Your unique business benefits can make you stand out from the crowd, leading to improved retention and referral hires from happy employees. 

  • Evolving Consumer Expectations: As guest expectations evolve, so do the skills required to meet them, adding another layer of complexity to hospitality recruiting. Your staff must be adaptable and innovative, and operate efficiently with the customer in mind. 

How Do You Recruit in the Hospitality Industry?

Effective hospitality recruiting involves a mix of traditional methods and a cutting-edge strategy. 

It starts with having a clear understanding of the roles you need to fill and extends to creating a compelling employer brand that resonates at a personal level with potential candidates. 

Implementing advanced technology and leveraging social media for wider reach and engagement are additional components that can help communicate what makes your business unique. 

Related Resource: How to Successfully Hack High-Volume Hiring: The Definitive Guide

Lastly, you have to make the application process as easy as possible and allow job seekers to apply from any device when it is convenient to them, as many of them are likely working during regular business hours. This means, being ready to deliver mobile-optimized, omni-channel experiences that meet them where they are.

Now, let’s dive into specific strategies to enhance your recruitment efforts.

12 Ways to Attract High-Quality Hospitality Candidates

Staying ahead of your competitors goes a long way when it comes to high-volume recruitment. Here are 12 ways to successfully attract top talent in your industry:

1. Create a Clear Job Description

A well-crafted job description not only details the skills and experience required but also highlights the opportunities for growth and learning within the role. It should reflect your company’s culture and values to attract candidates who are a good fit.

2. Be Upfront with Compensation and Job Responsibilities

Transparency about compensation and clear communication regarding job responsibilities from the outset can significantly improve candidate attraction and retention. This approach sets realistic expectations and builds trust with potential employees.

3. Streamline Your Hiring Processes

Leveraging the right HR technology can greatly enhance the efficiency of your hiring process. Tools such as Phenom’s High-Volume Hiring solution and AI-driven candidate screening and interview scheduling capabilities can help hiring teams manage the hiring process more efficiently, reducing time- and cost-to-hire while improving the candidate experience.

4. Highlight Your Workplace Culture

Candidates are attracted to your company the same way your customers are. Many times they may be both! Job-seekers often value a positive workplace culture as much as, if not more than, financial compensation. 

Showcasing your company's culture using a platform like Phenom Career Site makes it easy to promote your values, the community, and the work environment, which can make your job offers more appealing — effectively attracting the type and quality of hires you are looking for.

5. Create or Update Your Employee Referral Program

An employee referral program can be a powerful tool in hospitality recruiting. With Phenom’s Employee Experience tools, you can tap into your employees' networks and fill open roles with top talent faster by encouraging current employees to refer candidates.

Referrals not only speed up the hiring process but also increase the likelihood of a cultural fit, save considerable costs, and drive engagement to help retain existing employees.

6. Create a Space Where Past Employees Can Stay Connected with Your Business 

Leveraging an alumni network to foster relationships with past associates and staff works best when it’s easy to access, up-to-date, and valuable to its members. Implementing a program that’s easy to use and can be integrated with recruiting campaigns, event planning, and talent communities is critical to ensure the success of your network. 

Having one vibrant location that highlights your employer brand, recent activities, and available roles is better than relying on various Facebook groups to communicate your messages. An integrated site gives the organization control over the branding, messaging, and offerings, adding credibility to your alumni program.

Related: 5 Corporate Alumni Program Best Practices & How to Implement Them

7. Target Job Seekers Looking for Non-Traditional Work Hours

Flexibility is key in the hospitality industry. By targeting job seekers who prefer or require non-traditional work hours, you can tap into a unique pool of candidates who are more likely to stay loyal and engaged.

Related: 3 Ways to Improve Your Frontline Recruiting and Hiring Processes

8. Leverage the Gig Economy

The popularity of gig economy style work can be a boon for hospitality recruiting, providing access to a flexible workforce that’s experienced in managing peak times and special events without the commitment of full-time employment. In addition, embracing a culture of constant learning and allowing associates and staff to work on short-term critical business needs outside of their normal responsibilities is a great way to leverage talent inside your company. 

Using AI to connect talent to your needs, you can upskill and train existing employees on new projects, mobilize employees to focus on important work, and identify opportunities for employees to grow and advance their careers with skills you may not have even known they had. 

9. Improve Perks and Benefits

Expanding your perks and benefits beyond the industry standard can make your offer stand out. Consider unique additions like wellness programs, employee discounts, or even pet-friendly policies. These added benefits highlight your commitment to investing in your employee's health and well-being.

10. Consider Switching to Weekly Pay Periods Instead of Biweekly

Switching to weekly pay periods can improve employee satisfaction by providing more immediate financial rewards, which is especially appealing in the fast-paced hospitality industry. Weekly pay provides employees with a more consistent and reliable source of income, allowing them to better manage their finances and plan for expenses with greater ease.

This stability can contribute to reduced financial stress and increased job satisfaction among hospitality workers, fostering a positive work environment.

11. Embrace Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

Promoting diversity and inclusion not only enriches your workplace culture but also broadens your appeal to a wider range of candidates. Demonstrating a commitment to a diverse and inclusive environment can be a significant draw for potential employees.

12. Invest in Employee Development and Career Advancement Opportunities

Offering clear paths for career advancement and investing in employee development programs can attract candidates looking for long-term career opportunities. Many times, an employee who was hired for an hourly, frontline position can grow into a dedicated, productive long-term member of your team with the right training, investment, and development. This strategy not only helps in recruitment but also in retaining top talent.

Transform Your Hospitality Recruiting Efforts with Phenom

Elevating your hospitality recruiting strategies is a multifaceted endeavor that requires a balance of traditional time-honored best practices and innovative technological approaches. By being transparent and leveraging AI and automation you can streamline your hiring efforts while attracting high-quality candidates that meet your needs. 

Gain access to numerous product features and personalized capabilities that will kickstart your retail and hospitality recruiting strategies. With the right tools and strategy, you can alleviate the often hard, repetitive, and time-consuming recruiting work so your teams can focus on creating a positive and inclusive workplace culture. One that transforms candidates into dedicated employees who are committed to contributing to your business's success and focus on what matters most; your customers. 

Ready to take the next steps to improve your hospitality recruiting strategies? Download our Go From Strategy to Action: A High-Volume Hiring Playbook now.

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