Hospitality Recruitment: How to Recruit Professionals in Hospitality

Hospitality recruitment is changing. How can HR professionals and recruiters face new hospitality recruitment challenges?  In this article I share some of the advanced recruiting methods I’ve learned over 30 years as CEO of the largest Hospitality Recruitment firm in the US and Canada.  The goal is to help you recruit professionals in hospitality.

What is hospitality recruitment?

Hospitality industry includes businesses that offer people food, drink, or a place to sleep. Some examples include: hotels, resorts, casinos, bars and restaurants.

Hospitality recruitment is a term used for finding and hiring the right job candidates in hospitality recruitment.

In other words, if you need to hire a hotel manager or receptionist, waiter or a chef, or fill in a similar job within the hospitality industry, this article is for you.

Challenges in hospitality recruitment

Hospitality recruitment has been affected by many changes lately. As a result, HR professionals and recruiters face new challenges when it comes to recruiting hospitality professionals.

Here are the 3 key challenges in hospitality recruitment:

Hospitality recruitment challenge #1: Finding candidates

A recent report by hospitality skills and workforce development charity People 1st estimated that the sector still needs 993,000 staff by 2022, with 870,000 needed to replace existing staff.

As a result, according to new research conducted by The Caterer, an overwhelming majority of hospitality employers find recruiting harder than ever!

Nearly 82% said it was harder than at any time in the past to recruit suitable staff, with a staggering 93% of respondents saying they found it either somewhat difficult (44%) or very difficult (49%).

Hospitality recruitment challenge #2: Attracting candidates

Working in the hospitality industry is often stereotyped as low-wage and entry-level with little opportunity for career advancement. In some cultures, hotel or a restaurant jobs are considered to be inferior, poorly paid positions associated with servitude.

Hospitality recruitment challenge #3: High turnover rate

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of turnover in the hospitality industry is 2 to 3 times the rate of all other industries.

Estimates of average annual employee turnover range from around 60 to 300 percent, according to research conducted by the American Hotel and Motel Association.

Hospitality employees leave an organization for many reasons, but two common causes are the quality of the selection system and the quality of leadership.

It means that the hiring processes must ensure that the candidate would fit in well in the company culture, as well as be suited for hospitality as a profession!

How to tackle hospitality recruitment challenges?

To tackle the 3 key challenges of hospitality recruitment, HR professionals and recruiters need to:

  1. Apply modern sourcing methods
  2. Use recruitment marketing tactics
  3. Improve the hospitality candidates’ assessments  

Hospitality recruitment tips: Recruit professionals in hospitality faster and easier

Recruiting the right people for a hospitality industry can be a challenging task. However, if you use modern recruiting methods and strategies, you can recruit professional sin hospitality much easier and faster.

Here are the best hospitality recruitment tips that will help you effectively recruit hospitality professionals:

Hospitality recruitment tip #1: Write clear job descriptions

Start by writing clear job descriptions for hospitality positions you need to fill. Writing good job description is the very first step of a successful recruiting and hiring process.

Hospitality recruitment tip #2: Build your employer brand

Employer brand is a term used for your reputation as an employer. Building a strong employer branding strategy is essential if you want to attract great candidates.

Highlight your employee value proposition to differentiate your company and attract the best candidates! This is a very tight labor market and candidates have choices regarding where they want to work.  You must set yourself apart from other companies to attract the top talent.

Hospitality recruitment tip #4: Create great job advertisements

Start by defining your candidate persona – your ideal candidate for a certain position. Defining your candidate persona will make hiring much easier.

Use your candidate persona and your job descriptions to craft a job post that will stand out.

To write a great job advertisement, you need to shift the focus away from your company and your needs. Instead, you should focus on your potential candidates. You need to capture their attention and convince them to apply.

Hospitality recruitment tip #5: Attract candidates with a great career site

One of the best ways to stand out from many other hotels or restaurants seeking job candidates is to create a great career site.

Use your company’s career site to showcase your company’s great working culture, career opportunities, perks and benefits and highlight your company’s mission and vision.

Hospitality recruitment tip #6: Make applying easy

Make applying for your open job positions easy and fast. Don’t make candidates jump through hoops! If they have to fill out long forms or your career site isn’t mobile friendly, you risk losing great candidates. Luckily, there are ways to optimize your application process and get more job applicants from your career site!

Hospitality recruitment tip #7: Use employee referrals

Employee referrals are the most effective recruitment method you can use to utilize the word of mouth and recruit professionals in hospitality.

Hospitality recruitment tip #8: Utilize social media

Social media is the second most effective method for recruiting hospitality professionals. Social media is a fast, affordable and very effective method for attracting professionals in the hospitality industry. Make sure you use social media to promote your employer brand in the best possible way.

Hospitality recruitment tip #9: Test your candidates 

To select the most enthusiastic and capable hospitality candidates, you need to create an effective selection process.

Professional hospitality assessment tests can help you select the most enthusiastic and capable candidates for hospitality roles. Hospitality professionals should have the right type of personality, not just certain skills.

Hospitality employment testing can help you select candidates who have the right type of personality and skills to thrive in customer-facing settings.

If you want to use professional hospitality employment tests, check out:

You should also hire candidates who will be able to thrive in your company culture. In other words, you need to hire the best talent by finding the perfect fit. You will do that by using cultural fit interview questions.

For more info:

What are you doing to keep your workers in this tight labor market?

5 Ways to build a more applicant friendly recruiting process

Learn how Hospitality Recruitment Agencies can be your friend.

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What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

  • Hospitality Recruiter Helps Find Me a Job!

    Chris Giles was very helpful throughout this whole process. First he helped me get my resume polished to send off, he was very patient with me during this. I was very busy with my job search and interviews, but he always made sure to follow up if I didn't get something back to him and was always patient with me. Once we had my resume updated he got it sent off and set up my interviews, he was very helpful in coaching me and making sure I was prepared for the interview. Chris was always there to answer any questions I had and touched base frequently as we were waiting to hear back about things certain things. If I hadn't heard back from one of the hiring departments he would contact them and I would hear from them later that day. Now after getting hired and starting the training program he checks in with me weekly to see how things are going and provides a listening ear if I need to vent about anything. He has been very encouraging and has helped me be more confident going through this hiring  process. Thank you Chris!   Charissa Hahn     Have a Hospitality Recruitment Specialist work for you for FREE Hospitality Recruiter Helps Find Me a Job!
  • I would like to thank Frank Rondeau for leading me through all the steps required to land  a great job opportunity. Frank took the time to ask questions about my career goals and personal plans to create a personal resume, based on my career and work experience, in order to connect me with a great job fit for myself- and for my future employer. The end result was getting my interview process handled, and giving me appropriate advice on how to handle the interview for it to be successful... and it sure was. Thank you Frank and Patrice and Associates for helping me get started on this exciting next chapter of my life! -Elaine Garcia   Started on this exciting next chapter of my life!
  • Hospitality Recruiter Can Help You Find a Job!

    Karl was the best asset in securing my new position. He was there coaching and teaching me every step of the way. I have been working in the food industry for 20+ years and this is the first time I have used a recruiter. I have been on both ends of the hiring process and Karl has helped to know what people are looking for and what I should be looking for when hiring new employees. I look forward to meeting Karl and shaking his hand. If needed I would seek Karl out again!         Mahmoud Elkhyati         Need help with your resume – Have a Recruitment Specialist help you for FREE       Hospitality Recruiter Can Help You Find a Job!
  • Hospitality Recruitment Works!

    My interactions with Mr. Richard were professional. He was very accommodating to my wants in needs when it came to the company I was looking to become a part of. I had tried myself to obtain a position with this company, but I was not able to do so on my own. With Richard's help I was able to land the position.  He kept me in the loop when it came to every interview that I had from beginning to end and kept me very upbeat and positive about the experience. I believe this is how a head hunter or recruiter should perform when dealing with clients very professional and had integrity in everything that he did.     Albert Jones     Hospitality Recruitment matches YOUR skills with the perfect job Hospitality Recruitment Works!
  • Hospitality Recruiters Are Here to Help

    Daniel was a great help to me on my job search. From the first time I was contacted by him I felt he was here not only to help the company find the right candidate but he was there to make sure I was right for the position.  Daniel is very persistent when he is working with you.  He knows that time is of the essence and he helps you adhere to a very strict timeline to be successful.  Daniel is there for you when you are feeling unsure and is always available to discuss just about anything.  He has a wealth of FOH & BOH knowledge and that really put me at ease because I have not met many recruiters with FOH & BOH experience. Talking to someone who has been where you have been really puts you at ease!  I am very appreciative that I had the chance to work with Daniel on this occasion.  I am thankful he was understanding, attentive, communicative, and seems to generally care about you as a person and a perspective candidate! Katherine Woods         Career Coaches that help you for FREE Hospitality Recruiters Are Here to Help