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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  • I would like to personally thank Ken for all his help in helping me to find a job. On June 1st I was released from my job of 11 years. I was unsure of what my next steps would be. I haven't been through an interview in years and I felt like I was unprepared. Ken took the time to help me step by step. He first gathered all my personal information and work history. He built a resume from all of that information and articulated my accomplishments in a way I never could have. He sent me tips on what to wear, questions to ask, and called after my interviews to see how it went. He gave me support and encouragement when I was at my absolute lowest. I couldn't have asked for a better recruiter! Thank you again Ken! Thanks, Again, KenGeneral Manager, Logan's Road House, Chattanooga TN
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