Ms. Connolly

Human Resources, Recruitment & Training

Refocusing on Hospitality Recruiting

Borrowing From Back to School

By Zoe Connolly, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Hospitality Spotlight

As the summer draws to a close, and many seasonal getaways get ready to wrap their busy-season, the Back-to-School phenomenon kicks itself into high-gear. While kids will get new clothes, haircuts, shoes, notebooks and backpacks,job seekers should do the same (all right, maybe they don't need the Hello Kitty lunchbox). And just like teachers are getting their classrooms set up with new activities for their incoming class, the end of the summer is a great time for hoteliers to refocus their recruiting efforts, gearing up for their next incoming group of team members.

So in the spirit of Back-to-School, here are the things that hotels and candidates looking for employment in hospitality should consider as we enter the fall.

On the Candidate Side (Student)

  • Refresh that resume - Whether you're a returning college student hoping to take on a part time role, or, as readers of Hotel Executive, someone looking for something a little more senior, the reality is that most people perform very little maintenance on their resumes. If time has passed for you, there are a few things you might want to consider Have you learned something new, taken a class, received an award, been given new tasks or managerial responsibilities? Each of these may be things you can add to your resume. You may also want to check out the formatting and/or drop unnecessary information. Submitting an old resume with unnecessary info is like showing up to a new class with a full notebook with last year's notes. And while it might not be a new lunch box or pencil case, the results of a resume refresh can be extraordinary.

  • Updating profiles - It isn't just your resume that could use a refresh. Your social profiles may very well be in need of a new 'do. If you've updated your resume, the heavy lifting is likely done on this front. You can copy/paste a lot of what you've written, or to be more effective, write a synopsis for each role you've had for LinkedIn. Focus more on achievements than job specs, and be certain to keep it simple. For networks outside of LinkedIn, (especially) if you're searching for a new role, make sure that the photos you've got posted publicly, including your profile picture, make you look like a candidate people would want to hire. Potential employers are going to Google you. Be certain that the risque pics from the summer's ending pool party aren't the first thing they see.

  • Find a new club - In school, you could pick up an instrument and join the marching band. You could try out for a team, or go for a part in a play. In short, schools manufactured opportunities for you to meet new people and try new things. The real world doesn't work this way, but for job seekers looking to recreate the magic, there is plenty of opportunity to do so. Look into new networking opportunities, both professional and social (sports or hobbies) and play. You never know where the next position will come from. Make connections

  • Pass a note in class - Tap into your current relationships for openings at their companies (networking within your internal group): people may see you often and not think to mention a job opening. Ask! Let the people in your inner circle know your are open to new opportunities. Employers love to hire when there is a recommendation from people they trust. And besides, many companies have a referral bonus that can give your friends a financial incentive to help out.

On the Property side (Teacher)

  • Refresh your assignments - Upon arriving in the classroom, teachers absolutely must refresh their curriculum and assignments, after all, if students are coming to class with an iPad, the idea of teaching math on an abacus is probably not the best way to proceed. While it may not be that dramatic, there are many hotel job descriptions that seem as though they were drafted at the time when Oregon Trail was a cutting edge learning tool. If looking to bring in the right talent for a job, it's important that the right talent understands what a job will be (it's also true for working with a recruiter).

  • Start new clubs - If applicants are supposed to identify new networking opportunities, maybe it's also incumbent on properties to create new opportunities for them to do so. Are there new places where your property can be hiring? Properties can be very effective searching social media channels for meetups, events and networking opportunities that align with their company.

  • Revisit the signs in the classroom- Take another look at employer branding: be clear about what you stand for and make sure your reward and recognition programs are doing the trick.

  • Reward the A+ students - Internal promotions for team members that are already doing a great job can go a long way (especially with the holidays right around the corner). If it isn't a fiscally feasible time, then consider other perks like mentorship and increased scheduling flexibility can also be great for moral.

  • Start a referral program - Unlike the classroom where teachers are given a group of students, the business world lets us select the people we think will be most effective. If you're staffing up right now, referral programs are usually a very cost effective way to grow your team.

  • Bonus Advice - on the Corporate side - After all, the 'board of education' also gets into the Back-to-School spirit.

For those in corporate settings, many of the same suggestions apply. If a particular property manager deserves and has done enough to merit a promotion and it is feasible, this is a great time of year to make the move.

Sticking with the Back-to-School theme, one other piece of advice is to set up group work. Identify employees across properties and job functions and bring them together to learn what best practices maybe haven't yet been shared across your hotels.

Back-to-School doesn't have to be stressful. And for hoteliers, it can be a great time to refocus efforts and gear up for a successful holiday season.

Zoe Connolly is the co-founder and managing director for Hospitality Spotlight, a full service executive search firm for the hospitality and travel industries. For more than a decade, she’s pioneered innovative and proactive recruiting efforts, connecting the best talent with the best companies, across all levels of organizations. Currently, through working with clients like Starwood, Viceroy and Pacifica Hotels, Hospitality Spotlight has emerged as one of the go-to firms for senior level talent in the hotel and travel technology space. A refreshing combination of an expansive network and brutal honesty continues to push Ms. Connolly and her clients, both companies and candidates into a bright spotlight. Ms. Connolly can be contacted at 858-230-8501 or zoe@hospitalityspotlight.com Please visit www.hospitalityspotlight.com for more information. Extended Bio...

HotelExecutive.com retains the copyright to the articles published in the Hotel Business Review. Articles cannot be republished without prior written consent by HotelExecutive.com.

Receive our daily newsletter with the latest breaking news and hotel management best practices.
Hotel Business Review on Facebook
RESOURCE CENTER - SEARCH ARCHIVES
General Search:

MAY: Eco-Friendly Practices: The Value of Sustainability

Eric Ricaurte

In 2011, we visited the 10 hotels contracted in the room block for the Greenbuild conference in Toronto. As part of their award-winning sustainable event program, the conference organizers embedded green practices into the contract language for these hotels, who either had to comply with the requirements, explain their reason why they couldn’t implement them, or pay a $1,000 fine. Part of our consulting work was to gather the data and confirm some of the practices on-site. READ MORE

Susan Tinnish

Hotels brands have actively engaged in large-scale efforts to become more environmentally friendly. Individual hotels have made great strides on property. Many significant large-scale eco-initiatives s are most easily built initially into the infrastructure and design of the building and surrounding areas. Given that the adaptation of these large-scale changes into the existing asset base is expensive and disruptive, hotels seek different ways to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices. One way to do so is to shift the focus from large-scale change to “small wins.” Small wins can help a hotel create a culture of sustainability. READ MORE

Shannon Sentman

Utility costs are the second largest operating expense for most hotels. Successfully reducing these expenses can be a huge value-add strategy for executives. Doing this effectively requires more than just a one-time investment in efficiency upgrades. It requires ongoing visibility into a building’s performance and effectively leveraging this visibility to take action. Too often, efficiency strategies center on a one-time effort to identify opportunities with little consideration for establishing ongoing practices to better manage a building’s performance ongoing. READ MORE

Joshua Zinder, AIA

Discussions of sustainability in the hospitality industry have focused mainly on strategies at the level of energy-efficient and eco-friendly adjustments to operations and maintenance. These "tweaks" can include programs to reduce water usage, updating lighting to LEDs, campaigns to increase guest participation in recycling, and similar innovative industry initiatives. Often overlooked—not only by industry experts but even by hotel operators and designers—are possibilities for hotel design and construction that can make a property truly sustainable from the get-go. READ MORE

Coming Up In The June Online Hotel Business Review




{300x250.media}
Feature Focus
Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?
Hotels and OTAs are, by necessity, joined at the hip and locked in a symbiotic relationship that is uneasy at best. Hotels require the marketing presence that OTAs offer and of course, OTAs guest’s email when it sends guest information to a hotel, effectively allowing OTAs to maintain “ownership” of the guest. Without ready access to guest need hotel product to offer their online customers. But recently, several OTAs have decided to no longer share a data, hotels are severely constrained from marketing directly to a guest which allows them to capture repeat business – the lowest cost and highest value travelers. Hotels also require this data to effectively market to previous guests, so ownership of this data will be a significant factor as hotels and OTAs move forward. Another issue is the increasing shift to mobile travel bookings. Mobile will account for more than half of all online travel bookings next year, and 78.6% of them will use their smartphone to make those reservations. As a result, hotels must have a robust mobile marketing plan in place, which means responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology. Another important mobile marketing element is a “Click-to-Call” feature. According to a recent Google survey, 68% of hotel guests report that it is extremely/very important to be able to call a hotel during the purchase phase, and 58% are very likely to call a hotel if the capability is available in a smartphone search. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.