Hospitality Industry Recruitment – Challenges, Talent Management Tips and more

This article is dedicated to hospitality industry recruitment. We have discussed recruitment processes within the hospitality industry and have included various tips to counter challenges in hospitality recruiting.

Attracting, hiring and retaining the best hospitality talent is more of an art.

It is this very art that we aim to elaborate on in this post. Hospitality Talent Management is even more important in this technology era.

We have divided this post about hospitality recruiting and talent management into 4 sections.

  • The first one discusses challenges in the hospitality recruitment industry.
  • The second section of this article explores ways to attract the best job applicants from the hospitality industry.
  • The third section covers the hiring process in the hospitality industry. In this section, we have shared 8 Hospitality industry recruitment tips and strategies.
  • The fourth and final section discusses the key action steps required for retaining the best hospitality talent

So, let’s get into discussing hospitality industry recruitment while we suggest various action steps to hire and retain the best hospitality industry professionals.

Let’s get started with the first point.


1. Challenges in Recruitment within the Hospitality Industry


The hospitality industry has suffered from a horrendous staff turnover rate leading to millions in losses to the industry.

Plus, this also brings down the morale of the team and leads to a drop in productivity.

Staff turnover is actually one of the major management issues in the hospitality industry.

The staff turnover rate for the hospitality industry, based on multiple research, is double the average across industries.

Thus hiring the best talent is crucial, but even more important is retaining them in the longer run.

Employees should be treated as long-term investments. More in the duration, higher would be the profit.

There are multiple challenges that the hospitality industry is facing today. We have mentioned a few below.


  • High Staff Turnover – As already discussed this continues to be the key challenge for the hospitality industry overall.


  • Lack of skilled hospitality talent – This again is one of the ley challenges in hospitality recruiting as it is rather difficult to find the exact match for skills required.


  • Overlapping job descriptions and generic job roles makes it difficult to source the right fit


  • Retaining best hospitality talent for a longer term is again one of the major challenges faced by the hospitality industry.


  • Lengthy recruitment processes– It is crucial to shortening the recruitment cycle in the hospitality industry.


  • Managing Cultural Diversity – A key challenge in hospitality recruiting is to manage staff from various background and countries. The hospitality industry has the most cosmopolitan staff community but managing the same in an organisation can be a nightmare for the human resources office.


There are a lot more of the challenges and opportunities in the hospitality industry and we would be exploring those along with the solutions in the following sections.



2. Attracting more Job Applicants from the Hospitality Industry



As a hospitality recruiter, it is crucial to get more qualified hospitality candidates apt for the respective roles.

The Hospitality industry is quite stacked with a lot of overlap.

Tight salaries for lower and middle job roles make matter worse in terms of attracting the best hotel industry professionals.

So, it is extremely important for any hospitality business to ensure that the creme de la creme of the hospitality industry apply to the job positions.

Here we have outlined a few strategies that might help the cause of attracting the best hospitality talent.


  • Company’s Branding is crucial


One of the key hospitality recruiting challenge is also to make your brand stand out to attract the right hospitality talent.

When every other hotel business out there is fighting for the right hospitality talent, it is crucial to place your brand in a way that helps the cause automatically.

Techfunnel through the below image suggests that it’s not only the hiring but the overall success that is impacted by the company branding.




  •  Targeting the Millennials – An important Hospitality Recruitment Strategy


The guest experience is changing. The old school hospitality recruiting methods don’t work anymore.

The expectations have changed with millennials ready with the backpack looking for a better experience and a more interactive environment.

It is thus important to target the millennials to apply for hospitality jobs. It is these people who are built for technology.

Also, as per conducted research, it is expected that 75% of the workforce would be constituted of the millennials by 2025.

Targeting the millennials is for sure an investment for a better future.

The below chart by Deloitte gives the key stats on the changing guest experience. The expectations are charing continuously and millennials of today are driven by change.





  • Effective Advertising of Hospitality Jobs


It is important to be visible on multiple platforms and formats in order to attract the best hospitality professionals to apply for jobs.

There are a lot of Hospitality Job Portals around the globe and posting jobs here helps in better visibility within the hospitality niche.

Social media is overcrowded these days and thus it gets difficult to be visible properly.

Opting to invest time and money effectively on professional networking channels like LinkedIn can help in getting quality applications.

Most of the people especially the millennials look at social media for getting hired. It is always good to have the right mix by using certain portals and focusing on 1-2 social media channels.


Image Courtesy- Talentlyft



  • Storytelling Technique for attracting the best Hospitality Talent


Turn to innovative ways to attract the best talent from the hospitality industry. This is crucial for an inclusive hospitality industry recruitment process.

Sharing videos and images which speaks a volume are a key to create a connection with potential job seekers.

Not only does it help potential hospitality job seekers in knowing the brand, but it also creates anticipation of the culture in the minds of the job aspirants.


Now moving on to the next and probably the most important stage.




3. Hospitality Industry Recruitment Tips and Strategies


Now that your hospitality business has a great reputation and amazing hospitality professionals, all professionals from the hospitality industry would be pushing to join the firm.

Listed below are a few tips to help hospitality businesses hire the best hospitality talent.

These are the tips to help you develop a more robust and better hospitality recruitment process.




  • Use Automation Efficiently for Hospitality Talent Management


A good hospitality recruitment strategy involves a lot of preparation. Data and analytics help in devising a good action plan to hire the best hospitality talent.

Data is used to forecast employee requirement, assess the turnover rate, requisitions and various other things.

However, automation by using technology has now made proper inroads to the recruitment processes across industries.

From screening CVS to training employees and a lot more is being handled using Artificial intelligence.

Hospitality recruiters must use AI efficiently to help them with the recruitment process especially when they are recruiting in bulk.

It is extremely important to have a well rounded and fair recruitment process.


Image courtesy- 42hire


There are a lot of automation tools out there to help hospitality recruiters automate a few of the hiring steps in hospitality recruiting.

From CV screening bots to automated interviews and skill tests. And, there are a lot more automated tools to help out the recruiters in the tedious process.

While few of these steps are useful to remove spam and unrelated applications, too much reliance on automation might weed out better applicants who are not adept in technology.

Too much of automation can be risky in hospitality recruitment. The Hospitality industry is still people-oriented and thus bots can’t reject humans based on random CVs.

Artificial intelligence aims to provide a better understanding of human nature in the future but the travel industry could possibly be one of the last few industries to embrace it completely.

So, as of now sticking to the old school auto mailers, skill tests and basic machine learning filters could be more than handy.



  • Know the Platforms where most of the hospitality Job seekers are


Most of the Hospitality job seekers are still on Facebook with LinkedIn covering good ground.

WhatsApp groups have also gained in popularity as far as hospitality recruitment is concerned.

A lot is being said about the job boards. Most of the new age recruitment experts suggest that Job boards would soon be out of the recruitment ecosystem.

However, the hospitality industry continues to use job boards because of the decentralised hospitality network.

The diverse pool that hospitality recruiters need to fulfil their vacancies still reside with the job portals.

While the job boards have become less popular, it will continue to be effective for Hospitality recruiters for a few more years at least.


  • Promote your Organisation’s Brand Effectively


Sounds obvious, isn’t it? But it’s worth mentioning this point again.

It is one of the simplest recruitment hacks for hospitality recruiters. However, most of the recruiters don’t even think about it.

You would say why do you need employer branding when you are recruiting for let’s say one of the top hospitality companies. Yes, you would enjoy the name of the big brand but possibly there are thousands of other hotels which enjoy the same brand reputation.

According to research by LinkedIn, it’s the employer brand that gives you maximum attention as far as the job seekers are concerned.



Image Courtesy- Talentlyft


In order to promote your company’s brand, all hospitality recruiters must highlight the uniqueness of the company, the intangibles that make the brand superior to the competitors.

This helps in an immediate increase in quality and quantity of applications.

There are multiple other ways in which your sales and digital marketing team can help in brand awareness.

That will cut short some of the heavy lifting for the hospitality recruiters.


  • Use the power of Job description


A lot of hospitality recruiters still undermine the importance of job description.

A clear and concise job description does not only help job seekers to identify best matching opportunities but also help recruiters do a bit of screening.

It is useful to mention pre-requisites within the job description.

It is important to highlight compensation, mission, requirements and other details as mentioned below.

A good job description invites good applications and does a lot of pre-screening.

Thus, a little effort, in the beginning, keeps giving you ample returns in the long run.


Image Courtesy- LinkedIn


The power of job description is unexplored by a lot of hospitality recruiters.

It is one of the most useful recruitment tips for hospitality recruiters for receiving better applications.



  • Social Media holds the key to Success for Hospitality Recruiters


Social Media has evolved over the years and while these platforms are struggling to tackle fake news, various platforms have helped professionals create useful connections.

LinkedIn has become a professional social networking platform that is helping job seekers and employers alike.

Networking effectively is one of the highly beneficial recruitment hacks for hospitality recruiters.

Social media gives all the recruiters a convenient medium to create and then manage huge networks which they can leverage for sourcing candidates in real-time.


  • Use Referrals as a tool in hospitality industry recruitment


Every recruiter knows about this hack but most of them don’t care to use it effectively.

Exploring the referral network can have a multiplier effect.

Using referral is even more beneficial in the hospitality industry due to its decentralised but a well-knit hospitality community.

One of the important hospitality recruitment tips is to create a robust referral mechanism which rewards those who provide referrals and if required also provides privacy to the referrer.

If your organisation doesn’t have an employee referral programme as yet, it’s a good time to start one.

Social media referrals are equally useful when looking to recruit candidates in the hospitality industry.

The key to success on social media is to help others find a lead and one can expect favours in return.


  • Create a few Viral Videos to attract the right applicants


This is one of the creative hospitality recruitment tips that is still not popular within the hospitality industry.

Typsyblog suggests that creating viral videos must be a part of the hospitality recruitment strategy now given the importance of videos on all social media channels.

These videos can be about the job culture, orientation, a day in the life of the employee or something more generic.

This increases the visibility of the employer and confidence of applicants.


  • Shorten the Hospitality Recruitment Cycle


One of the most crucial hospitality recruitment tips is to set up a timeline for an end to end recruitment.

The hospitality recruitment cycle can be cumbersome at times with multiple steps between receiving an application to the final hiring. The whole process has to be shortened as this would benefit both job seekers and recruiters.

The lifecycle of Hospitality recruitment involves the below steps predominantly:

  • Preparing (includes job posts)
  • Sourcing
  • Screening
  • Selecting
  • Hiring / Onboarding

It is important to cut time spent on Screening and selecting which at times get too lengthy for hospitality companies.

Every day of time saves here means task cut out for the recruiters and happier employees.

Normally the job recruitment process in the hospitality industry would fall somewhere between 30-90 days.

It is important to stay connected with the candidates during this process.

Effective feedback and quick recruiting cycle are key needs of the Hospitality Jobseekers of today.

Artificial intelligence can be of some support. As discussed in the previous point, ideally a good mix of human and technology can do wonders to the efficiency of the hospitality recruitment process.

The below image by Jobvite elaborates on how an efficient recruitment process can have a good mix of AI and human intelligence.




The Subtle Art of Recruiting the best hospitality job applicants include understanding the pain points of the industry.

The art of hospitality recruitment would also include understanding the key gaps between the expectations of recruiters and that of job seekers.

The below image by Intraworlds shows key gaps between expectations of job seekers and recruiters.



The art of hospitality recruitment is about being compassionate to job applicants and treating them as internal customers.

The interview process in the hospitality industry can include anything between 1-7 rounds.

It is always good to respect the time of job applicants.

Candidates should be supplied with the agenda, duty description and other information well before the interview.

And most importantly, it is important to keep it simple.

Simplifying the whole process would do wonders for the whole hospitality talent search.

Now moving on to the retainment of the best hospitality professionals after the hire.




4. Retaining the Best hospitality Talent


The Hospitality industry is not like other industries. There is a huge amount of overlap between roles.

The Hospitality industry is probably the only industry that needs almost every single type of job roles.

From Chef to engineers; from waiters to designers; from gardeners to Software engineers and almost every other job.

This makes life pretty difficult for the hospitality recruiters as with a limited budget they need to have the best from a huge option pool.

Add the huge staff turnover to this and that’s double trouble.

Let’s first quickly reiterate one of the key recruitment challenges faced by hospitality recruiters. The Below image from the post published on Medium expresses the same quite well.



As per the research, 82% of the hospitality recruiters are finding it even more difficult to find the right fit for the vacancies.

Plus, retaining top hospitality talent is even more difficult.


  • Setting the tone with Onboarding and Orientation


The relationship with the hospitality job applicant starts with the first interaction. That is even before the interview.

However, it is the orientation that plays a key role in establishing the relationship between the employee and the organisation.

When the relationship starts on a strong and sweet note, it’s set to last longer. Wouldn’t you agree?

Here are a few quick tips for an ideal on-boarding process in the hospitality industry:


  • Assign a mentor to all new hires
  • A checklist must be used always especially in the first 30 days
  • It is crucial to invest in the proper training of the people being boarded in the team
  • One of the useful onboarding tips in the hospitality industry is to start communicating much before the joining date
  • Using technology like games, powerpoints always help new team members to understand things better
  • Team lunches are great places for the new employees to get comfortable


  • Investing in Training


Yes, this is so crucial that it demands a separate heading.

This is a key step in the art of retaining the best hospitality talent.

It is of paramount importance to ensure that employees are given ample opportunities to learn and upgrade their skills.

Some of the largest hospitality chains like Hilton provide free opportunities to take up further education or get career-enhancing hospitality industry certifications.

Employees appreciate organisations that enhance skill-building.

Did we forget to mention that investing in training can have an immediate impact on employee productivity and the organisation’s profitability?


  • Managing Diversity in the workplace is a key to hospitality talent management


The Hospitality industry is probably the most diverse industry.

According to HRMonline, managing culture holds the key to better retention of employees.

This is even more important for retaining hospitality employees as even small teams in this industry has people of multiple nationalities.

The hospitality industry is one of the few industries which can boast of a balanced men-women ratio.


  • Ensuring a safe, happy and meaningful work environment


The hospitality industry can be extremely demanding in terms of work hours and shift times.

Working on holidays is another issue that lots of hospitality professionals complain about.

One of our earliest posts covers this issue in a very positive manner by presenting funny images about the hospitality industry.

Even the long and daunting work hours in the hotel industry give minimum leverage for the display of creativity.

A lot of top hospitality companies have started to push for creativity workshops and team-building exercises.

Efforts are being made to make all hospitality organisations safer and happier. A sense of purpose even helps hospitality employees to stay longer with the organisation.

A meaningful work environment as displayed in the image below can do wonders in attracting the best hospitality talent and then retaining them for a longer duration.


Image by Joshbersin- Meaningful Work Environment


Addressing the Employee Turnover issue through compassionate leadership is the key to reducing turnover.

Retaining the best hospitality talent requires more than the traditional set of human resource practices.




The Hospitality industry in the age of automation still needs a huge human force to run it effectively. Recruitment can thus be challenging in this industry.

In this post, we tried to make life little easier for the hospitality recruiters by listing a few recruitment hacks for the hospitality industry that can help the recruiters in better talent management.

In this article, we have also provided you with the best hiring hacks for the hospitality industry that every recruiter should have in his/her arsenal.




Hospitality industry is all about service. When most of the other industries are forcing automation to most of their work processes, the hospitality industry still needs more human.

Thus, it gets even more important to be compassionate to the workforce.

Skill development, purpose and workplace environment would hold the key to retention of best hospitality talent in the future.

Hope these tips would help hospitality employers make better hospitality recruitment strategy.

Also, the industry that suffers due to a huge turnover rate must ensure a few welcome changes in the overall recruitment strategy.

An employee-first approach can help. A few hotel chains have already started treating employees as internal customers in real terms.

Happy employees mean happier customers and maximum profits. A win-win for all.