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  • Post last modified:May 1, 2021

This article is dedicated to hospitality industry recruitment. We have discussed recruitment processes within the hospitality industry and have included various strategies to counter challenges in hospitality recruiting. We have also included some of the useful tips and best practices of hospitality industry recruitment in this article.

Attracting, hiring and retaining the best hospitality talent is more of an art. It is equally crucial to employer employees for best retention rate.

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.

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 begin with the key challenges in recruitment within the hospitality industry.

Key Challenges in Hospitality Recruitment

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.

According to the UNWTO recommendations (on average):

  • a three-star hotel per 10 rooms should employ at least 8 people
  • a four-star hotel per 10 rooms should employ at least 12 people
  • a five-star hotel per 10 rooms should employ at least 20 people

This means that a hotel with 100 rooms should have around 1,500 employees on average.

This means a lot of hiring and training and thus a better retention rate and employee empowerment and satisfaction would be key to success in hospitality recruiting.

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.

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

There is a huge overlap of skills within the hospitality industry. Plus, the salaries are extremely competitive which makes hoteliers switch for a promotion or even a smaller pay rise. Similar roles even add to the woes as it becomes easy to switch.

The turnover is higher in jobs like waiters, housekeeping team members, front office receptionists, commis chefs and other beginners to mid-level hospitality job roles.

  • Competitiveness of skilled hospitality talent – This again is one of the key challenges in hospitality recruiting. It is rather difficult to find the exact match for the skills required.

Let’s take the example of roles like Chef with French cuisine expertise or a Reservation manager who can speak both German and Russian along with English.

Highly skilled candidates are like hot cakes in the industry with hotels ready to poach them at the first instance. This adds to the pressure and uncertainty.

  • Overlapping job descriptions and generic job roles – There is a huge overlap in job roles. It makes it difficult to source the right fit.

Almost everyone applies for every position making it difficult for the human resource executives or managers to select the right fit.

  • Retaining best hospitality talent is a huge challenge – Hospitality industry salary for a lot of positions is not that high considering other sectors like technology, medicine, engineering etc. Thus hoteliers might switch even for a small raise or for a better property.

The tier system in the hotel industry brings in the desire to jump to the higher star or tier even at a lesser or same salary.

Thus retaining best hospitality talent for a longer term is one of the major challenges faced by the hospitality industry.

  • Lengthy recruitment processes – Due to an overwhelmingly large number of applications and multiple interviews, the recruitment cycle in the hospitality industry can be lengthy.

This leads to applicants applying for multiple roles and backing out in between the recruitment process.

This leads to a lot of wastage in crucial recruitment time.

It is thus crucial to shortening the recruitment cycle in the hospitality industry.

  • Managing Cultural Diversity – Another important 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.

A lot of hotels in cosmopolitan locations and travel destinations like Dubai, Maldives, Seychelles etc. attract visitors from all around the globe.

This necessitates the requirement of people from varied background to work at the hotels.  Plus, the nature of hospitality leads to staffing with a multicultural touch.

While this seems like bliss but can be a nightmare at times. Think in terms of religious practices, food habits, days off, general habits, leisure and more.

Top Hospitality Recruitment Tips to Recruiters

Here we present some of the tips and best practices of hospitality recruitment.

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 and hospitality recruitment strategies 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.

8 Recruitment Hacks for the Hospitality Recruiters

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.

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.

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 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.


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 challenges for the hospitality industry.

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.


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