The accommodation or the hotel sector is one of the primary subsidiaries of the overall hospitality industry. Apart from the recent COVID-19-induced slump, the hotel industry has seen significant growth in the past many decades. The accommodation sector employs more than two million people in the U.S and generates over 2.7 million jobs in Europe. In this article, we present some of the tips and strategies to find the right talent for the maintenance department of the hotel industry.
Maintenance Workers in Hospitality- An Overview
With the unemployment rate below 10% according to various statistics and as mentioned in Statista, in this industry, there is massive competition amongst hoteliers to bring in good and skilled hotel maintenance workers. This is because a skilled hotel staff plays an instrumental role in enhancing the overall guest experience.
Hotel maintenance workers are well-rounded helpers who play a key role in preventative maintenance and repairs in all parts of the hotel, including its walls & furniture, floors, plumbing, and electrical systems.
They are skilled at using a variety of equipment and also can carry out jobs that are physically demanding. Since this career requires a wide background in repair and maintenance, people who are adept at carrying out multiple tasks each day are well-suited for this role.
And since quality labor can make or break your hospitality business we gathered a few tips that will help you hire the best people for the job and leave your guests in awe of the service provided at your hotel.
1. Get your job descriptions right
Believe it or not, a one-size-fits-all description isn’t going to work, especially in an industry as diverse as the hospitality industry. So, use inclusive language and make sure you don’t leave out any important information. Try to be as detailed and specific as possible to ensure that you don’t unintentionally discourage anyone from applying.
Based on the job role, add requirements like a high school diploma and/or proven maintenance experience in repairing critical HVAC, lighting, plumbing, and electrical systems.
Also, don’t be afraid to show your personality. Nobody likes to work for a boring employer, so make sure that your job description gives ample insights into what your brand is like and what it stands for. Remember, you also need to sell the job. This will, in turn, attract higher-quality candidates who might apply for the vacancies in your hotel.
Also, this can improve retention, which could be crucial for a stable and more predictive employment process.
2. Simplify the application process
Candidates looking for a job want an easy and mobile-friendly hospitality industry application process while applying for a new job. Honestly, nobody likes to fill out the same information again and again. So, make your application process straightforward to ensure that you don’t miss out on ideal candidates because of a complicated application process.
Try simplifying the application process – it will motivate more people to apply. You can also deploy a QR code on your site or feature a link, which can allow interested candidates to apply on the spot. By doing this, you can have ample time to assess your candidates after the completion of your initial application process.
Also, pay special attention to candidates with certifications like Certified Maintenance and Reliability Technician (CMRT), Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technicians, and Building Systems Maintenance Certificate. People with such certifications can be a great asset to your hotel, but you will need to make sure that you have a proper system in place to verify the authenticity of their certification.
3. Go for a standardized interview process
Try standardizing your interview process as much as you can. Make sure that your interview process is consistent throughout for a better comparison between the candidates. While the process in itself has to be consistent in itself, asking all your candidates the same interview questions can be a great way of remaining consistent all the way.
You can begin with a video interview integrated into your online assessment so you can get a feel for a candidate’s personality. This is especially important for hotel maintenance roles, where personality traits like friendliness and empathy are instrumental for success.
Ask them how they would solve common hotel maintenance requests, guest complaints, and other typical problems. Also, try evaluating their communication skills by requesting candidates to submit brief emails or cover letters summarizing their work experience.
You can further ask them open-ended questions focused on customer service orientation, teamwork, and other relevant topics from their field. This will give you a good idea of whether or not the candidate will be a good fit for your hotel. By bringing in the best candidates for the interview, you can speed up the entire process and make sure that you don’t waste your time meeting the wrong people for the role.
4. Conduct thorough background and reference checks
Once you have shortlisted your ideal candidates, conduct background and reference checks on them. Get in touch with their former employers to learn about their past performance and conduct.
Ask their former employers whether or not they would recommend the candidate for the position, and their reason in case they advise you against doing it. This will give you a fair idea of whether or not they will be an ideal fit for the role.
5. Get your onboarding and training process right
Your responsibility of onboarding excellent hotel maintenance workers doesn’t end with making the job offer. You must get your onboarding and training process spot on as well, to make sure that they familiarize themselves with the company culture and understand what’s expected of them. Also, providing them with the necessary training will make sure that they carry out their jobs with perfection.
Once you have onboarded the right individuals and trained them, make sure that you have a solid communication channel in place to implement a continuous feedback loop. Utilizing a platform like GoCo can streamline your onboarding process. GoCo offers automated tools that simplify training protocols.
This will give you a fair idea about how engaged and satisfied the candidate is with the position, and also give you valuable insights to improve your recruitment process.
The result of an effective hotel maintenance staff – is comfortable and a happy guest.
In return, he or she may put in a good word for you amongst their friends, family, or even strangers on the Internet, saying how amazing everything about your hotel was.
On the contrary, the outcome of ineffective hotel maintenance can be a grouchy guest who could spread negative impressions about staying at your hotel.
While onboarding the right hotel staff is a tricky job – especially considering the cut-throat competition that currently exists in the hospital sector for hiring maintenance workers – keeping the points mentioned above in mind can certainly help.
All you have to do is keep the overall process transparent and be on your toes regarding the hirings that you do.
About the Author
Bryan Christiansen is the founder and CEO of Limble CMMS. Limble is a modern, easy-to-use mobile CMMS software that takes the stress and chaos out of maintenance by helping managers organize, automate, and streamline their maintenance operations.