I continue to learn about our industry from different perspectives that I don’t expect. For example, during a recent dinner at a friend’s house, the topic of summer jobs came up with their college-aged kids. One of their daughters had applied to numerous local hotels and apparently became so frustrated with the application process she had no interest in working at several of them due to their hiring processes. Many of the online applications consistently crashed, requiring her to start over multiple times, and she thought most were very cumbersome.
Initially she had explained how excited she was to potentially work at a hotel when she went through the interview process with the department managers. Yet once she was turned back over to human resources, the tone of the hiring process turned cold and unwelcoming — so much so that she chose to accept a position outside of our industry where the recruiting process was easier.
Most of the properties we manage are in very tough labor markets, and finding quality team members is very difficult. I began to ponder if this could potentially be happening to us. How difficult is the process to get hired at our hotels, and more importantly, how does the prospective team member feel going through the process? The quality of the team members we hire directly affects how we deliver the service to our guests — yet our industry does not evaluate the hiring process. I realized most hotels, including ours, contract outside shopping services to evaluate how we execute our guest experiences so we can constantly improve the product and services we offer our guests. But no one I know evaluates their hiring process — how easily someone gets hired at our properties, or more importantly, how they feel going through and completing the hiring process.
I know some properties and chains do some skills testing and psychological testing, but how many evaluate the actual hiring process like we evaluate our guestroom-reservation process or operational delivery? Do we evaluate how many people stop filling out the online application just as we track how many leave our reservation page before booking?
That being said, I asked a handful of friends to have their kids (much to their chagrin, of course) apply at our hotels and several other area hotels. I was very surprised at how difficult our industry makes the hiring process. They all said it was much easier to work at an independent restaurant or retail store, and, anecdotally, those outlets tended to follow up with them faster than the hotels regarding whether they got the position or not.
The labor situation has changed, and we need to streamline our hiring processes to ensure we get the right talent to deliver the services our guests demand. I learned we will be streamlining our hiring processes as well as shopping our human-resources department just as we do the operating and reservations departments.
Does anyone shop your human-resources area as you do your operations areas?