Why don’t you call? Seeking advice from hospitality recruiters

It’s springtime in New York. And in many parts of the world millions of college students are participating in another rite of spring — job hunting. As commencement ceremonies loom near and students finish finals and say goodbye to friends and faculty, they also attend official on-campus recruiting events, rewrite their resumes for the 200th time, customize countless cover letters, press shirts, polish shoes and endure seemingly endless interviews.

Recently, stressed-out seniors have lined up at my office door, telling me their job-hunting woes along with which management-in-training programs are most coveted or which brands are most competitive. Sadly, quite a number of students are experiencing heightened anxiety from a cause on which I am ill-prepared to give them sound advice.

More than ever I am told a scenario that goes something like this: “I interviewed with such-and-such company. I made it to the second round. The interviewer/recruiter/HR manager said the decisions would be made in one/two/three weeks. I was told I would get an email Monday, but that was nine/ten/twelve days ago. What should I do?”

And so I ask, on their behalf, what should they do? 

I could snowclone the movie title “He’s Just Not that Into You,” but this is business, not dating. Unfortunately this scenario is not a singular situation nor a 2014 anomaly. What is odd is that we teach and practice that extensive recruiting, hiring, on-boarding, orienting, training and motivating of employees is essential to brand success. As an industry we pay great attention to employee morale, development, turnover rates and internal marketing, as guest satisfaction depends on the outcomes of these investments. Yet when interviewing applicants, there seems to be a gap in how hospitality employers view the general “pool” of talent.

Without a doubt, many things happen in the sequence of recruiting and hiring that cause delays. Coordinating “fit” of employees among hundreds of hotels or worldwide offices with varying staffing needs is complex and requires vast communication over multiple time zones, politics and cultures. Yet when expectations such as “You’ll hear from us by Monday” are created among prospective employees, should we not strive to meet those expectations as we would for prospective guests? If an employer hasn’t responded by the time the interviewer said he or she would, what should the applicant do? 

I seek your advice.