4 Simple Steps to Stabilize Staffing Levels Despite the Labor Shortage

Hotel Hiring - staff smiling at camera

Hiring hotel employees might feel impossible right now, but there are four easy ways to pull the covers over the current crisis. Essentially, hoteliers should stop scrambling to find as many applicants as possible. It’s not about getting the most applicants—the key is to find the right ones. Casting a large net and hiring anyone that applies might solve staffing shortages in the short term, but this puts hotel operators at risk of making poor hires and dealing with costly employee turnover that brings them back to square one.

It’s time to take a different approach. These simple steps can help hoteliers conquer their hiring nightmares and sleep as soundly as their guests.

1Optimize Job Postings

Hoteliers must first impress job seekers before they ever reach the interview stage to impress them. So, before crafting a job posting, hoteliers should ask themselves why someone would want to work at their hotel instead of one of the numerous other hotels hiring right now. After all, this is what job seekers will wonder as they scroll through all the potential opportunities online.

There are millions of job postings out there, so it’s crucial to create an attention-grabbing advertisement that would resonate with the ideal applicant for a particular hotel. Hoteliers should make their job postings concise while including essential elements such as a specific title, expectations, salary range, benefits, and company culture.

By the numbers:

2Implement Screening Tools

Imagine that a hotelier only gets two applicants for a crucial position. They both look the same on paper, but one is actually a much better candidate than the other. If the hotelier makes the wrong decision, they end up wasting precious resources interviewing and onboarding an employee that turns around and leaves in a month.

The hotelier could’ve avoided making this costly mistake by using screening tools, like assessments that can predict applicant success and background checks to verify information and reduce liability. There are even tools to reveal which potential hires are eligible for Work Opportunity Tax Credits (WOTC) to maximize the hotel’s tax relief. Investing in these solutions could result in a positive ROI, even if they save owners from one bad hire. A labor crisis is no time to rely on gut feelings.

3Rethink the Interview Process

Many applicants research interview questions ahead of time, and previous staff members are often more than happy to share them on websites like Glassdoor, so they’ll likely have answers ready for the most common ones. If an employer typically asks the classic question about a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, it might be time to switch it up. The cookie-cutter responses that often accompany questions like this don’t give people enough insight into how well the applicant will perform in the role.

Hoteliers must rethink their interview process to get valuable information that properly informs their hiring decision. They should ask questions to help identify “soft skills” like communication and collaboration that people typically don’t include on a resume. For example, interviewers could ask, “Have you ever had to deal with a difficult guest? How did you handle the situation?” This makes them think about a real-life example and reveals more about the applicant’s personality. It’s also a good practice to ask questions that help identify whether or not a candidate will be a good fit for the current team.

Tip: For leadership roles, consider promoting from within. External hires tend to perform worse in the first two years and are 61% more likely to be fired or laid off than internal hires.

4Maintain Employee Engagement

After hiring new hotel staff members, it’s important to make sure they stay long-term. It can be debilitating for a business (and the hotelier’s mental health) to lose a top-performing employee and have to go through the hiring process all over again. Luckily, employee engagement initiatives can help prevent employee turnover. Companies with high employee engagement are even 22% more profitable! Conduct team-building exercises, schedule regular check-ins, and remember to recognize staff for their hard work.

The Future of Hotel Hiring

While it’s difficult to predict when this labor crisis will end, these hotel hiring practices should help owners and operators maintain healthy staffing levels for years to come. Remember, it’s just about finding the right candidates—not as many as possible. Following these simple steps will reduce reliance on applicant flow while boosting employee retention and improving the guest experience.


Sponsored by Sprockets

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Matthew Kuraska was a content marketing strategist for several clients in the lodging industry and now works as a digital marketing specialist for Sprockets, the provider of an AI-powered hiring solution that helps people find the best applicants for their businesses.