3 Hiring Strategies to Improve Hotel Hiring in 2024

According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s (AHLA) 2024 State of Industry Report, there are 2.1 million hospitality workers expected to be employed in the hospitality industry this year alone — but that doesn’t mean hiring will get any easier this year.

With 91% of hoteliers agreeing that hiring in this industry is somewhat to extremely challenging, there are a lot of open positions that need to be filled and competition will be high for top quality workers. In order to make the hires your hotel needs, you need to find ways to stand out from the hiring crowd and make candidates excited about the possibility of working with you.

How to make candidates want to work with you

Ultimately, what’s going to impact a hotelier’s ability to make the hires they need is whether or not they can make candidates want to work with them instead of anyone else. Below, we’ve come up with three strategies you can use to show applicants that you’re a preferred employer.

Automate time-consuming tasks

Hiring can be a time-consuming process. Between playing phone tag to arrange interviews, actually scoring and evaluating candidates, and maintaining smooth operations at your hotel, there’s a lot that hiring managers need to have a handle on. It’s easy for tasks to slip through the cracks — but that means you’re losing out on top hospitality talent. 

If you want to add the best of the best to your team, you need to move quickly since recent Hireology data shows that 44% of hospitality applicants apply to 11+ jobs at once. Candidates don’t have to wait for you to get back to them when there are at least 10 other hiring managers reaching out. Making candidates want to work with you means you need to find ways to move faster through your process. While you can’t skip interviewing, you can automate many of the time-consuming tasks that slow your hiring managers down. 

For instance, now you can interact instantly with candidates once they submit their application; simply set up an automated candidate communication thanking them for their interest and outline next steps so they know what to expect. You can also eliminate the back and forth phone tag that scheduling interviews can necessitate by using an interview scheduler tool that provides interview availability for your hiring managers based on their synced calendars, making the process easier and faster for everyone involved. Your open hotel roles can be in front of job seekers faster thanks to compelling, SEO enhanced AI-generated job descriptions. By automating all of these small, but extremely important steps, in the hiring process, you can give your hiring team time back in their day to do what they do best: provide great guest experiences. 

Always be recruiting

In this day and age, relying on reactive recruiting methods, like only advertising your open roles when there’s a vacancy, isn’t going to keep your hotel fully staffed. Instead, you need to work on creating a proactive recruitment strategy that allows you to tap into a talent pool custom created for you. 

To be clear: there’s more to this strategy than just keeping contact information, including but not limited to rediscovering talent you’re already in contact with, nurturing and engaging prospective candidates, and driving employee engagement and retention. The right applicant tracking system for hotels should empower you to manage a database of former candidates, hotel alumni, and referred candidates that you can tap into when you need to make a hire fast. 

Top talent wants to work with employers they’ve engaged with in the past with over two-thirds (70%) of hospitality applicants stating that they would consider returning to a previous employer and 82% saying that they would be interested in working with an employer they interviewed with but were not hired at. You can nurture these silver medal candidates, former alumni, and referred candidates by sharing your unique employer value, your company culture, and open positions they might be interested in through emails and text messages. You can even turn your best employees into the greatest recruiters your hotel has ever had with an employee referral program to round out your new recruiting program. Referred candidates are hired faster, stay longer, and are more engaged in the workplace than traditional candidates, making referrals a top ROI-driving recruitment method.

Make hiring mobile

Qualified hospitality workers are hard to come by these days, so when they enter the labor market they are quickly grabbed up. In order to give your hotel a competitive advantage in hiring, you need to partner with an ATS that empowers you to make hiring decisions on-the-go. As we alluded to earlier, your hiring managers are often balancing this critical function alongside their other day-to-day responsibilities so they’re not often behind a computer — but the odds are high that they have their smartphone in their pocket. You can keep your hiring process moving fast by using the mobile version of your preferred ATS.

With the mobile app, your hiring manager can stay in touch with candidates no matter where they are in the hotel or what they’re doing. The ability to check messages from candidates and review applications remotely is a decidedly necessary factor since job seeker expectations surrounding communication and its frequency has changed tremendously since the pandemic. Now, research shows that over a third (36%) of candidates expect to hear from you at least once a day, while over two-thirds (67%) expect to hear from you at least every two days. With the average American checking their phone about 96 times per day according to Zippia, you can use this to your advantage to hire better hospitality talent faster by creating custom push notifications to be sent when new applications are received or when candidates communicate with you.

Mobile applications also allow hotels to capture more than their fair share of talent by allowing hiring managers to collaborate remotely. For hotels with multiple properties, you can use mobile apps to gain instant insight into hiring processes across all of your locations just by logging in on your phone. Now, you can leave notes on a candidate’s profile or look into a candidate’s applicant status at a moment’s notice — allowing you and your hiring managers to stay on top of hiring when you’re on the go.

Ready to hire more hospitality talent faster? 

With record-breaking levels of guest spending anticipated for 2024, capturing your fair share of the 2.1 million hospitality workers directly employed in this industry will be table stakes for properties across the nation. To help your hotel hire better talent faster, download your copy of the 2024 Hiring Best Practices Checklist to audit your current process and identify areas for improvement.



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