What do today's job seekers really want? Download Hireology's 2022 applicant research report today to find out.

A Guide to Writing Strong Job Descriptions for Your Hotel

Introduction

For businesses like hotels, having a complete staff with the right folks in the right seats is crucial to your bottom line. You need great housekeepers, bartenders, front desk staff, and more to keep your rooms full and your guests happy. But these days, filling your open roles is certainly no easy feat. The post-pandemic hiring landscape has proven to be a rocky one — with an unprecedented shortage of available workers alongside a sharp demand for talent across all industries.

One of the most important things you can do to win in today’s tough hiring climate is reworking your job descriptions. At a time when job seekers have plenty of options, your job descriptions are often the one and only chance you have to make a great first impression. Today, the average job seeker applies to more than 10 different jobs. So if your job descriptions aren’t doing everything they can to catch the eyes of these folks, you’re just not going to generate a strong applicant flow.

This is especially true in hospitality, where the worker supply and demand imbalance is stark. You really need to deeply understand what qualified job seekers today want and make it very clear in your descriptions that you can and do offer it. Think of your job descriptions as an advertisement for your hotel. If you don’t clearly spell out what makes your hotel better than the one down the street, why would a guest stay with you?

At Hireology we work with hundreds of leading hotels and we know what it takes to craft a job description that stands out and attracts the attention of relevant, qualified talent in the area. We created a guide that covers everything you need to know when revamping your job descriptions in a tough post-pandemic hiring market.

✔ Follow a job description formula

The order in which you list all of the relevant information in your job description matters. It can be the difference between a qualified job seeker reading on to the bottom of your job description and then choosing to apply or moving onto a different job opening without even exploring the role beyond what they see in their job board search results.

For example, while you don’t want to start with the full job requirements and qualifications, it is useful to offer a short blurb about what the role entails and what you’re looking for. Typically this is what’s pulled into the quick summary when your job descriptions show up in Google and job board searches so you’ll want to be strategic in what you include in this summary. Additionally, failing to list benefits earlier on typically leads to top candidates moving onto other opportunities because they’re not sure if you offer what they want.

Here’s a look at how we recommend structuring your job descriptions to ensure maximum visibility and quality applicants:

Job summary

A job summary contains the exact job title and a brief description of what the job entails without digging too deep into specific requirements or responsibilities. For example, you might say “We’re looking for a friendly individual with customer-facing experience to greet and assist guests as the front desk manager position at ABC hotel.”


Benefits

Next, you want to immediately list what’s in it for the candidate. That means listing your tangible benefits like competitive pay, health insurance, PTO, and 401k offerings. Then, list your intangible benefits like great culture, growth opportunities, and flexible scheduling. Really anything that someone would find beneficial when it comes to working for you can be listed here.

Responsibilities

Now it’s time to get into the deeper description of the day-to-day responsibilities of the role. Be as clear and straightforward as possible. Avoid vague language like “You’ll be a rockstar at making our guests feel happy.” Instead, list the specific duties in a typical day in the role.

Requirements/qualifications

Immediately following the responsibilities, list the requirements and qualifications for the position. That might include years of experience, training, and other necessary certifications. Be sure to also include equivalent qualifications as this can widen your reach. For example, maybe if they don’t have the exact years of experience working in a hotel, maybe they have spent some time in similar customer-facing roles at retailers or restaurants.

Company blurb

This is your chance to really sell your organization as a great place to work. You may have touched on some of what makes you unique in the benefits section (e.g., your great culture) but here is where you can go deeper. Be sure to include any employment awards you’ve won and state your company’s values.

Equal employment opportunity statement

And finally, include an equal employment opportunity statement. This is where you list your commitment to creating a diverse workplace that gives folks of all backgrounds and equal opportunity. It’s also where you make clear your policy against discriminatin and harassment in the workplace. Not only is defining and crafting an EEO statement the right thing to do, but it also ensures maximum visibility of your job descriptions.

Use the below visual as a guide when building or reimagining your job descriptions.

✔ Use SEO best practices

Like when shopping online, most people start their searches for jobs on Google. That means your job descriptions need to be written in a way to ensure maximum visibility in these searches. You want to show up on the first page of the Google search results as high on the page as possible. Additionally, Google has created its own job board that pulls in job descriptions it scrapes on the web, using its own algorithm.

Ensuring that your job descriptions are prioritized in Google’s algorithm means you need to follow the same SEO best practices that you would with your website or other content for your company. Here are some best practices:

  • Your descriptions need to be well-written and readable — Google can tell if you’re cramming in keywords or writing in an effort to “beat” the algorithm. Write for other human beings, not a computer.
  • Job descriptions also need to be within a certain word count — typically we recommend 300-800 words.
  • You’ll also want to break up the content into distinct sections, with subheadings and bullet points. Again, the more scannable and readable it is the higher Google ranks it.

 

When it comes to SEO, the keywords you choose and the placement of those keywords matters too. You’ll want to do some research to figure out what keywords are important to your audience and for the specific role. Keywords you use for hotel managers will of course be different for housekeeping roles. Keyword tools like SEMRush or Moz Keyword Explorer can help. It’s also useful to analyze your competitors’ job descriptions and speak with your existing employees to get a better understanding of what they look for when searching for a job.

More generally, here are a few benefits-specific keywords we’ve seen used most often in effective job descriptions across all job types.

  • Culture
  • Work/life balance
  • Flexibility
  • Scheduling flexibility
  • Growth opportunities
  • Career growth
  • Paid time off
  • Vacation days
  • Sick days


Once you know what keywords you want to prioritize, it’s important to place them strategically in your copy. Include them more than once throughout the page and put them in the subheadings or intro paragraphs of each section when it makes sense to do so.

✔ Re-think the job title

The title of the job itself makes a big difference not only on your search results on Google and other job boards, but also in how job seekers perceive the role. Again, first impressions matter and the title of your job is often the very first thing folks see. Your job titles need to be relevant, short, and consistent throughout the job description.

What do we mean by this? Here’s a closer look:

Relevancy

It might be tempting to give your jobs titles that are unique to your organization or include jargon words like “guru” or “rockstar” in an effort to stand out and attract the best applicants. But in reality, titles that aren’t in line with industry standards are more confusing to job seekers than anything. And when job seekers have a lot of options they’re not going to take time to investigate further.

Another way to make your titles really relevant to job seekers is to make sure the keyword “hotel” is included in the job title. For example, rather than just posting a job titled “housekeeping attendant” try “hotel housekeeping attendant.”

Length

You also want to keep the job titles short — ideally between 1-3 words. Like we noted above, keep the words you choose within industry standards and clear. Don’t include descriptors or other jargon. Additionally, it’s common for organizations to list hourly wages or salaries within the job titles, but this is not something we recommend. Doing so makes your description feel like a scam or ingenuine, turning away job seekers and also dinging you in your Google results.

Consistency

You also need to use your job title consistently throughout the job description. This is another good way to improve your SEO value. So if the job title is hotel manager, you need to include that word-for-word within the job description throughout. So rather than saying “this person will be responsible for…” you’d say “the hotel manager is responsible for…”

✔ Make tangible claims and don't oversell

And finally, it’s important to be straightforward and honest about the role and what your company is offering. Just like when shopping for any sort of product or service, people can tell if you’re overselling or making claims that aren’t quite truthful. And it’s a big turn off — especially at a time when the options for work are plentiful. If you’ve done all of the above and you’re being straightforward about what it is you offer and how you can meet the needs of your target audience, your role will sell itself.

Best practices like these are important always — not just when hiring is tough. The pandemic has fundamentally changed what job seekers are looking for from employers and how they search for jobs. So it will always be important to find ways to stand out across all channels and most importantly, clearly articulate what you offer as an employer.

And tools like Hireology can help make sure you’re distributing your job descriptions across the right channels. Using our all-in-one hiring and HR tool, you can build a robust career site, integrate with leading job boards, post your roles to social media, run an employee referral program, and more. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more!

Hiring Resources

Get our guides, playbooks and videos to Build your best process