Written by Anders Johansson, Owner of Hospitality Visions, CEO of Demand Calendar and member of the HSMAI Europe Nordic Region Advisory Board
Benefits of a strong employer brand
Many hotels have experienced challenges in finding and recruiting employees after the pandemic. Hotels need to become more creative and re-assess how to attract people to the industry. This was the theme for the HSMAI Europe meeting together with the consulting and recruiting company Randstad in Stockholm at the end of March. Here is a summary with additional ideas on attracting and retaining talent, specifically in commercial roles, such as marketing, sales, and hotel revenue management.
The starting point is to set a vision for building a solid employer brand to attract talent. There are many dimensions in an employer brand, such as offering competitive compensation packages, providing professional development opportunities, fostering a culture of teamwork, embracing diversity and inclusivity, and offering resources to help the commercial team achieve a healthy work-life balance.
Building a Strong Employer Brand
Building a strong employer brand is one of the most effective ways to attract talented individuals to commercial roles. Hotels can achieve this by creating a culture that values and supports employees. For example, promoting a diverse and inclusive work environment, providing opportunities for professional development, and recognizing and rewarding employee achievements can help create a positive image of the hotel as an employer of choice.
Offering Competitive Compensation Packages
Offering competitive compensation packages is another way to make commercial roles more attractive. Competitive salaries and benefits packages can help ensure hotels offer salaries aligning with industry standards and not deter potential candidates from competitors. Research from Randstad shows that the compensation package is among the top five most important factors for accepting a job offer.
Providing Professional Development Opportunities
Providing professional development opportunities is another way to attract talented individuals to commercial roles. Attending conferences, training programs, and mentorship programs can help employees improve their skills, knowledge, and expertise, making commercial roles more attractive. It also helps employees feel valued and invested and can improve retention rates. According to research from Randstad, it is easier to attract employees if the hotel can evaluate the potential for the employee to make a career in the industry already when recruiting. The employee is likely to accept an offer with a clear career plan as part of the package.
Fostering a Culture of Teamwork
Fostering a culture of teamwork can help create a collaborative and inclusive work environment. Encouraging open communication between departments, embracing diversity and inclusivity, and providing opportunities for cross-functional collaboration can help build a culture of teamwork and support. The research from Randstad clearly shows that younger generations (Gen Z) would hesitate to accept a job offer from a company that does not explicitly promote diversity and inclusivity. People in the hotel industry know that the workforce consists of people with diverse backgrounds working well together. Still, this fact must be clearly stated when attracting people unfamiliar with the hospitality industry.
Offering Work-Life Balance Resources
Offering resources to help the commercial team achieve a healthy work-life balance can make commercial roles more attractive. Traditionally, work in hotels needs to be performed on-site. However, hotels could have more flexible work arrangements for commercial roles where and when the work is done. In addition, hotels could offer on-site fitness- and wellness facilities, healthy food options, and counselling services to help employees balance work and personal life.
The Employee Journey
Many hotel companies have successfully implemented the guest journey concept as a systematic approach to making guests happy with the hotel experience. The framework has proven easy to get employees onboard in understanding the service requirements in all the detailed steps along the guest journey. The same approach can be used to create an employee journey. Here are the different steps in the employee journey, specifically for the hospitality industry.
The first step in the employee journey is to attract potential employees to the organization. The hospitality industry can do this through various channels, such as job postings, employer branding, social media, and employee referrals. To attract top talent, showcasing the unique culture, values, and perks of working in the hospitality industry is essential.
Once potential employees are attracted to the hospitality organization, the recruitment process starts. This involves screening resumes, conducting interviews, and selecting the right candidate for the job. The hospitality industry should hire individuals with a passion for customer service, a positive attitude, and a willingness to learn and grow.
This is the process of integrating new employees into the hospitality organization. It includes orientation, training, and setting expectations for the new employee. The hospitality industry should provide thorough training on customer service, company policies, and procedures to ensure that new employees are set up for success.
After onboarding, the focus shifts to developing the employee’s skills and providing growth opportunities. This can include cross-training in different departments, mentoring, coaching, and job rotation. The hospitality industry should provide continuous learning and development opportunities to retain top talent.
Retention is critical for the long-term success of the hospitality organization. It involves creating a positive work environment, offering competitive compensation and benefits, recognizing and rewarding employees, and providing opportunities for career advancement. The hospitality industry should foster a culture that values and supports its employees to retain top talent.
At some point, employees may decide to leave the hospitality organization. The transition process involves offboarding and ensuring a smooth exit for the employee. The hospitality industry should conduct exit interviews to understand the reasons behind the employee’s decision to leave and use that feedback to improve the employee experience for current and future employees.
By understanding these steps in the employee journey, the hospitality industry can create a positive employee experience, attract and retain top talent, and foster a culture of continuous learning and development.
Benefits of a strong employer brand
Strong employer branding and a well-designed employee journey can bring several benefits to a hotel. Here are some of the key benefits:
- Attracting top talent: A strong employer brand can make a company stand out as an attractive employer, especially in a competitive job market. This can help attract top talent to the company’s commercial roles, leading to better revenue growth and profitability.
- Retaining top talent: A well-designed employee journey can help retain top talent by providing engaging work experiences, opportunities for professional development and career growth, recognition, and rewards. Retaining top talent can help reduce recruitment and training costs and contribute to a positive work culture.
- Improving employee engagement: Positive employer branding and a well-designed employee journey can help improve employee engagement by providing a sense of purpose, belonging, and satisfaction. This can increase productivity, better customer service, and improved revenue.
- Building a positive reputation: A strong employer brand and a well-designed employee journey can help build a positive reputation for the hotel as an employer of choice. This can attract customers and investors who value companies that prioritize their employees.
- Enhancing customer satisfaction: Employees who are satisfied with their work experience are more likely to provide excellent customer service, which can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.
These benefits will contribute to the hotel’s revenue growth, profitability, and long-term success.
Owner of Hospitality Visions
CEO of Demand Calendar
Member of the HSMAI Europe Nordic Region Advisory Board