How to Find 5-Star Hospitality Talent in a Tough Hiring Market

The hospitality industry is facing a talent crisis. Right now, leisure and hospitality workers are quitting at the highest rates of any industry, with 130,000 open positions. A part of the widespread labor shortage across the U.S. has been attributed to lower immigration rates over the past two years. Although the H-2B visa program has helped many hospitality businesses find skilled labor, Congress has capped it at 66,000 visas annually. While the proposed legislation to raise the cap will be very helpful to finding more long-term workers, it may take time to implement.

How can you find and hire hospitality talent for your hotel in the meantime? 

At WizeHire, it’s our mission to make finding skilled talent easier for you. When hiring is harder than ever, we’re here to help you with the tools, resources, and advice you need to keep your business growing in the weeks and months ahead.

Here are three strategies you can use to attract top hospitality talent in a tough market:

  • Showcase career pathways to jobseekers 
  • Take advantage of employee referral strategies
  • Leverage your candidate’s soft skills

Showcase career pathways in hospitality in your job ads

Many candidates are looking for positions with growth potential. Show job seekers that entry-level positions are more than just temporary roles. Include how the position you’re advertising can turn into a longer-term career pathway in hospitality.

For example, highlight how quickly a new employee filling an entry-level front desk agent job can progress into a front desk manager or a concierge role. Make this career path clear in your job posting and interviews so the potential candidate can envision a long-term future with your hotel.

Leverage employee referral strategies 

Employee referrals are still among the best sources to recruit quality new hires and still receive the highest hire rate. While only accounting for about 7% of applications, referred candidates account for up to 40% of hires. This means that referral candidates have the highest applicant-to-hire rate

Many employees appreciate being offered incentives for referrals. These incentives can be financial, such as a small bonus or finder’s fee – or non-financial, such as extra days off, gift cards, or company-wide recognition.

Turn soft skills into 5-star hospitality talent

Widen your candidate pool by thinking beyond the hospitality industry. Jobseekers from non-hospitality backgrounds may not have direct hospitality experience but they might have transferable skills that give them a high potential for success. 

Customer service experience is very beneficial for any hospitality, food service, or event planning career. Roles from other industries that can be excellent starter jobs for career pathways in hospitality include:

  • Administrative assistant or office staff
  • Fast food employees
  • Retail workers 

Additional soft skills, such as empathy, compassion, communication, and problem-solving are just as valuable. Prioritizing candidates with these skills can bring higher guest satisfaction and also identify those with future management potential.

Our hiring coaches are here to help

WizeHire recognizes that this is a challenging time to be hiring in the hospitality industry. It’s important to focus on hiring strategies that will maintain the standards of excellence your guests have come to expect from your brand. Our trained hiring coaches are ready to help guide you through the hiring process so you can grow your business the right way.

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