In our latest blog, Nicholas Northam, Managing Director for the UK at Interstate Europe Hotels & Resorts, explains how a dramatic shift in the way people are looking for employment is revolutionising the recruitment process and why the hotel industry needs to keep up so it secures the best talent.
As the fallout from the General Election result continues and Brexit negotiations are underway, it’s hard to predict what will happen next. Uncertainty swirls in every direction as we work out how to navigate through the choppy economic and political waters the current situation brings.
But one thing we do know for sure in this people-facing industry is how important employing the right people is for securing business longevity and, ultimately, in building a buoyant hotel market across the UK.
The way we recruit has changed dramatically over the last few years as we all try and respond to the differing needs of prospective employees.
Firstly, job hunters expect information on the go. No longer do they wait for their local newspaper every week to tell them what jobs are out there and make a phone call to get an application form.
There is an expectation with a job search that they can get what they want, when they want it and all in one place. Harnessing the digital world to achieve this has become essential.
The other substantial change has been in the balance of the process. It’s not only the employee that has to impress the employer but it’s also the other way round due to increasing competition in the market. Interviews are well and truly a two-way process. We are assessing the candidate but they are also looking at us to get a feel for how we operate and whether they want to work for us. In addition, candidates are doing much more research than ever before using platforms such as Trip Advisor, Glass Door, the salary survey on LinkedIn and accessing social media channels to find out all they want to know.
It goes without saying that every organisation wants the best possible staff to work with them and it’s vital to put the tools in place to ensure this happens. Our priority is to invest in programs to attract and retain the next generation of hospitality leaders.
Here at Interstate, we are bringing the latest technology to all of our hotels to ensure they are reaching their colleagues of the future and communicating with them in a targeted and engaging way. We want our hotels to be able to tell their story and demonstrate to potential employees what makes them stand out from the crowd.
It is imperative our hotels are ‘fit for purpose’ for recruiting in today’s marketplace and ultimately enabling our hotels to select the right person for the right job. As such, we have invested in an innovative online system with the latest functionality so our managed hotels can take full advantage and be as equipped as they can to deal with what is round the corner. This not only enhances the candidate experience but at the same time reduces the man hours of administration around recruitment so quality time can be spent selecting the best candidates.
All jobs are now advertised in one place and our social media channels can be accessed through the system to easily spread the word about our latest vacancies. Anyone who wants to apply for a job with us can do so on the site, screening and simple Q&As take place online before shortlisted candidates pick an interview slot that suits them. Soon applicants will also be able to upload their own video to the site and take part in online video interviews where appropriate.
Job boards in one place supported by the use of social media and an overall increased visibility online, has driven potential candidates to us and in the first month of the system’s introduction we received 3,000 applications for 120 job vacancies. Previously we would have expected to receive a third of that figure. The process has also demonstrated what a truly global business we are with applications coming in from all over the world.
We actively attract and grow employees who are seeking a career with a company that can provide real progression. It’s a selling point for potential staff that we are one company but within that framework we work with a variety of hotels and brands all in different locations and markets. The opportunities are endless!
We wait with interest to see how Brexit impacts on our staff and further recruitment needs. We hope at the very least that any EU national working in the UK will be given the ability to stay here but, whatever the outcome, we will continue to adapt to a changing employment market, work hard to attract the very best talent and look after them as valuable team members in order to reap the rewards further down the line. The right people are everything in our industry and the key to finding them is building robust recruitment procedures which are just the start of an employee’s exciting career journey.