Use the web to capture high-flyers.
By Christian Anklin, HVS Executive Search London
Thursday, 23rd March 2006
When applied correctly, online recruiting can be a highly efficient way to find the most suitable candidate for an open position. There are, however, a few key points that hotel companies should look out for, to ensure that their efforts reap the highest possible returns.

In general, there are three ways of going about online recruitment. The hotel / company can:

  • utilize their website with a career opportunities section
  • post one or several jobs on an online recruitment site
  • search for their candidate in an online resume database 

    While the two former options can often provide the company with a great volume of responses to sort through, the latter, albeit more time-consuming, is more likely to produce the higher calibre candidate who is not actively looking for a job but is open to new career opportunities.

    Every hotel and/or company should have a career opportunities section on their website. It is, however, not sufficient to merely list the contact details of your HR department. This section must be seen as an opportunity to market your company to potential employees. These are the most important points to consider:

    • Clearly display the company's mission statement
    • Include a description of the hotel's / company's corporate culture
    • Present testimonials by current employees on why your hotel / company is a good employer
    • Keep the list of open positions as comprehensive and up-to-date as possible
    • Allow for direct submission of resumes
    • Offer an online skills-assessment test
    For smaller hotel companies or independent properties that do not have the resources to develop their own skills assessment tools, there are solutions that can be provided online. For instance, 20 20 Skills™, an internet-based assessment tool specifically designed for service industry professionals. The site provides a state-of-the-art solution for assessing performance characteristics and cultural compatibility (2020skills.com). Other sites are skillsarena.com or psytech.co.uk.

    If the hotel / company chooses to post jobs on an online recruitment site, there are several key points to bear in mind:

    • Don't keep the advertisement too short. You are not paying per word
    • Include a clear and detailed job description
    • List the responsibilities of the position
    • Give an outline of the personal and professional requirements of the job
    • Supply an overview of the organisational structure
    • Indicate whether you are willing to relocate candidates, if appropriate
    • Indicate whether you are willing to sponsor international applicants
    Furthermore, companies should make sure that they put in a note, stating that only suitable candidates will be contacted, and try to have an automatic reply system set up, confirming receipt of applications. There is nothing more frustrating for applicants than not knowing if their application even went through. Even if they are not suitable for the current position, any frustration they feel may stop them from applying to your company in the future. Especially in an industry where switching employers is often a natural step in the career ladder, maintaining your image among hotel professionals is extremely important for hotel companies.

    Aside from the content, there are some technical considerations to make in choosing the right recruitment site:

    • The site should allow free form job postings (to include hotel / company logo etc.)
    • Ensure that job postings can be easily replicated (for similar positions)
    • Make sure that the site allows you to catalogue postings for later re-use
    There are a great variety of job posting recruitment sites on offer. These vary from generalist sites such as monster.co.uk or reed.co.uk, that have hospitality sections, or more dedicated sites such as hospitalitycareernet.com or caterer.co.uk. The specialist sites may be more suitable for positions that are specific to the hotel industry, such as Front Office Manager, while the generalist sites allow hotel companies to expand their exposure to other sectors that candidates could cross over from, such as marketing or accounting.

    As mentioned above, the best way to find top tier candidates is to search through an online resume database. These are sometimes included in online recruitment posting sites. In fact, the really good sites will automatically pull the candidate profile from your posting and search their database for matches. The candidates that can be found this way will most likely be employed and satisfied with their positions. Nevertheless, a good offer or step up in their career ladder may be enough of an incentive to make them join your company.

    Considering the amount of time that this process demands and the great number of other tasks that HR departments need to perform, it may be advisable to employ this method only for the more infrequent task of filling open management positions.

    Christian Anklin
    HVS Executive Search - London
    London, United Kingdom
    Tel:  +44 20 7878-7741
    Email:  canklin@hvsinternational.com
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