In my everyday job, I get to help out various travel and hospitality brands with their digital marketing.
It can be through keynote sessions given at tourism association events, conducting website and/or social media audits for hotels, restaurants and attractions, online webinars or simply through one-on-one coaching. You may recall I shared 5 tips to improve your website performance a little while ago.
But now, more than ever, organizations need to also have an employer branding strategy in place in order to attract and retain their employees. Without a doubt, shortage of labor has become the biggest issue for many, if not most, travel and hospitality companies.
Read also: 5 ways to mitigate shortage of labor in hospitality
Keeping my marketing hat on, I thought I would share these 3 simple tips that can help with your HR marketing… driving synergies with already existing communications and tactics with consumers!
1. HAVE A JOBS OR CAREER SECTION ON YOUR WEBSITE
We were having a group coaching session recently and I asked the participants – mostly hoteliers, but also DMO representatives and other hospitality organizations – how many of them had a dedicated “Jobs” or “Career” section on their website. Not even 10% raised their hand (well, virtual hand, on Zoom)!
It’s not enough to simply post job openings on sites such as Indeed, Glassdoor, hospitality sites or even Facebook and Linkedin. These outposts are fine… but shouldn’t this information reside first and foremost on your own website?
Hilton Hotels go even further, by having a dedicated website to explain the culture of the organization, possible career paths and much more!
This is also the opportunity to explain WHY someone might want to work for your organization. What’s the employee value proposition (EVP)? This can range from, and include aspects such as:
- Compensation plans
- Referral bonus
- Hiring bonus
- Work-life balance programs
- Volunteering opportunities
- Various benefits: free parking, yoga classes, transportation credits, time off for personal projects, etc.
- Training and promotion opportunities
Do you hire with international visas? Are there other special programs in place such as free shuttles or free lessons to learn a new language? These are not elements that will make it necessarily in every job posting. But it should certainly reside on your website, in the Career or Job section.
2. INCLUDE JOB OPENINGS IN YOUR CONSUMER NEWSLETTER
Most clients I work with have a consumer newsletter that is sent out with various regularity and frequency, but it remains an important tactic in the marketing toolkit. Keeping a constant contact with past and present clients is among the most effective techniques in order to maintain a healthy relationship and build loyalty through time.
So why not include the job openings in these communications?
Wait what? Job openings and opportunities in our regular communications with clients, when we are supposed to be promoting our latest deal or package offer?
Well, ask yourself this question: who are these clients you are sending these newsletters to? In many cases, they may be regular clients, brand advocates, people in your circle of trust and network. Not always, of course. But in many case, yes…
Thus, I have been seeing this more and more. In the past year alone, I must have received at least 5-6 newsletters in which there was either a dedicated section about job opportunities, or at least a mention in the top section of the newsletter.
In one case, it was a local restaurant where I like to order every now and then. There were many openings in the kitchen, so I passed the newsletter on to a friend who’s kid I knew was looking for a summer job (internship) as pastry chef. And the kid eventually got the job!
3. INTEGRATE EMPLOYEE STORIES IN YOUR STORYTELLING
Last but not least, are you telling the story of how things are unfolding everyday in your organization? A couple of months ago, many hotels were posting on Facebook and Instagram about all the summer jobs, hosting open houses to welcome candidates and trying to woo potential candidates.
But after that, when you check out their social media outlets, it’s very often back to normal, over-the-top promotional content.
It’s not enough to “say” that you provide a fun work environment. Why not show it with photos, videos, stories, reels or toks on Facebook, Instagram or TikTok?
I love it when restaurants show their chefs, waiters and different staff in action, often behind the scenes. Or a classic group photo, such as the one from Auberge Paradis Bleu, a hostel in Magdalen Islands (Quebec), see above. Clients like to reminisce about their stay and interactions with the staff, specially when these people provide an above-average experience in a delightful destination.
Brasserie Chez Jules, in Quebec City, dedicated an Instagram post to simply thank its staff for providing continuous great service, despite of sometimes difficult working conditions in the heat of summer and peak season!
Speaking of storytelling, it doesn’t have to be limited to popular social media or newsletter. It can also be on your website, and not necessarily in the job section. Students will want to see other students in actions, working in your water park, zoo or nightclub. Potential employees will want to see images, testimonials and other “social proof” that your organization is indeed, a fun place to work at.
Don’t be shy with the storytelling… and make sure it is integrated as part of an ongoing strategy, not just a one-and-done!
Frederic Gonzalo: Speaker and consultant with over 25 years of experience in travel marketing, sales and communications. Since 2012, I provide strategic planning consulting, website audits as well as digital marketing coaching for all levels of organizations, from SMB to large travel organizations.