5 Hiring Mistakes In Hospitality

Forget flesh hungry zombies and giant rampaging lizards from Japan; bad hires are the true stuff of nightmares in today’s hospitality industry. Whether armed with poor attitudes, lackluster skills, or questionable ethics, these individuals will swiftly wreak havoc on the hotels and restaurants that employ them—unless managers and recruiters avoid making the poor hiring decisions that often accompany these five common mistakes.


1. A poorly articulated job description

According to a survey conducted by Robert Half, a staffing services company, 36 percent of executives state the leading factor in a bad hire—aside from poor performance—is a poor skills match. Another 30 percent state unclear performance objectives are to blame. A carefully considered and clearly stated job description is essential to avoiding both of these issues. To create one, you must fully understand the duties and responsibilities of the job position—whether it’s a front desk supervisor job or a bartender role—as well as the skills realistically required to fulfill them. Gathering input from employees currently performing those duties is often helpful.

2. Starting with an outside search

According to some experts, as much as 75 percent of hiring is due to employers replacing workers who have left their companies. While few professionals—from sous chefs to maintenance employees—remain in one hospitality job their entire career, research has shown that new hires referred by current staff tend to stick around longer than the rest. In fact, according to a survey by ere.net, employee referrals result in the longest average length of employment. The next time you need to hire a line cook or room attendant, ask your best workers for recommendations first.

3. Skipping the pre-screening interview

According to one study by the National Business Research Institute, 43 percent of employers state that a need to fill a position quickly is the main reason bad hires are made. Unfortunately, hasty decisions are often preceded by rushed interview processes—and pre-screening phone interviews are among the first steps to go. Whether you’re hiring for a hotel management job or an entry level restaurant job, a 30 minute phone interview can result in substantial hiring cost reductions. It will enable you to screen out applicants who expect salaries that are outside your budget as well as those who are obviously a poor fit for your company culture—before you’ve invested significant time.

4. Relying solely on the job interview

You can tell a lot about a potential food and beverage manager or concierge from his or her responses to your interview questions. However, it’s not impossible for a candidate to shine in an interview and then perform poorly in a real world situation. You can avoid this type of bad hire by testing your top candidates. Tools include personality assessments (such as Meyers-Briggs and the Enneagram) to get a feel for how they’ll mesh with the rest of your team as well as hands-on exercises that will enable you to gauge important skills.

5. Failing to check references

According to the National Business Research Institute study referenced earlier, 37 percent of employers state a bad hire can negatively affect employee morale. Another 18 percent state it can negatively impact client relationships, while 10 percent say bad hires can cause decreases in sales. The time required to thoroughly check professional and personal references is well worth the investment as it is essential in avoiding hiring cooks, reservation agents, and other hospitality professionals who could end up hurting your hotel or restaurant’s productivity, reputation, and bottom line.

Source: Angela Rose – hcareers.com

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