Why it’s important to be nice to your hospitality candidate
During the Great Recession, millions of responsible, hard-working Americans lost their jobs and found themselves unemployed. Yet, while that 18-month period was decidedly awful for much of the country, it was a time of opportunity for employers looking to hire. With so many qualified professionals searching for work, these employers could take their pick, often landing top-notch workers for lower salaries than they would have had to offer even one year prior.
In real estate, this would have been called a ‘buyer’s market,’ with labor as the commodity and employers doing the buying. The sellers—or job seekers—were so desperate to secure employment that they couldn’t object to low-ball offers of compensation or the poor treatment they received during the screening and hiring process. They had to take what they could get—so they did.
Fortunately, our nation’s economy has recovered nicely since then. Not only are employers—including those in hospitality—doing better financially, but job seekers are finally seeing an increase in opportunities. Last year alone, the leisure and hospitality industry added 458,000 positions. It has added another 117,000 as of April 2016.
As a hospitality employer, what does this mean for you? Simply put: greater competition for employees. And while compensation and culture plays a role in that competition, so does the way you interact with your hospitality candidates. Treating them nicely can go a long way towards helping you recruit the best for your open positions. But that’s not all: it can also help you safeguard your organization’s reputation.
According to the Talent Board, a non-profit talent industry organization, tedious, poorly designed and malfunctioning online applications are one of the ways employers mistreat job candidates. In fact, in a survey, 30 percent stated they’d rather do all of their holiday shopping on Christmas eve than fill out an online application. Another 30 percent would prefer the stress of a blind date, while 22 percent would find it less worrisome to speak in front of a room full of 100 strangers. Nineteen percent would rather spend a day at the DMV than apply for a job online. So it’s safe to say that ensuring your application process is simple, easy and problem-free is one way you can be nice to your candidates.
Another way to improve the candidate experience is continuous—and useful—communication. Providing candidates with constructive criticism, such as skills they can improve upon or additional experience that might benefit them, can significantly improve their perception of the candidate experience.
Why should you care, you ask? The same Talent Board survey found that nearly 24 percent of respondents who had a positive candidate experience with an employer were more likely to “increase their relationships with employers’ respective ‘brand alliances, product purchases or networking.’” A positive experience encouraged more than 25 percent to continue to maintain a relationship with the employer even after they were rejected for the job. On the other hand, 11 percent who had poor candidate experiences were inclined to cut all ties with the company. Because job seekers are also consumers, this can translate to the loss of a lot of potential revenue for a hotel or restaurant.