• Buck Paolino

How to stop getting boring hotel applicants.



Today, I want to address a problem as big as the titanic that I see almost every day.


I had a call with a hotel leadership team a few months back as they were looking for a new VP role in human resources. They were getting a few applicants in this crazy hiring market but none of them actually stood out. Each resume said the same thing, “Got my degree here – job title here- this many years of experience- yada yada yada” Every applicant was the exact same to the point it reminded us of the movie Groundhog Day. Just this time with people instead of the same day over and over again. Nothing that stood out from one applicant to the next and they were spending a TON I mean a crazy amount of money on ads and recruiters. All of their talk focused on was that there wasn’t anyone good out there in the market place that actually excited them that they would be a good fit or could even do the job. And that’s when I asked to see the ad and job description they had posted. Immediately, I saw the underlying issue- their job description was focused on the task not the individual they wanted to bring into their executive team.


Hotel Job Descriptions


And you see, this is such a common mistake and it breaks my heart. A very large reason you are not getting the applicants you want is because you aren’t writing your job descriptions to attract the top talent that fits in with your teams culture.

  1. Which then beckons the question, what should be on my hotel job description? I want you to picture in your mind the ideal person you want on your team. I want you to write out their characteristics, their background, their hobbies, the way they communicate, and what interests and excites them about the job you are hiring for. This ideal person will become the lens that you will use as you tailor your job description to this person.

  2. So now let’s re-write that job description with your ideal candidate in mind. In a few sentences, this is where you talk about what type of person would absolutely love and excel in the position. A helpful tip is to integrate your core values into the position to ensure you are speaking to the right applicants. Your goal here is for an applicant to say, "Wow, this describes me perfectly! "



Here is an example for our hotel accounting clerk position:


You are an an action-driven team member who loves the details that accounting brings. You enjoy learning new skills, taking what you have learned, and applying it to multiple situations. You assist your team in the areas of revenue checks, cash positions, accounts payable, aging reports, and any tasks that may arise at the end-of-month financial process for your team of hotels. 3. Next, it’s time to grab out a big red marker. You are going to mark through every corporate and fancy “business talk” lingo that you see when outlining those responsibilities. That crazy formal talk has no place in your job description, especially when it comes to the responsivities. This is an area that I missed at the beginning until my business coach pointed it out and it made a dramatic difference in the caliber of people I began to interview. No longer did people use “big words” to try and impress me, but instead talked like a regular person. I began getting applicants who more fully understood the role starting on the first day we interviewed them which led to them and us knowing if they were the right fit.

So, as an example here’s what they had as part of the job description,


“responsible for effectively articulating the value of the team and individuals throughout the organization and to those in surrounding communities to foster good will.”


What does that even mean?


And it turns out they just found it on someone else’s job description and thought it sounded fancy so they used it hoping to sound proper to some big HR applicant. Really, what they could have said was,


“Someone who enjoys communicating our core values to new team members, our hotels, and the communities we serve”

Ok friends, so there were 3 vital tips to begin attracting the right applicant to your team. Someone who shares a bit of your values and would already fit in with your organizations culture and has a clear expectation of their role and responsibilities. Oh, and after that hotel team changed their job descriptions using those three points above they had 4 highly qualified people that shared their values, communicated in a manner that fit them and their team, and they ended up hiring one of them.

So our tip for this week to remove the frustration of getting the same, boring, applicants day after day is to picture your ideal applicant and speak to them, re-write your job description with that person in mind, and remove the corporate fancy talk.

Alright, I hope that was helpful! If you haven’t signed up for our weekly videos, please do so below or if you know someone who this would help send it to them!  Talk to you soon! 




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