How to Recruit Hospitality Staff: The Best Tactics for Success

How to Recruit Hospitality Staff: The Best Tactics for Success

Recruiting hospitality staff is a task that cannot be overlooked. In fact, it’s not melodramatic to say it can be the difference between making or breaking a business.  

Hiring hospitality workers is more than simply filling roles. It’s about enhancing the customer experience, maintaining high service standards, and ultimately, driving business success. Yet getting employees in to achieve those goals is easier said than done – particularly when you factor in the industry’s unique challenges. From high turnover rates to seasonal demands, there are various hurdles you need to clear.  

That’s where this guide will give you a boost in your step. From leveraging digital platforms to refining techniques, we’ll explain how to recruit hospitality staff the right way. 


Table of Contents


The Hospitality Industry and Its Unique Requirements  

The hospitality industry demands a distinct set of skills and attributes from its workforce – and it is important you know these requirements before heading into the recruitment stage. 

woman working on the front desk

Exceptional customer service, the ability to exceed guest expectations consistently, is at the forefront. Additionally, hospitality staff must exhibit adaptability, handling the unpredictable nature of customer requirements and preferences with a level of ease and efficiency. Due to the customer-facing nature of the work – where interactions with guests from diverse backgrounds are common – communication skills are also vital.  

That’s not all. Just as important is the cultural fit within a hospitality team. Employees who match an organisation’s values and work culture contribute to a positive, cohesive work environment. This teamwork and synergy are essential in delivering a seamless and highly-rated guest experience.  

You cannot play down the impact of staff on customer experience and brand reputation. Employees are the face of the brand. When guests’ experiences are positive, this leads to higher satisfaction rates, repeat business, and favourable word-of-mouth – all essential ingredients for a hospitality company’s reputation and long-term success. It also highlights the need to recruit top talent.


buying clothes


Build a Strong Employer Brand  

When learning how to recruit hospitality staff, building a strong employer brand is an important step. What is this, exactly? An employer brand represents the identity and reputation of a company as an employer. It’s not just about how a company is perceived by its customers. It is how current and potential employees see them.  

In hospitality recruiting, where competition for top talent is intense, a strong employer brand is essential to attract – and retain – skilled professionals.  

Achieving a positive employer brand involves showcasing the unique aspects of a company’s culture and work environment. This can be achieved through sharing employee testimonials. Whether it is past or existing staff, they supply a genuine glimpse into an organization’s day-to-day life and ethos.  

Other ways to build a positive employer image include:  

Leverage Social Media and Online Platforms  

Social media and online platforms should be part of your hospitality recruitment strategy, particularly in the current digital age. From LinkedIn to Facebook, social platforms offer vast networks where recruitment agencies can showcase a company’s culture, share job openings, and directly interact with potential applicants.


people playing on phone social media


LinkedIn is particularly effective for connecting with industry professionals. They provide a space to network, share industry news, and post targeted job listings. Similarly, specific hospitality job boards can be used to reach candidates who possess relevant experience and are active job seekers in the industry.  

Effective candidate sourcing also involves the ability to craft engaging job postings. Along with concisely highlighting key responsibilities and requirements, a job posting should include attractive aspects of the job. Think growth opportunities, unique perks, work culture – points that make the business stand. Don’t underestimate the power of a high-quality job advert. When done professionally, like with our candidate sourcing solutions, you can attract more applications from relevant, qualified individuals.


Implement an Employee Referral Program  

Employee referral programs are a powerful tool for anyone wondering how to recruit hospitality staff successfully. Employee referrals involve leveraging the networks of existing staff members to identify quality candidates. These programs are beneficial because employees typically won’t refer candidates that only match the required skills, but also those that will fit well within the company culture. The latter is supported by existing employees understanding of the organisation’s environment and working conditions. 

Now, there’s just one issue: How do you get employees to participate in referral programs? Fortunately, there are various methods available. The added bonus is these can also improve employee retention 

When incentivising staff members through an employee referral program, consider the following options:  

  • Monetary bonuses: Offer a cash bonus for each successful hire brought in through a referral. The amount can vary based on the position’s level or the difficulty in filling the role. For example, a hospitality management position can be worth more as a referral than a front of house employee.  
  • Extra days off: Reward employees with additional days off for successful referrals. This can be especially appealing in the hospitality industry, where work schedules can be demanding.  
  • Gift cards or vouchers: Provide gift cards or vouchers for local restaurants, stores, experiences, etc. as a token of appreciation for successful referrals.  
  • Special recognition: Recognise employees in company meetings or through internal communications, highlighting their contribution to the company’s growth.  
  • Career development opportunities: Offer opportunities for professional development – like attending a conference or training – as a reward for successful referrals. 


Use Hiring Automation Software 

It is highly recommended you utilise hiring automation software – and it’s not just us saying it! With the fast-paced nature of the hospitality industry, this solution can significantly streamline the recruitment process. The software also offer a range of features, including:  

robot ai automation software doodle
  • Automated job campaigns: The software can automatically post job adverts across multiple platforms, supplying you with a wide candidate reach.  
  • Efficient application filtering: This assists in sifting through numerous applications, highlighting those that best match the job requirements based on your predefined criteria.  
  • Candidate screening: advanced technology helps to screen candidates automatically to assess their suitability for the role.  
  • Enhanced communication: Automated communication features keep candidates informed and engaged throughout the hiring process. This improves the candidate experience and keeps them on-board.  


Conduct Effective Interviews 

When figuring out how to recruit hospitality staff, you’ll quickly realise the interview process is key.  

These interviews should be structured to assess not only the candidates’ technical skills, but also their soft skills. The latter includes communication, teamwork, and adaptability – all vital in hospitality settings. With this in mind, creating a comfortable atmosphere where candidates can freely showcase their personality and experiences is important.

As for what to include, utilise a combination of traditional questions and situational scenarios. This can provide deep insights into how candidates would handle real-world hospitality challenges. Furthermore, involving team members in the interview process can further help assist cultural fit and team dynamics with a potential hire.  


a man a nd a woman doing interview



Ultimately, recruiting top talent in the hospitality industry requires a multi-faceted approach. Yet if you combine the likes of leveraging digital tools, building a strong employer brand, and implementing referral programs, you can attract and retain the best staff for your hospitality needs.  


recruitment technology checklist
Don't forget to share this post!

You may also like