Having handled the challenges presented by the pandemic, one hurdle remains for hospitality HR recruiters: finding ways to demonstrate and promote that their establishment is a fantastic place to work. Company culture is one of the top reasons future employees will choose to work for your hospitality business over your competitors.

Thanks to COVID-19, we've seen a large-scale exodus of staff from hotels, cruise ships, restaurants, and similar establishments. As many as 75% of the hospitality workforce is said to have been permanently displaced. Consequently, workers are now looking for employment in alternative sectors.

Showcasing a thriving workplace culture that employees want to be a part of is crucial for tempting high-caliber candidates and for bringing talent back to the hospitality industry. So, let's see how you can achieve exactly that.


What's Workplace Culture?

Workplace culture is defined as the set of behaviors, values, and beliefs prevalent within an organization. Although the values that underpin activity in a company are usually documented, the reality of workplace culture is the lived experience of the workers that operate within that environment

An empowering and inclusive work environment is an attractive proposition to potential employees. Given the drastic shortage of hospitality workers on the job market, this could be the key to attracting fresh employees to your workforce.

If you're unsure where to begin, below are some pointers that will undoubtedly steer you in the right direction.

1. Treat Your Corporate Culture Like a Product

With as many as 86% of HR pros saying recruitment is becoming more like marketing, it’s imperative you don’t get left behind your competitors' dust and start marketing your corporate culture as a product. After all, successful hospitality venues recognize the importance of marketing an excellent service to their consumers. So, similarly, your corporate culture is the product you're 'selling' to potential employees. 

But, before promoting your workplace culture, consider whether there's anything you can do to improve it. Is it the best it can be? If not, pinpoint what you can do to shake things up and take action. 

Now, consider what it is that sets your company culture apart from your competitors? What added value or unique selling points does it have? 

Clarity on these points makes it much easier for you to communicate to your prospective candidates what your work environment offers them.  


2. Obtain Feedback From Employees

The people best placed to provide feedback on life in your hospitality business are the employees working in it day in and day out. This is an accurate way to get a feel for what you're doing well, and more importantly, where there are areas for improvement. 

With empirical evidence about what workers love about your organization’s culture, you can then use these testimonials (with your employee's permission) and shout out about them. Plaster these on social media, your career website, job advertisements, etc., - these serve as social proof that your company is a good one to work for. 

When surveying your employees, we recommend using various approaches to obtain holistic feedback from a range of workers. This could include anonymous questionnaires (including structured and unstructured questions) and focus groups.


3. Manage Your Online Reviews

There are lots of places where employees (past and present) can leave reviews about what it's like to work for your company. One of the most famous platforms is Glassdoor.

Of course, the most effective way to manage these online reviews is to ensure you cultivate a first-rate culture. However, there are other things you can do to increase the likelihood of favorable reviews.  

First off, we do not advise discouraging employees from leaving negative reviews online. That's unethical and will only come back to bite you in the long run. 

However, encouraging workers to leave positive reviews on social media and Glassdoor is prudent. 

It's also worth noting that ex-employees are more likely to leave lousy comments online because they don't have as much to lose. That's why hosting an exit interview to provide the worker with a safe space to vent any issues with the company is imperative. 

If they have any complaints, explain that you'll take their feedback on board. Then, ask whether you can contact them in the future to explain what you've done to make a difference. Make sure you follow through on this promise! This goes a long way to making the employee feel listened to, and in response, they're way less likely to slam your corporate culture online.


4. Go Digital

Often, prospective hospitality candidates diligently research the businesses they want to work with on social media and elsewhere online. 

Needless to say, this is one of the many reasons why you need to promote your corporate culture avidly and consistently online. 

If you don't have one already, consider creating and launching a careers site for your hospitality business. This should have a web page solely dedicated to explaining your company's vision, values, and mission statement and how that impacts your culture. This is also an excellent place to communicate how your organization nurtures talent and any career progression and professional development opportunities you offer. 

You'll also want to share any achievements your staff has obtained - employee of the month? Awards? Has a worker excelled themselves? Whatever it is, be sure to make a big noise about it online - you want to showcase the fact that you appreciate your staff's hard work.

The same goes for any team building or social activities your organization participates in. These are just a few easy ways of giving your company a personality, which better enables prospective applicants to envision what it would be like to work there.  


Are You Ready to Enhance Your Hospitality Business's Culture?

We hope that, having read this blog post, you now have a sounder idea of how to think outside the box when it comes to improving your company's workplace culture. 


The bottom line: There are plenty of things you can do to make your hospitality business a better place to work. But first off, you need to identify areas of improvement and go from there. Once you're happy with the culture you've cultivated, you can then shout about it from the rooftops, and hopefully, sit back and watch the higher quality applicants flood in.