There’s no single method that can solve your talent sourcing challenges. Adopting a multi-pronged strategy, such as social media recruiting, internship programs, or attending a career fair can help you get the talent you need for your hotel/restaurant. Whether you attend or organise mass hiring events, you need to prepare well in advance for selling your company to your prospects and get them excited about joining. One hack is to have a clear set of questions for conducting on-the-spot interviews with the attendees. 

In this article, you’ll find out what on-the-spot or speed interviewing is, and the advantages of this recruitment approach. You’ll also discover 6 best practices for excelling at speed interviews when hiring for hotel jobs. Ready to dive in?


What Are On-the-Spot Interviews?

On-the-spot interviews are a hospitality recruitment strategy where you interview a potential employee during your first encounter. This short interview can take place at the company premises or at hosted events. Also known as walk-in interviews or speed interviews, on-the-spot interviews allow you to quickly screen and shortlist job candidates who fit the company profile, skills, culture, and personality. You can follow up with the most promising candidates for a more comprehensive interview and possible onboarding later. 


3 Advantages of Conducting On-the-Spot Interviews

There are many advantages of conducting speed interviews, but we’ve outlined the top 3 below:   

1. On-the-spot interviewing enables you to meet and assess multiple candidates in a structured manner. For instance, during a job fair where many companies are exhibiting, speed interviewing allows you to present your employer brand to potential talent and assess their fit within a few minutes. The swiftness of the process helps you generate a database of potential hotel industry employees who can then be assessed further and onboarded within a short time.

2. Reducing the time-to-hire is an important metric for many (hospitality) HR departments. Speed interviewing eliminates time-consuming processes and improves your chances of getting top prospects on the floor fast.

3. Moreover, conducting speed interviews at hospitality hiring events helps you compare multiple candidates on the same day, when their impressions are fresh. Recruiters can compare their notes and candidates' scores to identify the ones worth taking to the next step of hiring.


6 Best Practices for Conducting Speed Interviews at Job Fairs

Here are 6 practices for acing on-the-spot interviews at mass hiring events: 

1. Identify and Prepare Your Recruitment Team

The first step when planning for a mass hiring event is to organise your team for engaging with potential candidates on the day. Career fairs can attract hundreds of candidates. You’ll need the right number of employees so you don't keep them waiting. If you are hiring hospitality staff for several departments, you can have the departmental heads on the team because they know their hiring needs better. Adequate staffing makes the process smoother, ensures you meet many candidates, and gives the prospects a good experience.

It's also ideal to have an action plan meeting with your recruiters so that everyone understands their role during the event. Prepare interview questions to ask the attendees, and agree on scoring methodology. Share interviewing best practices and a list of do’s and don'ts to ensure candidates get a consistent experience. Train your team on unconscious biases that may cloud their judgement of candidates.

2. Hone Your Interview Questions

Asking the right questions can dramatically improve your success at mass hiring events. Prepare your interview questions in advance, and rehearse them with the recruiting team. It's advisable to use standardised questions to enhance consistency and remove unconscious bias creep in. Since you will have a limited amount of time with prospects, knowing which question to ask is of the utmost importance.

There are 3 types of questions you can ask:

  • Role-specific questions: If you are hiring for a particular hospitality role, asking role-specific questions allows you to determine if the candidate has the required experience.
  • Career goal questions: These questions help you understand a candidate's interest in the hospitality industry. For instance, a good career-goal question enables you to see whether the candidate is merely looking for a job or a long-term career in travel and leisure.
  • Questions about the company: These questions enable you to identify prospects who are familiar with your company.

Here are 10 quick and targeted questions you can ask candidates at job fairs:

  • What 3-5 things about our company make you want to work here?
  • Describe the value you could bring to our company in 1 minute. 
  • Do you have experience in the (luxury) hospitality sector before? Please describe it. 
  • Name 3 things that motivate you to work in hospitality instead of other sectors?
  • Name 2 things that you’re proud of in your career or life. 
  • What does excellent customer service mean to you, and how do you provide it in your role?
  • How do you demonstrate flexibility and a learning attitude at work? 
  • How have you calmed down an upset guest? 
  • How have you helped a guest who didn’t speak your language?
  • What drives you to look for a new opportunity at this moment? 

3. Prepare the Tools You'll Need for the Event

Mass hiring events can be overwhelming, even for the best of teams. You can improve the candidate's experience and your chances of success by preparing the key tools you will need during the event, such as:

  • Laptops and tablets loaded with appropriate programs and software, such as your ATS or a simple Excel sheet to take notes of candidates’ answers. 
  • Scanners and copiers
  • Registration sheets
  • Pens and notebooks
  • Candidates scoring sheets
  • Brochures
  • Business cards
  • Branded t-shirts/caps/banners 
  • Name tags
  • Company profiles
  • Tables and chairs
  • Snacks and refreshments
  • Giveaways such as water bottles, t-shirts, and keychains.

4. Maintain Company Hiring Standards

During mass hiring events, it's crucial to follow your company's established recruiting procedures. It can be tempting to blur the lines and make adjustments to your standard hiring procedures in order to accommodate the vast number of prospects. Consistency is key when it comes to the kind of candidates you want, how you pitch opportunities to potential hires, and when individuals can expect a response from you. This will also prevent bias from creeping in. 

5. Be Deliberate on DEI

If diversity, equity, and inclusion are important deliverables for your hotel business, you need to be deliberate from the get-go. The most effective way of promoting DEI is by diversifying your funnel. When attending mass hiring events, make it clear to your team which DEI metrics they need to observe. For instance, they may need to put more emphasis on a candidate's attitude, experience, and skills rather than just their academic credentials. Also, keep in mind that your recruiting team needs to be diverse. Historically marginalised candidates are likely to be more comfortable speaking to recruiters who look like them. 

6. Keep Your Talent Pipeline Warm

There will be more qualified candidates at mass hiring events than your company can hire at the time. Add every prospect to your business' talent database so that you can stay at the forefront of their minds until a suitable position becomes available. You can also use this list of names to send information on job openings, industry events, and networking opportunities with these candidates (providing they approve of this, of course). 

Additionally, communicate swiftly with the candidates who will be moving to the next hiring stage. Don't keep them waiting, as they may move on to other employers. You can email, text or invite them to the company premises for more structured discussions.  A prompt follow-up ensures you don't waste the gains made by your recruiting team at the hiring event or lose talent to your competitors. 

→😱 Is mass hiring scaring the daylights out of you? Relax. Here is Hosco’s 11-step guide to help you conduct mass hiring for your hotel business