The hospitality industry is hoping to see good signs of recovery this year. According to January’s Hospitality Pulse, 78% of hospitality employers believe that their hiring plans should resume during 2021. This means that the competition to secure the best talent will heat up fast. How are you preparing?

We’re sure that you have big plans for your hospitality organization. In order to follow through on those plans, you know you’re going to need to grow your team. 

But, attracting the best hospitality talent to your open roles doesn’t just happen. It requires a thoughtful recruitment strategy so you can identify your ideal candidates, pique their interest, and bring them on board.

Does that sound like a lot to manage? It can be, and that’s exactly why a recruitment plan is so important. 


What is a Recruitment Plan? 

Your recruitment plan details your strategy for how you’ll add to your team. It spells out what positions you need to hire for, what you’re looking for in the hospitality candidates who will fill those positions, and how you’ll go about finding, attracting, and evaluating the people who apply. 

Think of it as your roadmap as you work toward adding more and more hospitality professionals to your team. 

You can have a broader recruitment plan that speaks at a high level—like explaining your organization’s overall hiring goals, sharing standard messaging for your job descriptions, and breaking down your typical hiring and onboarding process.

However, the most effective recruitment plans get even more nitty-gritty to map out a strategy for filling specific positions. This can include: 

  • The position you’re hiring for
  • Details of the role, such as whether it’s full-time or part-time, entry-level or advanced, etc. 
  • Timeline and budget for filling that open role
  • List of traits or qualifications you’re looking for
  • Methods for recruitment, like what job boards you’ll post to or advertisements you’ll run

This level of detail is helpful because you might not use the same approach for recruiting for various roles within your company. The process you use to hire an executive chef will probably be pretty different from the way you hire a marketing manager. 


3 Benefits of a Hospitality Recruitment Plan 

When you’re eager to add hospitality professionals to your team, it’s tempting to jump right in. Why not just post a job description and get things moving?

However, taking the time to move through the recruitment planning process offers a number of advantages. 

1. Targeted Recruitment Efforts

When you work out a plan for how you’ll fill each of your hospitality positions, you’re able to make a far more targeted effort in attracting candidates to those roles. 

For example, you’ll likely identify different job boards or platforms you’ll use for different positions—like using Hosco for hospitality profiles or Circular for tech roles. 

Additionally, you’ll work out other details like what makes for an appealing job ad or the best places to market that open position. Recruitment isn’t one-size-fits-all, and strategies can differ from job to job. A recruitment plan requires you to think through those details, which ultimately leads to more effective recruitment efforts. 

2. Greater Consistency 

Your recruitment process and candidate experience are important for attracting the best talent to your organization—and encouraging them to accept offers. 

With a recruitment plan in place, you can confirm that you’ve covered all of your bases and deliver as streamlined and organized experience as possible for your applicants. Additionally, the next time you need to hire for that same open role, you can feel confident that the recruitment and hiring process is fair and effective—since it’s the same one you used previously. 

3. Faster Hiring Process

If you reinvent the wheel every single time you need to hire for an open position, you waste a lot of time. And not only that, but you might actually lose qualified hospitality candidates.

One survey from CareerBuilder found that 46% of HR professionals believe that qualified applicants walk away because the hiring process takes too long.

When you have a recruitment plan to guide you, you can make sure the process is as efficient as possible—for both you and your candidates. 


How to Create Your Recruitment Plan 

Here’s the thing: You can only reap the benefits of a recruitment plan if you create one. So, how do you do that? Here are four steps to follow. 

Step #1: Understand Your Hiring Goals

Any plan you create in your hospitality organization needs to tie back to a goal. So, that’s the first step of the recruitment planning process—you need to determine what your overall hiring goals are. 

Maybe you’re trying to reduce how long it takes to bring a new hire on board. Perhaps you want to make the process more thorough so you can find better-fit candidates. Or maybe you want to keep a full pipeline of qualified talent rather than scrambling when you have an open role. 

There’s no shortage of goals that you could point to, but you can’t do everything at once. So, start by identifying one key objective that you want your recruitment plan to work toward. That will keep you focused as you move through the next steps. 

Step #2: Know Where You Need to Grow

Regardless of the hiring goal, you landed on above, the purpose of the recruitment plan is to help you grow your team and your organization. That means you need to get a solid grasp of your current and future hiring needs. 

There are a number of things you could consider here. You could conduct a skills gap analysis to understand where your current hospitality team is lacking some necessary know-how. For example, that could enlighten you to the fact that you have plenty of housekeepers, but your hotel really needs a concierge to delight your guests. 

It’s also worth considering your future plans for your organization. Are you expanding your restaurant? That’s going to require more waitstaff. Knowing where you plan to take your hospitality company as a whole will help you figure out where you’ll need to hire some extra hands. 

Step #3: Cover the Basics

You have a good idea of where your company is headed and what you’re working toward. Next, it’s time to cover some of the basics of your recruitment strategy. 

This shouldn’t drill down to specifics, and should instead explain the broader aspects that apply to all of your positions, such as: 

  • Your company’s mission, vision, and values
  • Any diversity and inclusion efforts and metrics
  • Which tools you use for recruitment, hiring, and onboarding
  • Standardized interview questions or hiring tests you use
  • Typical flow of a hiring process and which decision-makers are involved

That’s by no means an exhaustive list, but it can get you started on covering the nuts and bolts of your recruitment plan. 

Step #4: Dig Into Specific Positions 

With that groundwork in place, it’s time to sink your teeth into the details of the positions you’re frequently hiring for. To keep this manageable, pinpoint one position that you anticipate hiring for heavily in the next few months. Let’s say that’s a hotel receptionist.

Next, break down important pieces of your recruitment strategy for that specific position. As mentioned above, this will include everything from what traits you’re looking for to which job boards you’ll post on. The more detailed you can be, the better.

Sticking with our hotel receptionist example, here’s what this could look like in a simple chart: 

hospitality recruitment strategy


Keep Your Hiring Efforts on Track With a Recruitment Plan

Ultimately, your hospitality recruitment plan can be as simple and straightforward or as detailed and complex as you want it to be.

The important thing is to stay focused on what helps you tackle your recruitment process with the strategy and consideration it deserves. Remember, the right recruitment plan will make growing your team easier—not harder.