Amidst the news of a looming recession, increasing turnover rates, and rapidly changing workplace norms, hiring new employees can seem hard. The risks can be higher when you’re reviewing resumes of entry-level candidates with less-than-ideal work experience or who don’t have a hospitality background. A recent study reported that 41% of companies say entry-level positions are the hardest to fill. (1) The problem is greater in hospitality, with over 50% of hospitality workers wanting to leave their jobs and a third of them wanting to quit the industry altogether. (2)
While the hiring struggles are estimated to continue in the upcoming years, there are ways to make the screening and hiring process easier, particularly if you’re working with newer employees. (3)
In this article, we’ll offer all the information you would need to find, understand, and efficiently hire the right entry-level candidates for your hospitality business. We’ve also broken down the entire entry-level resume screening process into a handy 10-step guide. You can download and save it for future reference.
Understanding Entry-Level Candidates Before Reviewing Resumes
Before you start reviewing resumes, it can help to have a better idea of what entry-level candidates have to offer. Entry-level candidates are typically young graduates who are new to the industry, and have little to no prior work experience.
Sometimes experienced employees in another industry can decide to switch gears and get a hospitality job. But they may still be considered entry-level and start at the lowest position if they don’t have the appropriate background required to work in a resort, restaurant, or hotel.
However, don’t let their lack of experience trick you into believing they’re not valuable for your hospitality business. Hiring entry-level workers can have huge pay-offs in the long term. They’re more coachable and eager to learn. Entry-level candidates tend to be Gen Z (4) which means they may be more technologically savvy and offer unique skills that senior employees don’t have. (5)
Entry-level candidates also tend to be more enthusiastic to take on work and climb the ladder to attain better pay and position, which can translate to better performance. The best part? Hiring entry-level candidates tends to be less expensive (even after including training costs) than hiring highly experienced employees who command a much higher rate. (6)
→😎Want to learn more about hiring Gen Z? Read our quick tips to succeed at hiring Gen Z for hospitality jobs.
The Best Hospitality Jobs for Entry-Level Candidates
Entry-level candidates tend to perform better in some hospitality jobs than others considering they have little past work experience but more flexibility and technical skills.
For example, they can handle tech-focused responsibilities like managing online booking platforms, writing web copy, and launching social media marketing campaigns to attract new users online. They can also assist senior tech workers like web developers, graphic designers, and IT managers.
But don’t limit yourself to hiring entry-level candidates for tech roles only. They can also manage customer-facing responsibilities with some training. If the candidates demonstrate key soft skills required for hospitality jobs like good communication, intercultural awareness, and time management, they can assist their seniors in customer-facing roles and quickly climb up the positions. (7)
How to Find the Right Entry-Level Candidates for Your Hospitality Business
Today, finding new talent has become easier than ever. From posting job ads on Hosco to posting job ads on social media platforms, finding the right entry-level candidates is just a few clicks away.
Take, for instance, our early-career recruitment solution. It helps you connect you with students from 400+ first-class hospitality schools, so you can lock in great talent even before they graduate. We also help you organise special recruitment days, and guide you to pre-select the candidates that best match your business needs.
Starting a new hospitality business soon? Our mass recruitment services will help you fill all your open positions while significantly reducing the time and money you would have to spend on searching for, interviewing and hiring new candidates.
10-Step Guide for Reviewing Resumes of Entry-Level Candidates
Reviewing resumes of entry-level candidates doesn't have to be too complicated. Below are the first 5 steps to help you screen new candidates and find the best match for your hospitality positions.
1. Separate the Must-Haves From Nice-To-Haves
Everyone wants an employee with several years of experience (or at least internship credits) and a wide array of skills. But is that always realistic?
When reviewing the resumes of entry-level candidates, it’s likely that several high-potential candidates will not tick all the boxes on your list. Sticking too rigidly to this list can lead to losing good talent, so it’s important to separate the must-have skills from the nice-to-have ones.
For example, good communication skills and emotional intelligence may be must-have qualities for a customer-facing role, while experience working in hospitality may be a nice-to-have.
Once you identify the most desirable skills per open position, you can create an internal rating system to place the resumes in different piles of Yes, No, and Maybe. The resumes with a high number of must-haves go into the Yes pile, while the ones with the least must-haves go to the No pile. Applicants with some must-have skills and a few nice-to-haves can be in the Maybe pile.
2. Block Out Personally Identifiable Information to Prevent Bias
Despite the hiring team’s best intentions, there’s always a possibility of subconscious biases influencing hiring decisions. A well-known 2004 paper by Marianne Bertrand from the University of Chicago and Sendhil Mullainathan of Harvard University showed resumes with traditionally White-sounding names were 50% more likely to be offered an interview compared to resumes with African American names. (8)
Along with names, other information like age, location, and photo can also influence hiring decisions, so it can help to remove this data before reviewing resumes. Today, various hiring and management tools as well as applicant tracking systems (ATS) can do this job for you.
3. Consider Co-curricular Activities Along With Work Experience
It can be tempting to straight up reject applicants without the right experience. But when you’re working with entry-level candidates, you have to look beyond just work experience.
Consider extracurricular activities, relevant hobbies, charity work, community initiatives, involvement in relevant sports, and other factors that may be otherwise neglected.
A candidate with little to no work experience who has ample extracurricular experience may demonstrate initiative, teamwork, motivation, time management skills, and even some job-related experience like using a computer or managing data.
4. Match Skills With Job Requirements
When you’re reviewing resumes of candidates who don’t have the right work experience, sometimes matching their skills with the job requirements can offer a better idea of their potential.
For example, if the job requires good communication skills and the candidate has worked on several student committee projects, it’s likely they have developed decent communication skills along with other desirable qualities like the ability to lead teams, finish tasks on time, solve problems with minimal resources, work under pressure, and more. These can be helpful for a hospitality job even if they haven't directly worked in a hospitality role before.
5. Watch Out for Red Flags
While considering the potential of the candidate, take the time to note if any red flags pop up. Very large gaps in the resume, or holding too many jobs/internships in too little time may be considered problematic.
Of course, not every gap in the resume is bad. Some can be explained through genuine reasons like sickness. But if there are multiple gaps, it may be something worth discussing in the interview round. Similarly, one or two job changes seem fine, but if the candidate has a history of job-hopping, it’s likely you won’t be able to retain them either.
Make a note of all these points and bring them up during the interview stage to make sure you’re not misunderstanding the situation.
We hope that our guide helps you find the right person for the job in the shortest amount of time.
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