News / Management

Ten Steps to Finding Hospitality Staff

A Hotel Housekeeping Staffing Guide


If you’re a general manager challenged with finding hospitality staff, you need to start with a strategy. After all, building a hospitality staffing strategy involves more than just “Hiring More People”.  Chances are, you’re faced with many challenges in running a hotel or resort.  Finding more people is really just one means the end goal success.  Creating a hospitality staffing strategy is key to that long term success because it will allow you to look beyond just finding hospitality staff and hiring them.   With a staffing strategy, you can not only find and attract experienced hotel staff; you can cultivate a relationship with an entire pool of talent. Is hiring hospitality staff on your to do list?  Here are ten ways to get your started:

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1.)  Know Your Weaknesses

hotel housekeeping staffin guideKnowing where you’re coming up short at your property can be extremely helpful to identify what you need our of new hires.  If you know the weaknesses of your property, you can use staffing to help with those issues and sharpen your hiring parameters.  Staffing can’t solve everything, but it can be an important element to fixing larger property challenges such as customer satisfaction, room turnover, and reducing overtime.  Finding hospitality staff with the right qualities could be the first step in improving other weaknesses at your property.

2.)  What Do Employees Want

Knowing what your employees want sounds obvious. But it’s not.  Employees are driven by a wide range of motivations.  Money is one factor that motivates employees, but there are factors such as working conditions, management personalities, scheduling, and transportation.  Whether it’s a casual conversation or an anonymous survey, finding out what drives your employees will help determine your staffing strategy and is an important step in finding hospitality staff.

3.)  Balance the Benefits of a Staffing Agency

Many managers look at staffing agencies as a zero sum game.  By saying “We don’t use temporary staffing agencies” you’re really saying that you are not open to tools to use in finding hospitality staff and building success.  Staffing agencies can help build flexibility into a work force, reduce administrative costs, and increase the overall quality of candidates.  They can also make it easier for you by taking care of hiring for hotel temporary staffing and permanent staffing for your company.

FREE: Manager’s Guide to Hospitality Staffing


We’ve taken over 20 years of knowledge regarding hotel and resort staffing and put it together in one handy Hospitality Staffing Guide to get you started on the pathway to a great hospitality strategy.

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4.)  Know your Hospitality Staffing Goals

Listing goals is important to understanding what you want out of a staffing strategy.  This is different than simply listing challenges.  These are the goals that you want to achieve through staffing .  List specific  goals that you need in order to achieve your own property initiatives as well as to fulfill corporate initiatives.  If some of these goals contradict each other, that’s OK.  See the next tip…
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5.)  Be OK with Contradictions

Need to increase staff and reduce budget?  Need to improve quality and increase room turnover?  In finding hospitality staff, your goals may be contradictory.  That’s OK.  At least you know what those weaknesses are and can begin to work around them  If you had unlimited resources and time contradictions wouldn’t exist.  But then your job would be easy and you know that’s not true.  Contradiction in your goals simply indicates that you need to balance one challenge against another.  You’ll never have a perfect plan, but how well you manage these contradictions is really where your success will be.  Knowing your contradictions will allow you to move forward with initiatives knowing that you are addressing all of your goals.

6.)  Write it Down

Create a worksheet that summarizes your goals and links those goals with possible solutions.  This is an important step if you’re looking for a better way to find hospitality staff.  Need to increase quality?  You might need to train your staff, hire more staff, or a hire more qualified personnel.  Need to invest in training?  You may be able to link to a corporate resource, work with a staffing agency, or handle the training internally.  Mapping out a pathway to your goals will help get you there more quickly.  HSS has a worksheet available as part of it Managers Guide to Hospitality Staffing.

7.)  Leverage Partnerships

We mentioned working with a staffing company.  If you’re working with one or not, leverage a relationship in order to gain insight into your own organization.   This can be a great pathway to finding hospitality staff.  Yes, an outside partner will always push its own agenda, but a company with integrity will offer you their opinion on the reputation you have as a workplace and any internal management issues you may have.  These issues can often be passed by word of mouth to employees or potential employees.  A staffing partner can help identify these problems and offer a solution.

8.)  Measure All Dynamics

As we mentioned earlier regarding contradictions, sometimes there is never a “right” answer.  However, you should not hide from these dynamics because they often help identify the fundamental problems you have in staffing.  For example, overtime pay is often an overlooked factor that may be negatively impacting you twice.  Once in an unplanned financial payout, and second in the employee stress from overwork.   A staffing strategy should take into account factors like overtime pay as well as under-employing workers which can lead to higher turnover.  Finding hospitality staff is a first step.  But retaining talent requires a careful measure of all of the employment factors at your property.

9.)  Budget

If you’re looking for how to hire hospitality staff, planning a budget that takes all of this information into account is necessary for two reasons.  First, it will give you a road map toward achieving goals and the costs involved.  Secondly, it will help deal with many of the contradictions that we spoke about.  Contradictions are often (not always) a result of a budget mismatch.

10.)  Take Action

It may sound obvious, but taking action is often left out of a plan.  Taking action is important because, like we said earlier, there are a whole host of contradictions that come with enacting a plan.

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