News / Hospitality Staffing, Management

Six Essentials General Managers Should Know About Hiring Hospitality Staff

Strategies for How to Hire HospitalityStaff

Hire Hospitality StaffHospitality is, more than most other industries, about people. From housekeeping, to janitorial, to the front desk, to food and beverage, a hotel or resort depends on people to maintain brand image. Unlike a manufactured product, quality control can’t be automated and must be maintained constantly by the people who work at a property.  Having a strategy behind hiring hospitality staff is essential to success.

For a general manager, hotel staffing can be one of the more frustrating and bewildering part of the job.  But here are six ways to begin to develop a strategy around hotel staffing with the help of hotel staffing agencies.

Hiring Hospitality Staff Is A Strategy, Not a Goal

Many times, general managers and operations directors will look at staffing as an ultimate goal.  This is a mistake for two reasons.  First it leads to frustration because reaching (not to mention staying at) a perfect state of staffing bliss is impossible  Secondly, treating hiring hospitality staff as a goal ignores the fluid dynamics of the marketplace.  Are wages rising or falling?  How much overtime are you paying?  What is leading to high turnover?  By developing a long-term hotel staffing strategy, you can react to these factors more nimbly and help reach some of the larger business goals that you have for a property.

Know Your Market

Many hotel managers set wages based on a gut instinct or on what they are currently paying.  Looking at your marketplace and knowing what hourly wages are is essential to hiring hospitality staff.  Raising wages in order to keep turnover low may help mitigate other factors such as customer satisfaction scores.  Like with any complex dynamic, the more you know the better.  There are several pay scale services out there like Payscale and

HSS also offers wage research based on city and job titles to help its clients determine a competitive hourly wage for various hospitality positions.

Calculating Your True Wage

Know where you are in the market is essential, but knowing what you’re actually paying per hour is another factor.  Often, hourly wages are only viewed by what an employee is being paid.  But factors like taxes, worker’s comp, on-boarding, training, and recruiting all add to the overall hourly wage you are paying.  Knowing this will be invaluable in reducing your turnover, streamlining your hiring hospitality staff process and working with a staffing agency.  You can start with the HSS Wage Calculator. This tool is a great first step to knowing the true value of the compensation you are providing.

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Equipment is a Staffing Cost

The cost of cleaning equipment and supplies impacts staffing.  They seem like separate costs, but they’re really not.  Broken equipment and scarce supplies impact the ability of housekeeping staff to do their job effectively and efficiently.  Since many times they are judged on the quality of their cleaning and the quantity of rooms they clean during a shift, equipment can have a direct impact on housekeeping staff performance.  Want better performance out your housekeeping staff?  Give them the tools they need to do their jobs effectively.


Compliance is another consideration vital to a staffing strategy. Knowing laws and obeying them is vitally important for a host of reasons. Making sure that your staffing model follows all local, state and federal laws regarding working status should be followed. This should also be a factor in working with a staffing agency.

Weigh Agency Options

Staffing agencies can help partner with you to find many of the answer you need to effectively meeting your hotel’s needs for hourly positions.  Agencies can work with several models from temporary staffing, temp-to-hire, as well as full outsourcing where they manage an entire department.  It’s important to look at an agency’s policy on compliance because this is ultimately a factor that impacts a hotel property and its brand reputation.

Hiring Hospitality Staff Summary

Hiring hospitality staff is a challenge for most properties.  Budgets, quality scores, a shrinking pool of experienced housekeeper can all add up to frustration.  However, approaching the challenge strategically can help find and keep experienced hospitality staff such as housekeepers, janitors and food and beverage workers.

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