4 Tips to Hire Better Hospitality Candidates Faster

Karen Axelton
July 02, 2024
5 min read

Stop spending valuable time on candidates who don’t fit your seasonal hiring needs. Try these proven tactics leading HR professionals use to expedite hospitality hiring and secure top talent quickly.

In the fast-paced world of hospitality, the caliber of your seasonal hires is critical to success. Yet, HR hospitality professionals cite a lack of quality talent as their biggest hiring challenge, with 55% reporting that the number of open positions has increased in the past year. 

Attracting a high volume of seasonal candidates isn’t enough to satisfy your hiring needs. If those candidates don’t fit your requirements, you could be wasting valuable time on dead-end job applications, prolonging your hiring cycle. To improve the quality of candidates entering your funnel and quickly move top talent across the finish line, take a cue from leading hospitality employers and follow these four steps.

Tempt top candidates with comprehensive job descriptions

Today’s candidates are skeptical of job descriptions. Some 36% of candidates have ghosted employers when the company didn’t match what was promised, and 55% of candidates consider a vague job description a red flag, according to a 2023 report by Greenhouse.

Attract qualified candidates with a well-written job description that’s transparent about the role, your organization, and your culture, including:

  • Job responsibilities: What are the specific day-to-day duties of the role?
  • Requirements: Focusing on required skills rather than degrees or years of experience can attract a wider range of qualified candidates. Rather than asking for three years of customer service experience, for example, you can request “strong customer service skills.”  
  • Work schedule: Include the number of hours per week, any specific shifts required (such as weekends or late nights), and any opportunities for remote work or flexible hours. 
  • Compensation: More than half of Gen Z workers would be unlikely to apply for a job without a salary range, HRDive reports. Specify pay range or rate and any opportunities for overtime or bonuses. Ensure your pay rates are competitive: As of 2023, the average hotel wage surpassed $23 per hour nationwide, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). 
  • Promote benefits and perks: Attract top candidates by highlighting benefits such as retirement plans, health insurance, stipends for commuting or childcare, or free meals during shifts. Flexible hours especially appeal to Gen Z and Millennial workers, for whom work/life balance is critical.
  • Mention opportunities for advancement: Explain potential career paths or opportunities for permanent employment, as well as any skills training or education you provide.

Just 27% of TA professionals currently use AI tools, a LinkedIn survey reports. Among those using AI, however, 57% cite writing job descriptions faster as the biggest benefit. Embrace AI to craft compelling job descriptions and optimize your listings for search to attract more attention. Enlist your marketing team (and their AI tools) to fine-tune your listings—after all, they’re the experts at “selling” your organization.   

Hire top talent by unblocking hospitality background checks

Ramp up employee referral programs

Employee referral programs are the single most effective source of quality candidates, according to a recent survey of hospitality HR professionals. However, just 26% of respondents were satisfied with the level of participation in their referral programs. To get more from your employee referrals, try these tips.

  • Implement a marketing plan. Most hospitality employers promote their referral programs primarily by word-of-mouth, which isn’t always the most effective way to spread the word. Ramp up awareness of your referral program by treating it as you would any marketing effort. Develop ongoing campaigns to publicize your program to new hires and existing employees. Reach out to employees via email, text, internal websites, and your social media channels.
  • Vary referral bonuses or rewards. To keep employees interested, regularly change up the incentives you offer for referrals. For example, increase referral bonuses to get more responses when you need seasonal hires.
  • Track results. Carefully monitor the outcome of your various referral campaigns and rewards to see which strategies and incentives are most effective. Instead of relying on old-fashioned spreadsheets, take advantage of AI solutions that help you collect and analyze this data.

Uncover overlooked candidates

Get more qualified candidates into your funnel by thinking outside the box when it comes to expanding your talent pool. Actively recruiting from talent sources that are often overlooked can widen your seasonal talent pool and help you outpace competitors. Consider these groups:

  • Teachers or students on summer break: Fill your seasonal hiring needs by reaching out to these groups well in advance of local school holidays.
  • Retirees: Many older job candidates want to supplement retirement income or simply keep busy. Offering flexible hours or part-time shifts can appeal to this age group.
  • Stay-at-home parents returning to the workforce: Providing flexible shifts to fit around school hours, plus childcare assistance or stipends, can help attract parents eager to re-enter the workforce.
  • Military spouses: Many military spouses seek work to earn extra income or help them acclimate to a new city. Because they move so often, military spouses tend to be flexible and adaptable—qualities essential to hospitality roles.
  • Justice-impacted individuals: More than 80 million Americans with an arrest or conviction history suffer disproportionate unemployment due to bias and discrimination. Yet the nature of many of those candidates’ criminal histories may be irrelevant to the duties of hospitality jobs. Implementing fair chance hiring policies can create a new recruiting source, while also benefiting the candidates you hire and your organization as a whole.

Speed top hospitality candidates across the finish line

Qualify candidates faster with streamlined background checks

Employers may use background checks to verify hospitality candidates' qualifications, comply with screening laws and regulations, and mitigate risk. Faster background checks can help you quickly surface candidates who meet your qualifications, while exiting those who don’t. Try these tactics to accelerate background checks and rapidly onboard seasonal hires. 

Choose the right background check vendor. Selecting a consumer reporting agency (CRA) that offers exceptional ease of use and fast turnaround times helps streamline the hospitality background check process. By quickly eliminating candidates who don’t meet your criteria, you can focus on your top pool of candidates. 

Get consent for background checks during the application process. To comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), employers should obtain a candidate’s authorization and provide a separate disclosure document before performing background check with a background check provider. Working with a background check partner that automatically provides candidates your disclosure and authorization forms for electronic signature can speed up this process. Getting consent early on ensures you have the necessary documentation to kick off a background check as soon as you’re ready (often following an interview or conditional offer, depending on applicable regulations). 

Make adjudication easy. Minimize the time needed to manually review background check results by opting for a background check solution that offers AI-powered adjudication tools that can provide time-saving benefits at any scale. Look for tools that let you create consistent adjudication workflows that automatically surface the types of records you determine you want to review for each role, based on compliance with regulations and company background check policies. Instead of combing through irrelevant records or risking compliance violations due to human error, you can automate which types of records you want your HR team to see and direct them toward appropriate next steps, such as adverse action. 

Hire the best hospitality talent with Checkr

Top hospitality candidates are in high demand, especially during busy seasons. Wasting time on candidates who don’t fit your qualifications slows down seasonal hiring, leaving critical jobs unfilled. To attract and secure top talent, leading hospitality employers are writing detailed job descriptions, expanding employee referral programs, and engaging with nontraditional candidate pools.

Choosing the right background check partner helps, too. Checkr provides fast, accurate background check results, decreasing turnaround time. Our streamlined background check workflows automatically deliver disclosure and authorization forms to candidates, reducing background screening delays. Customizable adjudication tools lessen burdens on HR teams by minimizing the need for manual record review. With Checkr on your side, you can identify qualified candidates quickly, hire them faster, and gain a competitive edge.

Outpace competitors with the best hospitality background checks


The resources and information provided here are for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Always consult your own counsel for up-to-date legal advice and guidance related to your practices, needs, and compliance with applicable laws.

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About the author

Karen Axelton writes about business topics and best practices. She has written hundreds of articles on business subjects, including background screening, hiring and employment trends, human resource management, and the use of technology in the workplace. Her work includes educational articles, e-books, white papers, and case studies.

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