Find Top Talent Now: Recruitment Marketing Tips for the Travel Industry
We know the travel industry was affected by the pandemic, but 2021 was a different story for many in the travel business. A wild card year made for some interesting experiences for most travel companies. After experiencing significant slowdowns due to global lockdowns, followed by a surge of restless travelers in 2021 and more travel hesitance as new COVID-19 strains spiked, the industry has had an unpredictable couple of years.
Some businesses saw sharp increases in sales while others continued slowly and steadily. However, one thing has remained constant: the need for employees and the urgency to pivot toward recruitment marketing for the travel industry.
One common theme throughout this challenging time emerges clearly: the impact of labor shortages. The global travel and tourism market saw a loss of approximately 100 million jobs in 2020, with tourism employment in the Asia Pacific region being hit the hardest and Europe coming in second. Even though the worst of the pandemic seems to be over, employment levels have not yet risen to their pre-pandemic heights.
As a result, businesses like casinos, restaurants, and hotels may be unable to provide a world-class customer experience like they once did. This (among other reasons) is why recruitment marketing for the hospitality industry is so vital to continued business growth.
Hospitality, Leisure, and Travel Have Bounced Back...
The travel industry has had to make hard pivots in the last couple of years and faced challenges due to the pandemic and its limitations. However, after extended lockdowns, the hospitality travel industries seem to be trending upwards. With re-openings and the availability of vaccines, people are eager to enjoy restaurants, recreation, and travel again.
For the most part, businesses are up and running and recovering from the pandemic. However, while leisure travelers are mostly back, there are still some challenges, including the lack of corporate travelers visiting hotels and other changes.
The pandemic’s limitations are largely a thing of the past, but there is one major challenge that the travel and hospitality industries are still facing: A lack of employees.
...But Recruitment Challenges Still Hit Hard
As of spring 2021, employment in leisure and hospitality jobs began to recover in the United States, with 13.8 million people working in this sector. However, that is still some three million workers short of where these industries were pre-pandemic.
As a result, travel and leisure businesses, such as hotels, have had to make do with reduced staff. They've implemented several "self-service" options for their customers, such as self-check-in, mobile app ordering, and restaurant take-out.
However, the lack of employees has drastically changed the overall customer experience. With fewer employees on hand, many customers are receiving less personalized attention, service, and assistance. In addition, staff members are often overloaded with work. For instance, 60% of respondents in one study said they'd be more comfortable staying in a hotel if the staff increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting procedures.
Traveler Confidence Has Surged but a Lack of Employees is Still a Problem
According to the 2021 Fall Global Rescue Traveler Sentiment and Safety Survey, “nearly 86% of travelers have taken domestic trips, and 42% have traveled internationally since the pandemic started a year a half ago,” Hotel Business reported.
While travelers are much less concerned about COVID-19, the lack of workers in these sectors is concerning because it affects the level of customer service and quality experiences people are used to receiving.
One main focus is getting employees back and prioritizing staffing in the hotel industry, leisure and recreation facilities, and destinations. The travel industry must focus on talent acquisition in the hospitality industry to make destinations as desirable as they once were, so recruitment strategies are necessary.
Make Effective Recruitment Methods a Part of Your Strategy
Recruitment marketing can play a key role in the travel industry’s recovery, or at least close to pre-pandemic staffing levels, and deliver a world-class experience to your customers.
Recruitment marketing is defined as "the process of promoting your employer brand with the use of marketing methodologies throughout the recruitment life cycle to attract, engage and nurture relationships with qualified talent." Simply put, recruitment marketing is marketing to potential employees instead of consumers.
Here are six of the best recruitment strategies for hospitality that you can take:
- Grab prospects’ attention by marketing your business’s culture. Differentiate yourself by speaking directly to your ideal candidates by showing them your culture, the satisfaction of your employees, and your company’s core values.
- Increase awareness about your business on social media. Find ideal talent on social media platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook and many other channels, and draw them in with information they should know about your company.
- Promote your open positions. Recruitment marketing is more than just posting on job boards, but actually hyping up your business and advertising the roles you have available. Think about consumer marketing, but instead of landing a sale, you are attracting a talented employee. The goal will be to fill your funnel with prospects and lead them toward the hiring process.
- Use video to nurture your candidates through the decision-making process. At this point, you want to provide more detailed information about the benefits that come with your open position(s), including insurance benefits, compensation, perks, etc. We recommend using video because prospective employees want to get a sense of what it is like to work for you and imagine themselves in the job.
- It’s okay to brag a little. Provide all the necessary details up front (including salary info), you'll be more likely to attract top talent. Be sure that you are mentioning any awards and accolades your company has received as a top workplace in your recruitment marketing copy.
- Try a recognition program. Another unique recruitment strategy is participating in recognition programs such as your local Top Workplaces awards. Gaining a merited Top Workplace ribbon speaks for itself. These employee survey-result-based awards showcase your organization as a great place to work and have served as an impressive recruitment (and employer branding!) strategy for many years. Visit Atlanta's Top Workplaces to nominate your company today.
The travel industry has made a comeback - but a lack of employees has increased challenges, and companies must continue to adapt to the ever-shifting "new normal." When you incorporate recruitment marketing into your overall business plan, you will differentiate yourself from the competition and gain a vital edge in the market.
If you don't quite know where to begin, reach out to our team of recruitment marketing experts at CoxNext for a free consultation. We'd be happy to work with you to develop a recruitment marketing strategy that matches your company's strengths and attracts the type of candidate you want.
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