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Employer branding for hotels: What needs to be considered – E-recruiting is key success factor

Profile Photo By: Carsten Hennig
February 11, 2017

Employer branding for hotels: What needs to be considered – E-recruiting is key success factor

Hamburg, Germany – 11 February 2017 –
Motel One is currently the best employer in the hotel industry, at least according to the latest ranking of But also exemplary hotels like Prizeotel and Upstalsboom are generally praised for their outstanding employer branding. The crucial success factors are a highly empathetic management, flat hierarchies and a lot of individual responsibility. There are currently some difficulties with labour inspectorate, as they request static work places instead of home office, as well as properly completed timesheets.

However, several top hotels are still far away from efficient recruiting structures and processes. On the one hand, they spend overly large amounts of advertising money for non-transparent job portals; on the other hand they do not efficiently push the limits of innovative recruiting tools like Hospitality Leaders. The costs to the application processes are enormous: Albrecht von Bonn, a very important human resources consultant in the top hotel industry, estimates the internal labour costs to three to six monthly salaries, depending on the vacant position.

The big failures in recruitment, or: How mistakes turn into chances
According to the job seekers, asked by, the main big failures are poor company presentations (80%), the wrong communication with potential job candidates (75%), badly managed application processes and an unprofessional behaviour in job interviews (50%).

As stated by Konfuzius already, “those, who make a mistake and do not fix it after all, make another one”. Everybody makes mistakes and so do HR employees in the course of recruitment. According to Marc Irmisch-Petit, Vice President General Manager at, “companies are well advised to keep their sometimes long-standing recruitment processes and routines under continuing review. What used to be successful in the past cannot be easily transferred to present recruiting measures and channels and is then considered as mistake. Most of the mistakes, however, can be quickly fixed without any major effort. By avoiding them completely, companies even have the opportunity to stand out from others and to strengthen their employer branding.”

The first impression counts – how to present the employer brand correctly
Getting to know each other is the beginning of every recruitment process: the company presentation and the way of addressing the candidate. At this stage, the undisputed number one of all big failures is the content employers provide when presenting the company to the job candidates. Around 80 per cent of the mistakes, which were named, relate to issues, such as dishonesty, superficiality, exaggerated or false information, as well as the inappropriate attitude. And also appearance matters: the mistake, which is named second, relates to the design of the company presentation or rather the career website. This includes the company website as well as the general design and the clearness of the company presentation. The failure, which was ranked third, is under- or non-functioning technology. Those companies can score here, which ensure a good availability and an extremely fast website performance. Service providers with well-trained experts can help companies in this matter. At Monster, the team of Monster Talent Consulting supports HR staff in developing and editing their appearance. The aim is to provide an ideal presentation for the appropriate target group, working properly on all devices (‘mobile optimization’).

Attention application: “handle with care”
The phase of receiving and managing the application offers further ways to positively stand out from other companies. Most of the mistakes happen during the stage, when companies need to respond to the candidates. Almost 75 per cent of the job-seeking respondents criticise feedback deficits, delaying tactics or rather long waiting times as well as out-of-date or even completely missing answers. – Top 1 source of error. According to the study director Prof. Dr. Tim Weitzel of the Chair of business informatics, especially Information Systems in service sectors, at the University of Bamberg, “companies are obviously not making an effort in terms of application response. HR employees should start to put themselves in the position of the candidate. The younger they are, the faster they expect a reply – and not a standardised email.” With around 25 per cent, the content of the response holds the second position in the big failures of companies. The sources of these errors include the missing reasons for a rejection, poor information in general and standardised or meaningless answers. The third most frequent mistake again refers to technology, which is provided to submit an application, but does not work properly – like online forms.”

Impartiality and conversational skills
The respondents also named big failures, which occur during the last step of the recruitment process: the selection of candidates and the interview itself. This includes for example the concern of lateral entrants that companies do not consider them as suitable candidates, because their narrow application system makes them fail directly. Only 36 per cent of the job seekers see promising opportunities for lateral entrants to find a job. Professor Tim Weitzel explains, “by changing their processes companies could improve the usage of this resource. 40.7 per cent of the companies admit that lateral entrants will play a key role in the future. Many experts, like we do at CHRIS, repeatedly stress that the best way to choose candidates is to evaluate them in an unbiased manner, by just concentrating on their qualifications. We are therefore very much interested in the development of new strategies, like for example the selection via so-called matching-algorithms”.

Although often underestimated by companies, the job interview itself is another source of mistakes. The study reveals that in an interview, it is not only the company, which chooses the candidate, but also the applicant, who chooses the company. Around 60 per cent of the job seekers have already rejected a job due to bad impressions during the interview. They named reasons like an unprofessional appearance of the recruiter, a poor organisation or unpunctuality. Closely followed by the content of the conversation: Four out of ten job seekers consider improper or overly technical conversations to be inappropriate. Also the missing flexibility in a job interview is negatively evaluated, like for example to insist on the physical presence of the candidate instead of offering a telephone interview.

Recruitment at a snail’s pace – candidates drift by – one third of the qualified candidates reject the job, processes must speed up
Most of the candidates expect a binding response to their application within 14 days. A current data analysis of the recruitment platform Softgarden shows: with an average of 25 days, employers need far more time for recruiting new employees at the moment and this is how they loose qualified candidates.

According to the analysed data, the average response time is 25 days until a recruiter personally contacts a new candidate. That does not meet the candidates’ expectations: The majority of the applicants expect to receive an invitation to an interview within 14 days – or even a rejection.

The average time between the invitation to an interview and the interview itself is 18 days. Thus, it is all in all 43 days (around one and a half months) from receiving the application until the interview takes place. The average time to hire, which means the time between posting the job and signing the contract, amounts to around 78 days. In some job categories, it even takes a lot longer: In sales for example, it is 82 days, in IT 97 and in manual trades even 114 days.

Overall, recruiting processes are generally too slow, which increases the probability to loose candidates. Six per cent are currently rejecting the job and – at first – that does not sound worrying. However, companies reject around 82 per cent of the candidates due to insufficient competences, so that only 18 per cent are worth to be considered for the job. In relation, the 6 per cent self-rejecters represent around one third of the qualified candidates.

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