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For many of you, hiring season is almost here and if you’re lucky, you have a pool of people you know to draw from to work at your property.

If not, how do you find the perfect candidates?

I’ll explain how.

Welcome to another edition of Hospitality Property School.

I am your instructor, Gerry MacPherson.

 

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As I said in the introduction, for many of you, hiring season will soon be here and if you’re lucky, you have a pool of people you know to draw from to work at your property. If not, you may need to interview.

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When it comes to interviewing, you will have two options

  • Unstructured interviews

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  • Structured interviews

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If an interview is unstructured, it doesn’t mean you don’t prepare questions ahead of time. An unstructured interview allows potential employers to ask different questions to each candidate — which could become an opportunity for an employer to judge candidates based on who they get along well with, as opposed to whether the candidate is qualified for the role.

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A structured interview is a process in which all candidates are asked the same predetermined questions in the same order. It helps you minimize biases or personality preferences that could otherwise affect your decision to move forward with a candidate.

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What should you be looking for in a candidate?

You have to look at your priorities. Do you want candidates with more hard skills or soft skills?

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Most companies hire based on hard skills because it’s easy to make decisions on such binary questions as “Do you have 3+ years of experience on the front desk?” or “Do you understand booking systems?” But with such variability in a positions requirement – does the answer to that question really help you qualify a candidate?

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In today’s travel industry, soft skills are becoming more important and you need to look for specific elements during the hiring process. You look to see if the candidate has self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. These are the five elements that make up one’s emotional intelligence.

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When it comes to hiring individuals, emotional intelligence is really something you have to identify through face-to-face conversation. Can you hear the excitement in the candidate’s voice when they tell you about their work experience?

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You will be able to judge …

Self-awareness: Have they shown a genuine interest in helping others on their team?

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Self-regulation: Does the candidate know their own strengths and weaknesses?

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Motivation: How does the candidate speak about their previous company? What relationships did they build?

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Empathy: Do they have the ability to understand and share the feelings of others?

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Social skills: How did the candidate handle a frustrating situation or a missed goal?

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Look for these cues in the interview stage of your hiring process, and make sure to value those skills just as highly as any technical skill or relevant experience. You can always train candidates on how to make a bed – it’s much harder to teach emotional intelligence.

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Interestingly, most properties don’t train their employees for soft skills. According to a study by a global human resources consulting firm, only 11% of senior leaders are effective at displaying empathy and maintaining other’s esteem.

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After the break from our sponsor, I’ll talk about how before you get to the interview process, you have to make sure you attract the right candidates.

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Here are a few suggestions:

  • Make sure your on-site content is optimized for job searchers. Do your job descriptions contain keywords that a job seeker might type into a search engine? Are you using their diction?

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  • Use social media to demonstrate your company’s culture, values, and mission. Social media isn’t just a high-level marketing strategy, it’s often a candidate’s first touchpoint with your business.

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You can try starting a LinkedIn group where prospective candidates can ask you questions. Put your own Twitter handle on your careers site so candidates can tweet your messages and follow your posts.

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  • Use specific qualifications that candidates can quickly identify with.

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Your goal should be to build trusting relationships. Showing people that your business cares to develop their skills and help them grow their careers. Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a much easier time approaching your perfect candidates when that perfect opening comes up.

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Structured Interview Questions                                                                    

To create structured interview questions, you must first craft a detailed job description with all the necessary components of the role, as well as any “nice-to-haves”. Once you have a job description, which should be included in your operations manual, use it as a guide to writing a list of hard and soft skills you’re looking for in a candidate.

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Next, you’ll want to create a list of role-specific questions. For instance, you might consider asking:

  1. Give me an example of a time you had to [important job skill].

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  1. What do you think will be your biggest challenge with this role?

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  1. What most excites you about this role?

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  1. Tell me how you would handle [specific job challenge].

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These questions will vary depending on the role. You’ll also want to gauge the candidate’s interest in your company in general, as well as their work ethic.

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Here are a few general structured interview questions:

  1. Can you tell me a little about yourself?

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  1. What do you know about the company?

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  1. What are your greatest professional strengths? Alternatively, what are your weaknesses?

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  1. What is your greatest professional achievement?

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  1. Where do you see yourself in five years?

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There are structured interview questions you might want to ask to get a better sense for someone’s leadership skills, willingness to learn, or ability to handle themselves under pressure.

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Take a look at the following structured interview questions, divided by category, for further inspiration.

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To rate leadership ability

  1. You indicated on your resume that leadership is one of your strengths. Describe an experience in which you used your leadership abilities.

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  1. Tell me about a time when you delegated a project to others effectively.

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  1. Tell me about a time you took the lead in a team project. What was the project outcome?

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  1. Can you recall a time where you had to give negative feedback to a colleague? How did you express this feedback?

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To rate dependability

  1. If your manager asked you to complete a task you thought impossible at first, what would you do?

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  1. Tell me about a time when you had multiple important projects to finish and how you prioritize them.

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To rate willingness to learn

  1. Tell me about a time you failed at a project. How did you try to avoid failure? What did that experience teach you?

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  1. Tell me about a time you had to learn something you weren’t familiar with very quickly.

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  1. Which other companies in the hospitality property industry do you admire? Why?

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Is this making sense so far? Let me know by leaving a comment below

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Keep in mind

A structured interview has plenty of benefits — but, of course, it also has its drawbacks.

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A structured interview leaves little room for building rapport. When a candidate answers a question, you move to the next question, even if the following question has little relevance to the candidate’s unique response.

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If you feel a structured interview is too rigid for your workplace, but still want to use general guidelines to ensure fairness in your recruitment process, you might consider a semi-structured interview as an alternative.

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A semi-structured interview still requires you to create a list of open-ended questions, and subsequently ask role-specific questions.

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This type of interview also provides more opportunity for you to tailor the conversation naturally, either by excluding questions you feel are redundant or asking follow-up questions when you feel it’s necessary.

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Ultimately, a semi-structured interview requires you to follow a predetermined set of questions but allows it to feel more conversational by nature.

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In Conclusion

Provide professional experience through the interview process. The candidate experience is instrumental in giving candidates a positive feeling about your property.

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And remember, emotional intelligence and ‘soft skills’ are often more impactful to a hospitality property employees success than their technical skills or existing experience. Hire for character; train for skill.

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TO READ OR LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE ON KEYSTONE HOSPITALITY PROPERTY CONSULTING:

https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/KHDC138

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And don’t forget to join the “6 Day Challenge” here:

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RESOURCES & LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

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“Interview Questions for the Perfect Candidate” download

http://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/Interview-Questions-for-the-Perfect-Candidate

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The Keystone HDC Training Tutorials

https://courses.keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/

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Join our community in “The Hospitality Property School Group” –Check it Out for One Full Week for Only $1

http://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/membership-site

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TWEET THIS VIDEO:

“Interview Questions for the Perfect Hotel and Bed & Breakfast Candidate” Video @KeystoneHDC

https://youtu.be/hDhoWw8DP3I

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Say hi on social:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KeystoneHDC

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KeystoneHDC

 

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/keystone-hospitality-development

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Listen to The Hospitality Property School Podcast here:

https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/itunes-podcast

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/hospitality-property-school

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YouTube

https://youtu.be/hDhoWw8DP3I

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