The Do’s and Don’ts of Seasonal Hiring in Hospitality

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP

July 1 2019

Whether your guests are hitting the beach or the ski slopes, every property in the hospitality industry has its busy season. Many property owners and managers will be turning to seasonal help to get them through their busiest quarter this year. Seasonal hiring is not without its challenges, however. Finding workers can be difficult, for example, due to the (often incorrect) perception of low wages in the hospitality industry. An extended time-to-hire and trouble with employee retention pose challenges for managers who are trying to keep properties running smoothly through peak.

To recruit and keep the best staff, you need to consider the do’s and don’ts of the seasonal hiring process for the hospitality industry.

Don’t post one job ad and think you’re done.

This limits your potential pool of candidates, which you want to be as wide as possible. Post your job opening on many websites—but don’t stop there, either. Advertise your openings at your property, local job fairs, and on social media. Ensure you’re using mobile-friendly channels, as many of today’s candidates apply for jobs right from their phones. Reaching candidates where they are is the first step of the seasonal hiring process.

Don’t start at the last minute

Chances are, your busy season rolls around the same time each year, giving you plenty of time to prepare. If you know you’ll be booked from November to January, don’t start your seasonal hiring process in October. The average hiring process takes 23 days—meaning you would still be onboarding and training new hires as guests begin pouring in. You’ll want to account for time to properly onboard and train your new hires, too, ensuring a consistently positive customer experience once your busy season hits.

Don’t allow a toxic work culture to flourish

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the hospitality industry has a 73.8% annual turnover rate. Comparatively, many experts agree that a healthy turnover rate is in the 10-15% range. Studies show that employees who are happy with their jobs are more efficient. In a field where there are currently more job openings than there are workers, hotels can’t afford a toxic workplace culture.

Don’t skip out on screening

Bad hires can be costly in more ways than one, so background checks are an integral part of the hiring process in all industries. The risks are heightened, however, when your customers are entrusting you with their property and their safety. Pre-employment screening and continuous monitoring helps minimize risk to your organization, guests, and other staff members, further bolstering your seasonal hiring process.

Do recruit creatively

Utilizing multiple recruitment channels is just one piece of the puzzle. In today’s tight labor market, many companies are turning to recruitment marketing strategies. By emphasizing your company’s mission and values, you can attract workers. Workers want and expect a positive work environment, and most would take lower pay if it meant they wouldn’t be dealing with a toxic corporate culture. Demonstrate your appreciation for your employees and watch your reputation among candidates soar.

Do plan ahead

Evaluate and set clear goals when planning your seasonal hiring process. How many workers will you need to handle peak season? How long will it take to recruit, hire, onboard, and train your seasonal staff? Give yourself concrete guidelines and try to have steps completed by certain dates. For example, two weeks after releasing your job postings, aim to have a pool of candidates picked out to interview.

Do create a positive work environment

Encourage your staff, seasonal or permanent, to get to know each other. Hold events to thank them for their hard work or redecorate the break room to make it more inviting. By fostering a positive environment, you’ll encourage collaboration and creative problem-solving. This will not only improve your workers’ productivity but bolster your brand reputation as well.

Do your due diligence

Implementing an extensive screening program makes a difference when hiring. Look for a provider that offers global coverage and can give you a comprehensive overview of a candidate’s criminal history. There are a wide variety of solutions that help you screen candidates quickly and reduce your time-to-hire. InfoMart’s ASAP ID, for example, enables candidates to verify their identity with a just selfie and a picture of their government ID. By utilizing technology to properly screen and vet your candidates, you can quickly hire seasonal workers without sacrificing on safety.

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record.

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

Pin It on Pinterest