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  • Joshua Clifton

How to Recruit a Hospitality Pro in 5 Steps


Recruiting correctly in the hospitality industry is paramount. Well in any industry this is also the case, but more often than not, when we recruit in this industry it is often done too fast and without asking the right questions. This leads to more problems and headaches down the road.


Huge amounts of money and time can be wasted if your recruiting process isn't concrete and you hire the wrong person. Recruiting customer focused team members must always be at the forefront of you mind when you conduct interviews.


Ask yourself -


"Would i be happy if this person served me at ...?"

"Do i feel comfortable around this person?"

"Are they engaging, well spoken and presented?"


You may have heard the saying -


'You can teach a skill, but you can't teach an attitude'.


This needs to be imprinted in your mind. I only ever look though a resume is to see whether they have the current skills to get them straight to work and a brief overview of their referees depending on the role they are applying for.


What you should be looking for in an initial interview is how you feel about this person and whether this reflects your teams culture ecosystem AND how customers would respond to this new recruit.  


1) What does your business stand for?


This is number one for a reason. When you understand your current and future goals, business culture and non-negotiables, it makes it easy to ask clearly defined questions. When you discuss what your business is all about, ask how they feel about it and would it be easy for them to fit into this specific environment.


"We believe in ..."

"We try to avoid ... and we never..."

"How do you feel about these goals for our team?"

"What sort of goals and responsibilities did you have in previous roles?"


2)  Ask what 'customer experience' means to them.


We are in the customer experience business, each and every one of us. If we don't have a clear cut understanding of what is involved with interacting with people we might as well be a vending machine. Your business is unique and attracts unique customers. Asking new recruits what customer experience means to them will provide insights into how they deal with customers and ultimately yours.


"What does customer experience mean to you"

"What do you think customers will be experiencing here?"

"What have you experienced here?"

"How would you create a unique customer experience here?"


3) Focus on team orientated questions. 


There are two parts of your business. It's your customers, your team and the unique relationships they create. The next step is to focus on how well this new recruit handles a team.


"How big were your teams at previous jobs?"

"Did you have specific roles or did you help each other out with everything?"

"How important is a team to you?"


It's crucial to ask questions on teamwork in an interview. The last thing you need is a person with all the right technical skills but doesn't fit in your culture. Be sure to remind them your business stands for powerful teamwork, communication and that you all work together for a common goal.


4) How have they handled the tough times?


When things are good, things are good. A true test of a persons character in this industry is how they deal in the tough times. The times when the shop gets slammed, the customer loses there mind and there are clashes with the team. Don't overlook asking question like this. If they can handle these times well then these questions should be easy to answer.


"Tell me about the last person you fired?"

"What was your worst customer interaction and how did you handle it?"

"What do you say straight away when some is complaining about a product/service?"


If the person in the interview can answer these types of questions comfortably you may be onto a winner.


5) Look for qualities you see in yourself.


A straight forward idea, but if you live and breath your product, wouldn't you want your team to do the same? Sure your team will never share your same passion and desire for an amazing business but they at least should reflect the idea of what your business entails. You are no doubt a hard and committed operator, so see if you can see these traits in this new recruit.


"What personal qualities do you think are needed here?"

"If you were the manager, how would you handle the team here?"

"How have you helped drive previous businesses forward and what could you do here to do the same?


There a number of other questions needed to be asked in a interview. Starting with these recruitment tips will lay the foundation for the rest of the interview process. Remember to conduct the interview in a relaxed environment and study your questions before you ask them. Nothing worse then being questioned on topics and feeling like its an interrogation.


Sometimes we need to recruit fast, team members leave unexpectedly or we are simply short on time. It's the industry we are in. It's volatile, unpredictable and challenging but i'm

sure you can understand that when you recruit a pro, it makes your life just a little easier each day. You're in this game for the long term so make sure you allow time at recruitment to take them through that journey.

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