Recruitment challenges in the hospitality industry

July 20th, 2022
HireVue Team
Recruiting Teams

There is a challenging paradox that’s impacting the hospitality industry. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, 1 in 5 new jobs are created by the hospitality and tourism industry. But according to the Federal Reserve Economic Data, the “Great Resignation” ushered in by the pandemic during which 3.5 million people left the workforce, over one-third of them worked in the hospitality industry (the highest rate of any industry!). By all accounts, the industry is booming, but at the same time, current employees are leaving and potential candidates are not interested.

The combination of high demand for hospitality workers with the exodus of current employees and disinterest with candidates has created a hospitality recruitment nightmare.  Hospitality recruiting in all sectors is now even more difficult and shows no signs of easing up. So what can recruiters and HR departments do? 

Hospitality recruiting challenges and solutions:

Attracting candidates

Job applicants have more options than ever before when it comes to hospitality jobs. The top complaint is low wages. 


The obvious recourse is paying more, and/or offering signing bonuses. Apart from that, posting these positions on niche job boards such as Culinary agents and iHire Chefs. Candidates may also check your company website if you have a careers page.

Using employee referrals is also a great way to secure new hires. Existing employees can be advocates for your business.

Using technology is also a useful tool in your chest. Candidates enjoy the ease of applying on their mobile devices. As a result, you should ensure your job postings are mobile-friendly. And speaking of smartphones, it’s also wise to advertise these open positions via QR codes at your property. Some of your customers could be potential candidates. 

Holding candidates’ interest

People have short attention spans, and we live in a world that values instant gratification. There’s a major drop off in engagement if the application is too long. Think of the “Easy Apply” button on LinkedIn; would you rather fill out a multi-screen application or hit “apply”?


Keep your application short. Don’t ask questions that are on someone’s resume, and don’t make candidates answer too many questions, especially ones which require writing short answers. Implementing an automated screening process via text saves your hiring team time and allows top quality candidates to shine through. 

Be transparent early in the process. There’s no use in leaving out salary, benefits, or other pertinent information that may disqualify a candidate from applying.

Preventing turnover

An often cited issue that leads to turnover is a poor onboarding experience. Employees want a simple, stress-free experience when starting a new position. Along those same lines, it’s important to be both transparent and clear. Employees want growth opportunities, and for clear expectations to be set. Finally, it’s important that there be a culture fit. This is more of a gray area, but as an employer, you learn to gauge whether someone will fit in with the other employees or not.


Strong communication is key. Make sure employees understand what’s expected of them, and what they can expect of you. Keep employees engaged post hire with text campaigns and surveys with a text recruiting platform. 

Managing multiple locations

It can be difficult to hire across multiple locations. Keeping track of candidates, application status, start date, offer letters, etc., can be time consuming.


Using a talent experience platform, like HireVue, integrated with your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can create a homogeneous experience for all candidates. It reduces time waste and fast tracks the hiring process.

Lastly, because of the “great resignation” most companies are re-examining their hiring processes and how they engage with candidates. The hospitality industry thrives on a positive customer experience, so be sure to apply this same approach to your candidates. They’re customers too, right? 

Interview flexibility

Many hospitality workers can’t interview from 9am to 5pm, corporate hours, because they’re working, and can’t afford to take 30 minutes or an hour off for an interview which may not yield a job offer. This can act as a deterrent for those in the industry seeking a new, better-paying, job opportunity.


HireVue OnDemand interviewing offers flexibility for hospitality workers, and allows them to interview at their leisure, and will yield better results for your company. Your company can save thousands of dollars as well as man hours and will aid in your search.

Assessing skills

For hospitality roles, oftentimes it’s a matter of the candidate’s skills and not so much their resume, especially when hiring hourly roles. As an employer, you need to ascertain if the candidate has the necessary soft skills to succeed at any given open position. Soft skills such as a strong work ethic, being a team player, and active listening, can be challenging to gauge.


Our assessment software can weed out candidates that don’t have the soft skills needed for the positions being filled. We use advanced technology and AI to ensure the best outcomes, and to determine whether the candidate will be a good fit for the role.

Final thoughts

The key takeaway is to remember that the hospitality industry is one of the largest in the world. It is replete with opportunities, and the number of potential career paths is virtually limitless. The more you know, the better you will be able to accommodate the qualities of the candidates you want to hire and to satisfy what interests them. Having the right hospitality recruitment platform is more important now than ever. And with the sheer number of workers needed in the various hospitality sectors, being able to scale is paramount. HireVue’s Talent Experience Platform is an enterprise-level software solution that automates workflows to make scaling hiring easier. Speak with an expert today to solve your hospitality recruitment challenges.