State of Talent Trend: Marketing Professionals Help in Recruitment and Retention

Marketing professionals continue to prove their importance in contributing to the bottom line as well as the top line. Marketing expertise was called up in 2022 to attract and retain talent.  

Marina MacDonald, Chief Marketing Officer at Red Roof Inns, and past Chair of the HSMAI Americas Board told the HSMAIF Board that she had never seen this more than in the past year when marketing teams came to the rescue of the Human Resources departments, who didn’t have the skills or resources to recruit and retain sufficient talent. The intersection of HR and marketing is employer branding, an essential element for reputation and influence.  

Marketing to Recruit 

Marketers and their teams have used every tool in their arsenal to reach new audiences. Marketers have designed consistent messages so potential recruits recognize the branding. Better targeted marketing resulted in attracting more specialized candidates at lower cost. Marketers helped HR recognize transferable skills from airlines, cruise ships, and tour companies, but also from retail, insurance, and entertainment fields. Strategic social media recruitment campaigns evolved, complete with catchphrases, success stories and videos.  

Marketers also targeted messages about the rebound of travel and tourism, the career opportunities and glamour in hospitality positions, and the flexibility of jobs for students. New strategies were applied to different audiences across Instagram, TikTok and virtual events. One team evolved a “speed interview” system both in person and online that allowed candidates to interview with several different departments during one visit. Another team created an event with a local charity. Several destination management organizations and hospitality associations worked with their local hotels to create and promote innovative job fairs. 

Marketing to Retain  

Marketers also collaborated on retention efforts. Branding messages for recruiting supported overall guest campaigns and were shared with existing staff. Retention videos were created to remind employees of the benefits and attractions of working in hospitality. Employee recruitment reward programs were created and advertised through internal channels. Multiple types of communication strategies were used to communicate positive messages about growth opportunities, wellness efforts, supervisory skills programs and more.  

Many HR and training departments lack the resources to produce quality work products that are reflections of the brand they are presenting. The marketing team can ensure that employees at every level are learning about the brand, brand messaging, and the desired guest experience.  

Marketers were so successful in their efforts that a special category Adrian Award was created to showcase best practices in recruitment marketing.  

Perhaps there is room for an industry-wide marketing effort for hospitality careers?  

Calls to Action 

  • If your human resource and marketing teams are not collaborating fully, remove barriers to that effort.   
  • Have your marketing team review your organization’s recruitment and instructional materials.  
  • Do your internal communications with employees reflect your organization’s brand, culture and values?  

To read more about the top talent trends, download The State of Hotel Sales, Marketing, and Revenue Optimization Talent 2022-23: HSMAI Foundation Special Report. 

Categories: Marketing, Talent and Leadership Development
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