How Career Branding Helps You Hire (and Retain) Top Talent

career branding and recruitment marketing for hospitality

This blog is part of the Harri Talent Acquisition series. To learn more about our full talent acquisition platform, click here.

Hospitality’s workforce is changing and operators need to put their best foot forward when sourcing talent. That starts with showcasing your brand.

Your brand extends far beyond its logo, product offerings, or ad campaign. It embodies everything from the culture to its people. Career branding is a vital tool in a hospitality operator’s arsenal to attract and retain talent by giving them an authentic view of your brand and the benefits that come with working for it.

What is career branding and why is it important?

Your employer brand is a cohesive combination of an organization’s mission, values, culture, and personality. A great employer brand conveys (and delivers on) the message that the organization is a good employer and a great place to work, according to SHRM. 

A strong employer brand needs to be closely connected to the company brand. For example, a restaurant chain that serves fresh local ingredients may also encourage its employees to take time off to work in the community. A hotel that prides itself on stellar personalized customer service might invest in special training to ensure every employee has the skills to deliver on that promise. 

In other words, ensuring that every team member embraces, believes in, and communicates the company’s values makes the brand experience come alive at every touchpoint.

Career branding is how you showcase this prospective and existing employees alike. Oftentimes it’s thought of as recruitment marketing. And there are a lot of reasons why career branding plays a critical role in a hospitality business’ ability to attract and retain talent.

Put yourself in the mind of a prospective applicant. Most job searches today involve online research. Just as a diner will look at menu items, photos of hotel rooms, and star ratings and reviews, applicants will look at your career pages (on your website and via a Google search) to see what your company believes in and how they behave and what employees say about you. 

Today’s hospitality workforce won’t do a lot of research — they expect a brand’s culture to jump out at them immediately. Brands that fall behind on this are missing a competitive edge.

The psychology of hospitality career branding: how it affects your hiring strategy

As ongoing industry-wide labor shortages put more power in the hands of the candidates, the “why” of hospitality hiring is more important than it’s ever been before. Prospective employees are free to pick and choose where they want to work. And just because they chose your brand, it doesn’t mean they’re committed to stay.

Career branding and showcasing your company culture answers that “why” to convince candidates to choose your business over the one next door. Stary bt questioning your workplace, because that’s exactly what candidates will do.

Are you confident that your brand makes employees feel like they’ll enjoy coming into work? Does your brand foster a sense of family and community? Do coworkers have each other’s backs during those tough shifts? Are there career growth opportunities?

Remember, service-level jobs in hospitality typically aren’t taken for long-term financial stability. Workers either want to climb the ranks or move onto a new role. A position that offers flexibility, skills to grow, and a workplace that’s genuinely enjoyable pushes them towards the former.

When looking for a hospitality job, most workers prioritize the following questions:

  • Will the employee’s work be difficult or unenjoyable?
  • Does your brand pay what other brands are paying? 
  • Are managers pleasant to work with?

The answers there should be No, Yes, No, to get someone in the door. That’s the bare minimum. A great culture gets them to not only stay, but consider long-term growth opportunities.

That means a great employee experience is a necessity. That’s shown through your culture, starting with your company career page. Maybe it’s that one coworker who’s willing to throw that burger on the grill even though it’s not their station, fun store-wide team contests, or a team of amazing and personable managers.

Whatever makes your brand stand out from a culture perspective, it should be highlighted in any and all career branding efforts to attract and retain talent.

What does great hospitality career branding look like?

Hospitality career branding efforts should culminate into a career story page. This is your sales pitch to prospective employees letting them know the “why” — why your brand is the place to work.

So, what does a successful career story page look like? We break it down below, but we also recommend checking out Lettuce Entertain You’s noteworthy career page.

Showcase the workplace and the team

Seeing is believing! Your career story page should include pictures of your team in the workplace, posed or candid. Show off that team uniform, no stock photos allowed! Videos are also great tools to capture candidate attention.

Available roles

It goes without saying that a career story page should include an updated list of current available positions. Consider breaking these out by location (store or state) and position type to make it easier for candidates to find exactly what they are looking for.

Brand differentiators

Does your brand host themed cooking contests? Do you have employee funds dedicated to supporting team members? Make sure all perks and benefits are broadcasted loud and clear.

Employee testimonials

Do you have a team of rockstar workers that truly love working for your brand? Get a quote or take a short video that showcases exactly what makes your brand so great.

Make it fun

Hospitality is about people, and the nature of our industry allows us to be more lighthearted than an office role would. Your career story page should let your brand’s and your team’s personalities shine.

Simplicity is key

Don’t go so over the top with career branding that it slows down the process of actually finding and applying for a job. Chances are your prospective employees aren’t IT-grade tech wizards — they just want to find a job at your company!

The right employee experience platform makes it easy to create a career stories page that catches candidate attention and entices them into your hiring pipeline.

Harri’s Talent Acquisition Suite has the right tools at the right time to help hospitality brands attract and retain top talent amidst an industry-wide labor shortage.

Easy-to-build career story pages make it easy to bring all relevant job information into one centralized location, streamline the job application process, and ensure key company culture information is readily available for all prospective candidates. From eye-catching media to rich storytelling, Harri empowers brands to embed that culture in every step of the hiring process beginning the moment a candidate sees your job ad.

And because we’ve helped hospitality brands like yours build impactful and effective career story pages, we have industry insights into the most successful career branding strategies. 

Interred? Learn how our career branding tools can level up your brand to improve talent acquisition efforts and retain your best employees.

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