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Carver Companies Blog

An Evolution in Hospitality Recruiting

Jul 3, 2019
Jarrod Durrence

Corporate Director of Human Resources

I remember the days when I had more people walking into the hotel to fill out an application than I had open positions.  I gathered applications daily.  I would meticulously read through a weekly stack, judging lack of experience, lapses in employment history and even spelling/grammatical errors.  I would send out “Thanks but no thanks” letters by the bundle.  Even when I would have an open position, I might put an ad in the local paper (as years went by, those ads were put on HCareers or other similar job posting sights) and sit back, gathering more resumes than I could possibly have the time to comb through.  But still, with all the resumes I would collect, I could afford to be extremely selective, and I was.  Recruiting was pretty easy back then as it really happened on its own with little effort.

Today is a different story entirely.  Today, we rarely get an influx of walk-ins, posting a job on-line often doesn’t get an overflow of qualified applicants and I no longer have the luxury of meticulously sifting through pages and pages of resumes.  My application tracking form has shrank in volume.  What I’ve learned is that today, we have to become the hunters of candidates.  We have to leave the office and go out into our communities.  We have to compete with every other company around us like never before.  We host events, we create beautifully designed collateral to promote our companies, we interact, and we hire recruiters to help us find the unfounded.  The transition from gatherer to hunter hasn’t been easy, but it has been rewarding.  Connecting with applicants in their worlds, not in a hotel lobby, interviewing them on mutual terms, not my terms, and telling them why they should choose my company, not the others, has made me feel more involved than ever before.  I hear people’s stories.  I listen to the struggles they’ve had.  I admire their accomplishments and their success.  I learn about how they can of benefit to my company.  

By going out into my community, I have also learned the importance of educating individuals who may not understand the process of obtaining a job to start a career and what it takes to overcome “life events” that become hurdles for many.  All of us in Human Resources have heard of these hurdles, most of us have had to overcome them ourselves.  “My babysitter didn’t show.”  “My car won’t start.”  “I don’t have money to get to work.”  “My child is sick.”  These are just a few of the hurdles we face almost every day, but how we “manage” the hurdle has very different outcomes.  For many, it can result in a “no-call, no-show” simply because they do not have the resources to overcome the hurdle or they see the hurdle as a hard stop, resulting in the loss of a job.  By hosting educational life lessons classes, we as Human Resources professionals, have the opportunity to teach our communities how jobs can turn into careers and how, when faced with a hurdle, to identify better options of conquering the hurdle rather than let the hurdle stand between them and their career.  We have this responsibility to our community to help educate our current and future employees, not only for the sake of our businesses, but for ourselves.  We chose this profession because we love helping others.  So, why just help our current staff?  Be of help to our communities.  

Today, if you are not hunting candidates and helping educate individuals in your communities,  you are losing out on, not only filling your job openings, but on truly enjoying one of the best opportunities of being in human resources:  Being a Resource for your Community.