Attracting and retaining young people is a huge priority for the hospitality industry, and competition for applicants is great. In the early stages of the recruitment process, the strength of a job advertisement can play a significant role in attracting candidates. To understand how it make its advertisements work harder, Hilton held a mystery shopper workshop in early 2017, where young people looked at a range of examples and provided feedback on each one.
The process provided some useful insight for Hilton. Participants in the mystery shopper workshop shared feedback on what they liked about the advertisements, what they felt was missing and what should be added. For Hilton, this fresh insight was incredibly helpful, ultimately leading the company to change the way it showcases information, providing greater clarity and helping to attract the right candidates.
Feedback from participants included a clear appetite for more detail on what working for Hilton is really like, delivered through visual content. To support this, Hilton produced a video which now sits alongside job advertisements. Young people also wanted to know more about the benefits of working for Hilton and what the job would entail, such as shift patterns. This information was made more prominent in job advertisements and provided in greater detail. Additionally, Hilton included timelines about the length of the recruitment process and what would be involved, such as the number of interviews and whether there would be a trial shift.
Hilton ran the new job advertisements alongside the old versions to assess the effectiveness of the changes.The improved advertisements received significantly more applications – ranging from 50% more for front office roles compared to 20-30% for roles in food and beverage. Hilton also consulted with stakeholders and hiring managers on the new advertisements and received positive feedback.
As a result of the trial, Hilton is now running the updated job advertisements for selected entry level positions. The organisation is looking at further changes it could make based on this success, including how the same approach could be used for a wider range of roles, and at a more senior level. Additional ideas also under consideration include incorporating social media activity such as Facebook and Instagram, and videos from specific hotels seeking applicants, alongside the existing organisation-wide content.
Hilton will also continue to promote the benefits of working in hospitality, including clear progression opportunities and the chance to travel, as well as promoting Hilton itself, which has been recognised by Great Place to Work as the sixth best place to work in the UK and ninth globally. Key benefits include its new value proposition – Thrive@Hilton – which encourages team members to grow and flourish in mind, health and wellbeing, including the opportunity to explore the world with Go Hilton, its travel discounts programme.