Tips for Hiring Seasonal Workers in the Hospitality Industry Skip to main content

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As bustling Christmas and summer holiday seasons come and go, hospitality workers are continually called to hire seasonal employees. These employees are temporary workers who pick up shifts at hotels and resorts to ease the stress and workload placed on permanent workers at these busy times of the year.

Seasonal workers are an integral and invaluable part of the modern hospitality industry, but finding the right seasonal hires can be tricky for even the most experienced hospitality managers—the professionals who ensure every hotel runs as smoothly as possible.

You could be one of these seasonal hires, or, with the right training, you could become a hospitality management professional yourself. If you’re interested in becoming a hospitality manager, consider the following tips for hiring seasonal workers:

1. Hospitality Management Professionals Invest in Training

When you become a hospitality management professional, you’ll have earned your place on the management ladder with the training of your own. It will be just as important for your employees to be well-trained as it is for you to be since they will also be working on the front-lines of customer service in your hotel.

Consider using several large group-training sessions and web-based training to ensure you get the most out of new seasonal employees right away. Hospitality business professional Deb Spicer also suggests creating a mentoring system, so that new hires can get help from regular employees instead of creating an “us vs. them” environment.

2. Pros Extend Their Hiring Pool Beyond Typical Seasonal Workers

Throughout your hospitality career, you will experience the ebbs and flows of the job market firsthand. Today’s seasonal job market involves not only millennial students looking for summer work but also a diverse range of applicants, such as retired baby-boomers eager for new careers, for example.

When you become a hospitality manager, consider hiring these retired individuals for the maturity and varied work experience they’ll bring to your facility.

It’s important to hire applicants who can bring valuable diversity to your team while receiving useful training and job experience of their own. Often, the most hardworking and loyal seasonal employees are found outside the millennial age and experience bracket.

3. Great Managers Aren’t Afraid to Fire Difficult Seasonal Workers

Hospitality management professionals know that even though seasons can be short, it’s best not to wait until they’re over to be free of problem employees. It can be tempting to avoid the conflict that comes from letting workers go, but the best managers remember that often, firing difficult seasonal workers is for the good of the entire staff.

“Resentment will build from everyone else having to pick up the pieces,” says Spicer. “It’s far better to cut them loose than keep them around. 99.9 percent of the people say, ‘Thank goodness.’ I have found that it can raise morale when you cut the dead weight.”

Wise hotel managers choose to keep seasonal employees who stand out as part of their team.

Wise hotel managers choose to keep seasonal employees who stand out as part of their team.

4. Hospitality Career Pros Always Look Out for Possible Permanent Employees

When you’re in a hospitality management position, keep an eye out for potential permanent hires among your seasonal staff.

Consider making efforts to keep in touch with employees you’d like to re-hire, and even offering incentives to seasonal employees who choose to return in subsequent years.

It’s also important to treat every single employee, seasonal or otherwise, as a potential customer. They will be your link to broader communities—including networks of their friends and family members. If you provide them with positive and memorable work experiences, you’ll likely see your investment in their happiness returning to you and your future business for years to come.

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