How to train managers to make the right hiring decisions

Promoting an associate to a managerial role or filling a long-vacant leadership position is always exciting, especially for those of us in training and development. We are happy to have a key position filled, and sometimes we make assumptions about what the incumbent may or may not have in their supervisory toolkit. Specifically, we may believe these new managers inherently know how to interview job candidates.

Recently, CSM Lodging conducted training with hiring managers and focused on three main ideas: being prepared, asking the right questions and making sure candidates get a realistic preview of the work they will be doing, especially in an operational position.

* First, train your managers to be prepared for the interview by reviewing the job description (and editing it if necessary), reading the job application and allowing enough time for a thorough conversation. Also be sure to secure an interpreter if one is needed.

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* Secondly, make sure candidates are being asked appropriate questions for the position. While most interviews begin with a litany of basic questions, it is important to ask about the specific requirements of the job. Questions for a food and beverage manager will differ from those for a bell person.

* Finally, be certain that all candidates see the actual environment where they would be working. Ask them to show you how they would perform certain tasks. Be honest about the pace of the work. For housekeepers, how many rooms will be cleaned in how many minutes? For guest-service associates, let them know they will be on their feet for several hours at a time.

The interview process doesn’t end after the candidate leaves your property. Ensure that hiring managers are contacting all interviewed candidates with selection decisions as soon as they are made. To not complete the process leaves the credibility and reputation of your establishment in jeopardy. After all, the candidates you don’t hire could end up as guests or future employees; make sure they want to return!

There are times when all the interviewing skills in the world become secondary to intuition. Many times we have a visceral reaction in an interview that tells us the individual is not a good fit for our culture. Encourage your managers to listen to intuition without succumbing to internal stereotypes.

Effective interviewing skills are crucial to success as a manager, and in our high-turnover industry, it is critical to use care with our hiring despite the temptation to fill positions with candidates that are “good enough.” The investment in time at the beginning of the selection process will likely save you time—and the cost of turnover—in the long run.