Hiring in the Hospitality Industry: How to Quickly and Efficiently Evaluate Resumes


Congratulations, you’ve created a clear and engaging job description for your open management position that gets job seekers excited to work for you! But now you have more applications than you know what to do with. While that can be a great problem to have, you need some way to accurately identify the most qualified candidates without wasting valuable time. So how do you decide which candidates to interview and still have time and energy to run your hospitality operations?

Consider Investing in Technology

When you have a large pile of resumes or need to fill multiple roles, keeping resumes and applications organized is challenging. This is also tough if you use multiple sources to attract candidates (job boards, company websites, social media, paper applications, etc). Find a platform that can help keep applicants straight (like one these). Most of them also allow you to search for specific information in resumes and even track the candidates through the interview process so no-one slips through the cracks.

Set Clear Requirements Upfront

Your clear and straightforward job description comes in handy here. Using that description, create a list of “must-have” requirements that are non-negotiable, as well as a list of experiences that would be “nice-to-have.” Just be sure they are EEOC compliant to keep yourself out of any legal trouble. Have these lists in front of you as an objective guide you while skimming through applications.

Go a step further and keep your decision-making focused and unbiased by making a list of what is not necessary to perform the job (like their name, gender, address, university name, age). Have an impartial third party conceal that information so that you can truly keep decisions centered on your pre-established requirements.

Create A Candidate Short List

Instead of going into the process immediately looking for “the one” (and driving yourself mad), take a tiered approach to sorting through resumes. First, quickly eliminate the “no’s” based on your minimum, but non-negotiable, experience requirements. Then, focus on creating an “A” list and “B” list based on those “nice-to-have” experiences. This way, you can easily assess the top candidates to interview.

Use Social Media Wisely

Having trouble creating a short-list? While it can be tempting to use social media or a quick google search to learn more about someone, this could potentially backfire if not done correctly. Not only can this open the door to more opportunities for bias that could derail your ability to qualify candidates objectively, but it could also pose some legal issues. If you do decide to use social media to inform your decision, use it consistently for each candidate. The criteria that can tip the scales in a candidate’s favor, or be considered a red flag, should be fair, legal, and established beforehand. To be completely safe, consider enlisting the help of a third party like a recruiting firm to reduce legal risks.

Let People Down Easy

When you can only interview a few candidates out of a large group, there will inevitably be many disappointed applicants. But don’t burn any bridges by ignoring unqualified candidates. These candidates might not have the right experience today, but they could be perfect for another opportunity down the road. An individual phone call to each applicant is not necessary: A standard and polite rejection email should be enough to keep candidates from feeling unnoticed and also give them closure.

Get Help from the Professionals

As a hospitality business owner, you would probably rather spend your valuable time and energy on running your business, not sorting through resumes. If you simply cannot find the time to look at each resume, enlist the help of experienced hospitality recruiters. They will not only save time but also give you peace of mind that each resume and application has been assessed fairly and objectively. Contact Horizon Hospitality to learn how we can help.


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