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Viewpoint - Bob Gershberg - February 2023



Recruiting in a Tight Talent Market

by Bob Gershberg, CEO/Managing Partner, Wray Executive Search

We in the hospitality industry are driven to delight our guests.  We roll out the red carpet for the fellow buying his morning cup of coffee.  We do somersaults to serve up a San Pellegrino, no ice with lemon to the classy lady at the bar.  And heaven knows, we will bring service to unparalleled levels when the jovial four top orders that second bottle of Caymus.  How is it then, we so often neglect to treat the executive candidate who has shown great interest in joining our team in similar fashion?

In a tight talent market, candidates have more options and are more likely to be selective about their job search. Creating a strong employer brand that communicates your company's values, mission, and culture can help attract top talent and differentiate your company from competitors.

Offer competitive compensation and benefits: In a tight talent market, candidates have more bargaining power, so offering a competitive compensation and benefits package is crucial to attract and retain top talent. Research industry standards and adjust your offers accordingly. Also, consider offering flexible work arrangements and other perks that are important to executives, such as equity or profit-sharing.

When the talent pool is tight, it can be difficult to find qualified candidates in your immediate area. Consider expanding your search to other regions or to similar industries to find the talent you need. And by all means, streamline your hiring process. A lengthy and complicated hiring process can turn off top talent, especially when they have other options available. Streamlining your hiring process and making it as efficient and straightforward as possible can help you attract the best. Set clear expectations and timelines for each stage of the process and communicate regularly with candidates to keep them engaged.

Emphasize career development and growth opportunities. Top talent is often looking for career development and growth opportunities. Emphasizing your company's commitment to employee development and providing opportunities for career growth can help attract and retain top talent. In a tight talent market, it's important to cast a wide net. Utilize a variety of recruitment channels, such as social media, industry events, job fairs, employee referrals, and targeted job boards or better yet, hire a great search firm!

Overall, recruiting executives in a tight talent market requires a strategic approach and a focus on building strong relationships with candidates. By developing a strong employer brand, utilizing multiple recruitment channels, offering competitive compensation and benefits, streamlining the hiring process, and emphasizing growth and development opportunities, you can attract and retain top talent in your organization.

It's true that a company's recruiting process can reflect its image. The way a company approaches recruiting can influence the perceptions of potential candidates, current employees, and the wider community. For example, if a company has a fair and inclusive recruiting process that prioritizes diversity, it can be seen as a forward-thinking and socially responsible organization. On the other hand, if a company has a disorganized or biased recruiting process, it may create a negative perception of the company. Recruiting is often the first point of contact that a candidate has with a company, so it's essential to approach it with a well-planned and positive strategy. A good recruiting process can help a company attract top talent, improve employee engagement, and enhance its reputation. Moreover, the recruiting process can also serve as an opportunity for companies to showcase their unique culture and values. Companies that prioritize employee well-being, work-life balance, or social responsibility can use their recruitment process to highlight those values and attract candidates who share the same values.

Facilitating the recruiting process from phone screen to job offer is cumbersome at best.  Accommodating the busy schedules of both candidate and hiring authority can test any admin’s mettle.  Add the burden of travel arrangements, flight delays and day to day snafus along with the gathering of feedback from the various parties involved, it is no wonder the process can become overwhelming.  But wait….we are restaurant and hospitality folks.  We thrive on an industry with lots of moving parts.  We are best when challenged with a bit too much on our plates.  The truth is we need to focus on treating the professionals interviewing with our companies as we do our guests, particularly during these tight talent pool times.

Best practice companies need to align their recruiting process with the culture and class of the company itself.  It is not easy to accomplish this goal while running and growing our complex entities, but it is imperative.  To court and support those interested in joining our teams will serve us well.  It is clearly worth the effort and as hospitality companies it is precisely what we do!

In the words of the late Robert Half, “Time spent on hiring is time well spent”.

All the best,


Bob Gershberg |CEO|Managing Partner|

(888) 875-9993 ext 102

Finding tomorrow’s leaders today!

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