Looking for hotel staff? Here's how to write the perfect job ad!
Writing a job ad may seem like a mundane task, but there are clear rules to follow to stand out in the crowd of offers and attract the best candidates for you. Find out about all of them!
If you are reading this article because you are about to open positions in your hospitality business, let us tell you right now: hiring requires commitment. That's always true, but it's especially true in a time like this, where companies in the hospitality industry are struggling to find staff... as it means you'll have competition!
The first thing to remember is that the proverb "the first impression counts" applies not only to applicants, but also to you as the employer.
Just as you probably wouldn't consider a candidate who arrives late for an interview, who is untidy in appearance or confused in expressing themselves, your job ad is also at risk of being ignored if it is not posted on the right channels, if it doesn't contain all the necessary information, or if it is unclearly written.
That's why in this article you will discover the rules for writing an effective ad and succeeding in attracting talented workers!
Basic structure of a job ad
After you have decided what professional figures your accommodation needs (here you will find an example of an organizational chart for a hotel to make the key roles clear), you will have to write a job ad capable of standing out among the flood of ads posted every day by your competitors.
How to do that? By making it as simple, clear and complete as possible! The more attention you pay to this step, the less likely you are to end up with applications that do not match the role you are looking for.
Here are the sections that should never be missing from your ad:
The job ad title is critical not only to capture the attention of potential candidates, but also to be easily indexed by search engines.
It should therefore be short, clear, and include keywords specific to the role. For example, "Receptionist for luxury hotel in Barcelona," "Marketing officer for B&B just outside Florence," "Housekeeping manager for serviced apartments in downtown Amsterdam."
2) Job Location
In this section, you should indicate your exact address and specify whether candidates need to drive to reach the location or whether it is served by local public transportation. If the role involves travel, you will need to roughly outline the expectations.
This is an optional section, but very useful to catch the eye and entice people to read the rest of the ad. You should write a few lines in which you summarize the main information about the role, company, and terms offered. Here is an example:
"Would you like to work in a family-run hotel in downtown Rome, where you can join our mission to make every stay unforgettable? We are looking for a receptionist with excellent knowledge of English and great interpersonal skills. We offer a permanent contract, with competitive pay and shifts that promote work-life balance"
4) Description of the facility
A company description is a key element to be effective and engaging. This is the section where you talk about your company culture, focusing on the history, mission, values and benefits of working at your facility. Here is an example:
„The Courtyard is a wonderful hotel nestled among the narrow Edinburgh of Venice, open since 1990 and appreciated for its refined, yet familiar atmosphere. We believe in gracious hospitality, comfort and attention to detail, values we apply daily both in our service to our guests and in our relationship with staff members."
5) Role Description
The part about the role is the most important section of the job posting, as it clearly outlines the duties and expectations related to the position. It must be accurate, realistic and motivating to those reading it. Good practice is to avoid vague or ambiguous terms. Here is an example:
"As a receptionist, you will be the face of the hotel and the first point of contact for our guests. You will handle check-in and check-out, reservations, inquiries and any complaints, as well as implement our upselling strategy with friendliness and professionalism. You will also manage the cash register, invoices and collaborate with other departments. By choosing to work with us, you will have the opportunity to join a modern facility, receive ongoing training and be part of an already close-knit team."
6) Required skills (or requirements)
Here you should specify skills, studies and professional experience that you believe are necessary to fill a particular role, focusing on technical skills (or hard skills, such as knowledge of foreign languages or specific software).
If you feel it is essential to also add "desired" skills, that is, those that enrich the candidate's profile but are not decisive, remember to keep them well separated from the former. An example might be:
- High school diploma
- At least one year of experience as a hotel receptionist
- Good knowledge of English (level B2)
- Mastery of Office package and major hotel management software
- Willingness to work in shifts
- Knowledge of another language (German, French)
- Experience in selling extra services
7) Financial offer
If you are as transparent as possible on this matter, you will prevail over the many vague ads available online. If your facility has a welfare program or employee benefits, now is the time to show them off (if you want to learn more about this you can read our article on how to attract and retain talent)!
Remember: the European Parliament recently passed a directive on equal pay and pay transparency that requires companies, by 2026, to disclose the Gross Annual Remuneration): starting to include this now will be one more point in your favor. Here's an example:
Your contract will be permanent, with a gross salary between 27,000 and 35,000 euros to be defined according to skills and experience. In addition, you will receive ongoing training, meal vouchers, one free weekend per month, and housing options.
8) Application guidelines
In this section you will need to specify how to apply: do you want to receive a cover letter attached to the resume? Is it necessary to fill out a form on your site? When is the deadline for submitting applications? Remember to structure the process as simple and straightforward as possible, with clear deadlines.
Give your job ad an "extra touch"
What you've read so far are the basics of a job ad, i.e., the bare minimum to make sure you receive applications that match what you're looking for as closely as possible and keep the whole process streamlined, without wasting time.
If, however, you really want to make your ad unique and foolproof, there are some simple steps you can take. Let's look at them together!
Address the prospect directly and avoid jargon
The best way to build an open and direct relationship with the person who will be joining your team from the start is to eliminate unnecessary barriers and formalities. So avoid talking about the candidate in the third person (The person will take care of...) and prefer the second person (You will take care of...).
Also, make a clean sweep of turns of phrase and technical jargon: management software is better than PMS, revenue management system is better than RMS. Your ad doesn't have to be a puzzle to decipher!
Take care of formatting (and grammar)
It may seem trivial, but even the best of ads will suffer from a lack of structure and formatting. Try to avoid large blocks of text, which are not conducive to reading: divide your ad into sections, distinguish headings from their respective paragraphs using bold and, where possible, organize concepts in bulleted lists.
When finished writing, reread or, even better, ask someone else to read the ad to check its fluency and grammatical correctness.
Explain the selection process
Looking for a job is, in itself, an activity potentially accompanied by fear and uncertainty. That is why, in order to set yourself apart from others, it is essential to give information about all stages of the selection process (and then stick to it in reality!) For example:
"Applications will be collected and evaluated no later than October 10. By October 15 you will receive feedback from us, either positive or negative. This will be followed by an interview with the hotel's general manager and ideally the employment will begin in the spring."
Include testimonials from your employees
If possible, ask your current employees to write a few lines about their experience working at your hotel. This will serve to give potential candidates an overview of the company atmosphere more effectively than any self-referential description.
Pay attention to your choice of requirements
It has been shown that women respond to an ad only if they have 100% of the required qualifications, while men will respond if they identify with at least 60% of the listed requirements.
This means that it is crucial to be realistic and limit yourself to the skills that are truly essential for the position, leaving aside those that are generic or can be easily acquired. Also, it is advisable to avoid stereotypes such as the requirement to "be a multitasker" or "work well under stress" and possibly include more specific skills.
Respond to unsuitable candidates as well
Although this point refers to a time after the publication of the job ad, it is worth specifying it. Only by responding to all applications, even those that are unsuccessful, will you have the benefit of increasing your reputation as an employer and, indirectly, that of your accommodation as well.
In this article, you have discovered the basic elements to include in a job ad as well as the "tricks" to apply in order to succeed in standing out among the multitude of job offers for the hospitality industry.
If you want to save these tips for use right away or keep them aside for when you find yourself needing to write an ad, we have prepared a quick and practical checklist that you can print out to keep it handy and make sure you don't forget anything.
In addition, as part of the checklist, you will also find an in-depth look at the best channels to use to post your ad and links to the main portals to take advantage of to make sure you don't miss out on the best candidates.