Staffing for Success in a Competitive Labor Market

Large Themed Resort

As the owners of a large resort complex prepared to open a new hotel in a competitive labor market, they requested the support of Carpedia Hospitality to analyze the hiring process of their shared Human Resources (HR) department to determine whether the undertaking of staffing the new property could be handled by the existing recruiting team.


The resort complex’s five-member recruiting team often felt overwhelmed with their workload, posting and filling requisitions for hundreds of positions servicing over 2,200 rooms, 15 restaurants, expansive convention space, and a diverse recreation program. The HR department also claimed responsibility for a greater portion of recruiting tasks than typical properties, for example: conducting one-on-one interviews for non-skilled positions in an effort to minimize the workload of operating managers. For tasks that were left with the hiring departments’ leaders, a thorough review process was in place as the recruiting team did not routinely trust them to fill out paperwork accurately or communicate with candidates effectively. Additionally, the open concept of the HR office and helpful nature of the team frequently led to recruiters being approached by current employees for assistance, distracting them from their planned daily tasks.

The geographical area where the resort was located had recently seen a boom in the supply of available hospitality jobs, resulting in a higher rate of candidates refusing job offers or dropping out in the middle of the recruiting process after accepting a position elsewhere. No-shows to interviews were a common occurrence, derailing schedules and resulting in frequent rework. Leaders were concerned about maintaining a hiring pace that was fast enough to avoid losing out on the most qualified candidates for their existing operation, but also needed to source candidates in order to ramp-up for the opening of the new property being added to the complex. These concerns were exacerbated by the lack of visibility to metrics associated with the recruiting process – no tracking or reporting was available to demonstrate the number of candidates being funneled through the process, let alone at what pace. Additionally, as there was not a direct tie between the annual staffing compendium and the positions being requested to be filled, there was a downstream impact to operational costs that could be avoided.


In order to understand how to streamline recruiting performance, Carpedia Hospitality first set out to understand the current state by analyzing available data to establish baselines. Because the corporate recruiting software used by the property did not offer reporting related to candidate volume or hiring pace, Consultants collaborated with the recruiting manager to identify a representative sample set of completed requisitions. These requisitions were then mapped step-by-step through the newly constructed recruiting processing funnel to determine the average length of time associated with each phase of the recruiting funnel for different types of positions. From there, observations were conducted to understand the process for portions of the funnel where candidates experienced the most significant delays.

Through observations and interviews with the team, Carpedia Hospitality identified which tasks required a human touch, and which steps could potentially be automated. Solutions were recommended to provide automated confirmations of interviews and orientation dates, allowing candidates an easy avenue to cancel in order to avoid schedule disruptions associated with no-shows and minimize time on the phone for recruiters answering recurring logistical questions. Common department manager administrative mistakes were identified and a system for accountability was mapped out to effectively coach leaders and avoid undue responsibility left with the recruiters. Peak times for employee drop-ins were noted and tasks were planned leaving space to assist during times when the receptionist would be away or overwhelmed.

A system for tracking and reviewing time to fill was mapped out to flag and diagnose delays that would likely result in candidates moving on, given historical drop out and no-show rates. Analysis also highlighted areas where turnover was significantly higher than others so that further review could be conducted with department leadership and through exit interviews to find strategies to promote retention. Finally, the HR department’s on-going workload was visible and able to be effectively forecasted given known lead times, direct and indirect activities, pace and a refined process, which resulted in rebalancing roles and responsibilities to ensure key tasks did not exceed the department’s available capacity throughout routine periods or peak demand seasons.


The streamlined processes combined with consistent visibility to and focus on time to fill freed up an average of 8 hours per week in each recruiter’s schedule, which was enough to sustain the workload associated with the new opening without increasing department headcount. Additionally, expediting time to fill positions led to a more consistent success rate in hiring the most desirable candidate for the posted role, ultimately contributing to an improved overall culture at the resort complex.

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