Career Red Flags to Watch Out for During a Hotel Executive Search

Conducting a successful hotel executive search is a challenging endeavor for any hospitality company. While there are many interested candidates, some are unqualified and others are just “bad news.” Unfortunately, a poor hire at the executive level can have devastating effects that resonate throughout the entire organization.

There’s no perfect science to recruitment, but companies are wise to make note of these 8 major, candidate red flags:

  • Job-Hopping 

    Candidates with frequent changes in employment can be bad news even at the executive level. This common red flag is not limited to just entry-level workers. High-powered executives sometimes bounce around due to poor performance, lack of tenacity, and integrity issues.

  • Non-Corporate Positions 

    There’s nothing wrong with working for smaller companies, but hotel executives who only work in non-corporate environments may lack a strong foundation of training and best practices. Large corporations usually set high expectations for their employees. Candidates who have benefited from corporate work culture are often stronger than those with less career diversity.

  • Poor/Few References 

    Unfortunately, professional references aren’t a sure-fire way to vet candidates. The reality is that references can be faked, can be “coached,” and most people only cite those that are likely to give a favorable review. Therefore, it’s a huge red flag if a candidate struggles to provide multiple references.

  • Lack of Resume Details 

    A hotel executive’s resume should list detailed accomplishments relating to financial performance metrics, etc. If a candidate speaks too generally and can’t cite specific accomplishments, he/she was likely a mediocre employee. When combined with a history of job-hopping, it may even reveal why he/she is seeking new employment.

  • Arrogance 

    There is never room for arrogance in a healthy workplace, and hotel executives don’t have immunity. In fact, company culture is usually created at the top levels and permeates downward throughout the entire organization. Arrogant leaders create a hostile environment that hurts morale and leads to poor customer service.

  • Stagnation 

    In today’s world of online training and the proliferation of instantly available information, there’s no excuse for not learning new skills. Even older hotel executives can expand their skill sets in e-commerce, online marketing, and social media. The hospitality industry is particularly susceptible to technological disruption, so hotel executives must always be on top of their game.

  • High-Turnover Teams 

    Very few indicators reflect poor leadership more than unhappy employees and lack of retention. It’s sometimes hard to acquire turnover stats on other companies when conducting a hotel executive search. But, savvy interviewers can attempt to pull information from references or reach out to current and former employees via LinkedIn.

  • Non-Hospitality Focus 

    Great hotel executives can be recruited from a variety of industries. However, it can be a red flag when experienced professionals seek a drastic career change without a good explanation. Hiring managers should exercise extra due diligence when considering non-hospitality folks during a hotel executive search.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that none of these red flags is an automatic disqualifier when conducting a hotel executive search. However, they may indicate the need for additional candidate screening. Strong company leadership is simply too important to roll the dice and hope for good luck!

If your company is conducting a hotel executive search or is in need of other great hospitality employees, be sure to consult with the industry’s best staffing firm today!

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If you are looking to hire and need help sourcing great candidates quickly, connect with Goodwin Recruiting.