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Catherine Ang, The South Beach

Going behind the scenes of a recruitment drive

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Managing a recruitment drive is more than simply filling roles with applicants who meet the required skill sets, writes Catherine Ang, human resource director at The South Beach.

With a surge in demand for manpower across the hospitality industry in Singapore, companies are having to adapt their recruitment approach in order to acquire and retain quality talent.

At the same time, the industry is experiencing a shortfall of willing and experienced talent to support the growing sector.

The challenge therefore is how the industry can better align job demands and employee skills – across all levels of the value chain, from front-of-the-house to behind-the-scenes – to capture the potential of the market in Singapore.

The solution: A recruitment drive

Orchestrating a recruitment drive for a large organisation is more than simply filling roles with applicants who meet the required skill sets.

In preparation for the opening of The South Beach later this year, a unique approach was devised to curate a dream-team effort, in order to attract a large volume of potentially-right candidates in a timely and cost-effective manner.

The drive was the first step in introducing potential candidates to what the brand stands for, and this was reflected in the design of the hotel to the people running the show.

What works, and what doesn’t

The hiring drive was held from 9am through to 9pm to accommodate all working hours and extend the search to a greater pool of applicants.

The hiring drive was held from 9am through to 9pm to accommodate all working hours and extend the search to a greater pool of applicants.

In addition to advertisements on traditional media, outreach on digital channels was necessary to maximising engagement. For instance, LinkedIn targeted a specific audience, helping to spread the word across Singapore.

The traditional form filling process was excluded, in a bid to avoid applicants having to spend time repeating answers on paper unnecessarily.

Instead, upon walking in, they received an in-house designed, pocket-sized recruitment card that contained information to help organise them into groups, making for a more efficient and streamlined process.

This idea also took into consideration the company’s environmental policy to conserve resources.

Executing recruitment of this kind requires an extensive team. The HR team running the event was armed with flawless logistics coordination, interpersonal communication skills, and management.

The world of hospitality is known for being a vibrant, lively and diverse industry to work in, and whether applying for front-of-house or behind-the-scenes roles, candidates were identified on their potential and enthusiasm to create experiences for guests from all over the world.

Preparation before the big day

In order to manage the large volume of candidates coming through the drive, it was important that all department heads were fully briefed on how to conduct the most effective interviews, on time.

The traditional form filling process was excluded, in a bid to avoid applicants having to spend time repeating answers on paper unnecessarily.

In preparation, HR led the initiative of organising training workshops for them.

Called ‘the behavioural approach’, the workshop was developed to ensure that all interviewers practiced a consistent and structured way of interviewing candidates.

It covered the impact of selection, education on the approach, tips on how to conduct an interview and decision making.

Research shows that by adopting the behavioural approach, interviewers are more likely to predict which candidates would be higher performers and subsequently, companies would be more likely to hire candidates of the right fit.

Additionally candidates benefit from this approach, as an objective and information-based interview heightens their impression of the prospective company, making it easier to accept the role.

The job applicants’ view

To ensure applicants felt at ease throughout the process, a calm, welcoming and fun environment was instilled. Candidates who came in early helped to spread the word to fellow candidates about their experience.

Making candidates feel relaxed and confident during an interview is important to letting their true personalities shine and enabling companies to find the best candidate.

By adopting the behavioural approach, interviewers are more likely to predict which candidates would be higher performers and subsequently, companies would be more likely to hire candidates of the right fit.

This proved to be a successful exercise for us. The South Beach garnered over 1000 interested candidates during the recruitment drive, unearthing a significant number of individuals that showed potential.

In the lead up to the property’s opening, The South Beach will start to fill the open roles.

The company’s investment in its recruitment drive not only highlighted talent ready to support the hospitality industry, but helped change the perception that demand is outweighing candidate supply.



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