Creating an Unrivaled Candidate Experience at Kew Green Hotels

Recruitment in the hospitality sector faces a unique set of challenges, with 82% of employers claiming it’s harder than ever to find suitable staff. But for Kew Green Hotels the solution lies in creating a quick and fun candidate experience, which has earned them a spot among the finalists for Best Candidate Experience at the 2018 In-house Recruitment Awards. Our award category partner Candidate.ID finds out more about the secret to their success.

In 2017, HR at Kew Green Hotels became the ‘people’ function, split into three specialist areas, hired Natasha Nagra in October and established a talent resourcing team to take the business forward from a ‘no careers site’ position.

After a review of existing resourcing processes, challenges and opportunities, a variety of initiatives were established including:

1. Of course, the creation of the company’s first careers site

  • In partnership with StartMonday, Kew Green put together a simple to use mobile candidate experience; imperative in the hospitality industry.

2. Removal of the reliance on CV applications and adoption of predictive people analytics platform Cognisess which has allowed Kew Green to:

  • Offer candidates alternative ways to apply for opportunities including taking part in games online or submitting a 15 second video. My personal view on this is that the more flexible you are with your application process, naturally, the more suitable applications you’ll generate. This is also very useful for people in hospitality, often working long and unsociable hours.
  • Encourage applications based on who people are rather than what they’ve done, which is vital in determining a great cultural fit before the people-focused skills the company expects.
  • By using cognitive neuroscience and data analytics, each member of the existing team was invited to play a series of short games, which has provided the company with a detailed map of the competences and behaviours which top performers display, to identify what ‘outstanding’ looks like at Kew Green.
  • Provide real-time feedback so that each candidate knows if they should prepare for a next step or move on, irrespective of the outcome of their application.

3. Creation of what I describe as a ‘talent brand’employee videos for each department in the hotels using the organisation’s best brand ambassadors.

  • When candidates can see real people who work for an organisation they are able to imagine themselves working alongside them and that encourages them to take action and apply. My friend Maury Hanigan describes this as ‘finding my tribe’.

Candidate experience is about people, process and technology. The use of tech in Kew Green’s enhanced recruitment process has been developed to appeal to everyone and they have achieved an entirely customisable candidate journey, based on each individual’s preference.

Adam Gordon is CEO and Co-founder at talent pipeline automation software company Candidate.ID


UPDATE: The 2018 winners in the Best Candidate Experience category have been announced!

  • Gold winners: Reward Gateway 
  • Silver winners: North Yorkshire Police
  • Bronze winners: Kew Green Hotels

To view all winners click here.

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