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Hotels

A hotel receptionist and text reading "This Simple Strategy Helps Hotels Compete With Airbnb"

This Simple Strategy Helps Hotels Compete With Airbnb

This Simple Strategy Helps Hotels Compete With Airbnb 1016 528 Sprockets

Airbnb has drastically changed the landscape of the lodging industry since 2008. It now boasts over five million listings (more rooms for rent than any hotel chain), with hosts attracting over 500 million guests annually. The rental company shows no sign of slowing down, worrying hotel owners and managers around the globe. However, there’s nothing wrong with some competition. It can be a catalyst for positive change, and we’ll gladly guide you through it. Discover how hotels can compete with Airbnb by following the strategies outlined below.

Of course, any successful business needs a foundation of fantastic employees. The first thing you should do to compete with Airbnb is to hire more applicants like your current top performers. It’s easy with Sprockets, a hiring platform that top brands trust to build a strong, cohesive staff that stays long-term. It’s proven to boost employee retention by 43%!

How Can Hotels Compete With Airbnb?

Understand Airbnb’s Impact on the Hotel Industry

Aside from the sheer number of lodging options available to potential guests now, Airbnb has had a profound impact on the hotel industry and travel trends. It has made unique experiences just a few clicks away. People can stay in anything from a treehouse in Alabama to an igloo in Alaska with stunning views of the Northern Lights. This trend is compounded by the fact that younger generations, including Millennials and Gen-Zers, value memorable experiences more than ever before. Ultimately, Airbnb has become their preferred choice when it comes to travel.

Hotels vs. Airbnb: Play to Your Strengths

While travelers choose Airbnb for its unique properties at reasonable prices, hotels have their own advantages. For instance, many business travelers still prefer to stay at hotels, especially those with their desired amenities and a convenient location near restaurants and convention centers. Hotel guests also enjoy daily housekeeping, complimentary breakfast, room service, workout facilities, and more. They may even get access to spa services, depending on your hotel. 

Set Yourself Apart With Top-Tier Service

According to a report by Deloitte, “Hoteliers need to turbocharge the guest experience and tune into their needs to drive loyalty and increase repeat business.” Take advantage of the fact that you can offer guests amenities and services that Airbnb properties lack. Do this by promoting them on your website, OTAs, and especially your Airbnb listing if you choose to advertise on their platform. Just make sure you deliver on the value you promise guests. A positive guest experience often makes the difference between a repeat booking and a negative review that could damage your reputation.

Maximize Your Chance of Success With Sprockets

Hotels have that “human element” that sets them apart from Airbnb rentals, but you need a staff full of five-star employees to deliver a five-star experience. It’s easier than you think. Simply hire more applicants like your current top performers using Sprockets’ hiring platform. It predicts success with pinpoint precision, enabling you to make the best hiring decisions and provide incredible guest experiences that will turn visitors into repeat customers — and inspire them to leave glowing reviews online!

Get a free, 15-minute demo to start hiring the best hotel staff so you can compete with Airbnb.

A hotel worker and a list of personality traits
A hotel receptionist and text reading "Hotel Industry Trends in 2022: What You Need to Know"

Hotel Industry Trends in 2022: What You Need to Know

Hotel Industry Trends in 2022: What You Need to Know 1016 528 Sprockets

Staying ahead of trends is the key to success in a competitive industry like hospitality. It could mean the difference between guests choosing your hotel over a competitor, and on a larger scale, it determines the level of success you can achieve. Make your business the best it can be — and help it stay that way by keeping a keen eye on these hotel industry trends.

One of the top hospitality trends of 2022 is not a positive one, but it can be turned around. We’re talking about the rapidly increasing struggle to attract applicants. Luckily, there’s a free guide that can help: 4 Steps to Reduce Your Reliance on Applicant Flow. You’ll discover how to overcome the labor shortage with ease!

Top 3 Hotel Industry Trends

The Rise of Technology

Unless you own a romantic bed and breakfast in the mountains where the sole purpose is for guests to leave the world behind, then you need to stay ahead of hotel technology trends. And it’s much more than simply offering free Wi-Fi. You need to go above and beyond with technology that creates a top-notch guest experience and sets you apart from competitors. Consider putting Amazon Alexas in every room, offering keyless entry via an app, and adding virtual tours to your website so potential guests can look before they book.

All of your technology doesn’t have to focus on the guest experience, though. Recent innovations can make your life easier, as well, like AI-powered revenue management systems and convenient employee scheduling tools. There’s even a hiring platform that predicts applicant success, empowering you to find the right fit for your hotel and boost employee retention by an average of 43%!

A Greater Focus on Sustainability

87% of travelers want to travel sustainably, and 68% of clients actively seek eco-friendly hotels. So, it’s no longer optional to implement eco-friendly initiatives at your hotel. You must consider sustainable practices if you want to attract the most guests and maximize occupancy. 

There’s a wide variety of green practices you can try, from putting environmentally friendly amenities in bathrooms to installing solar panels on your roof. It can even be as simple as choosing cleaning products that don’t contain any harmful chemicals.

The Growing Popularity of “Bleisure” Trips

Millennials tend to value experiences more than tangible possessions, which might contribute to the recent increase in “bleisure” trips. Essentially, people are extending business trips so that they can stay for a bit longer and enjoy destinations without the stress of work. These “mini-vacations” often involve them bringing friends or family members along. 

Take advantage of this trend by promoting how your hotel can be the best of both worlds. You can advertise conference rooms, workspaces, desks, and your convenient location to business-travel hotspots. Then, you can tie it all together by mentioning how it’s the perfect place to relax with luxurious accommodations and tourist attractions nearby.

Is Your Retention Trending Downward?

One trend that we hate to see is a decrease in hotel employee retention. While some hoteliers simply accept it as part of doing business in the hospitality industry, others solve the problem with Sprockets. Our staffing solution is proven to reduce costly turnover by helping you make the best hiring decisions every time. It reveals which applicants will succeed and stay long-term like your best workers, improving employee retention by an average of 43%!

Get your free, 15-minute demo to quickly stabilize staffing levels at your hotel.

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Hotel staff tends to hotel garden

How Hoteliers and Guests Can Reap the Benefits of Hotel Sustainability

How Hoteliers and Guests Can Reap the Benefits of Hotel Sustainability 1016 528 Sprockets

Suppose a guest asked you how your hotel is positively contributing to the environment and  what green practices your brand currently follows. What would you say? It’s important to not only be prepared to answer these types of questions, but to have sustainable practices in place as 73% of U.S. travelers believe sustainable travel is now “vital.” Take a look at these sustainable ideas so you can reduce your hotel’s carbon footprint and attract more travelers. 

Of course, hotel sustainability starts with employees who truly care about bettering the environment. Find more passionate, driven individuals that will succeed and stay long-term with this hiring solution that’s proven to increase staff retention by 43%, on average. 

 

 

What Is Hotel Sustainability? 

“Going green” is much more than a marketing strategy or trendy buzzword. Sustainable hotels are eco-friendly lodging businesses that truly make an effort to reduce their energy, water usage, and waste to benefit the environment.

Why Is Hotel Sustainability Important? 

Since the pandemic, sustainable hotels are more important than ever to travelers. When stopping to rest at a hotel, resort, or motel, 48% of travelers are frustrated when they discover the business fails to follow green practices such as recycling or composting. Additionally, 67% of guests would actually spend more money if it would “reduce the environmental impact of their stay.” Your guests have spoken — it’s time to implement eco-friendly concepts at your hotel.

Sustainable Hotel Ideas and Solutions

1. Encourage Staff and Guests to Recycle

This one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many hotels aren’t already recycling. 14 million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans every year. Reduce the amount of waste that gets thrown into landfills (that inevitably ends up in the ocean) by recycling as much as possible. Encourage guests to do so by placing small recycling bins in common areas, outside the building, and small ones inside every guest room.

2. Try Composting 

Does your hotel or resort offer a complimentary breakfast or meal? If so, composting will be a piece of cake. Hang a “Compost” sign near the trash and recycling bins. Guests can add banana peels, fruit cores, egg shells, and any other compost-friendly materials. Composting improves plant growth, reduces water runoff, locks in minerals and nutrients, and helps control soil erosion. You can even mix your compost into the soil of your hotel garden or around the landscape perimeter. 

3. Buy Food Locally and Start a Hotel Garden

When people travel, they want an authentic experience. What better way to show the taste of your location than by sourcing all your food and beverages from local farms and grocery stores? For example, say your hotel is located in Door County, Wisconsin. You could showcase the town’s famous cherries, cheese, and wine. Or, if you really want to get your hands dirty, consider planting a garden at your hotel, providing your guests with fresh fruits and vegetables. This sustainable practice reduces greenhouse gas and fossil fuel emissions because food trucks aren’t traveling thousands of miles to your hotel. You’ll save money on shipping costs and the food will be fresher (and healthier) for your guests.

4. Implement Biodegradable Straws

Even small changes like this can have a big impact. InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Marriott International eliminated plastic straws from their locations worldwide, removing about 1 billion plastic straws from the oceans and landfills. IHG CEO, Keith Barr, stated, “There is always more we can do to minimize waste, but the work we’re doing to reduce single-use plastic is a powerful example of how we can come together with guests, owners and colleagues to drive positive change.” 

5. Place Occupancy-Based Sensors in Every Hotel Room

These sensors are an energy conservation technology that can easily be placed in hotel rooms. They’re able to detect when a room is unoccupied and shut off the power. It’s a plus for eco-friendly guests because they can relax without having to worry about wasting energy (or turning lights on and off). Occupancy-based sensors also benefit hoteliers because they dramatically reduce hotel energy cost per room. 

6. Switch to LED Lighting 

Energy-efficient LED lights are a growing technology in the hotel industry. Why? They save up to 20 to 25% of energy compared to traditional, iridescent lighting. LED lights even last longer, saving you time and money you would normally spend on high electric costs.

7. Add More Houseplants to Your Common Areas

Not only are live plants aesthetically pleasing and relaxing, but the right ones can purify your air through photosynthesis. The process converts the carbon dioxide we breathe out into oxygen. Plus, houseplants clean your air, removing harmful toxins. Especially during a pandemic, adding live plants to your lobby, guest rooms, and other areas of your hotel will positively impact the environment and enhance your guests’ experience.

8. Go Paperless With an Automated Hiring Process

Say goodbye to piles of paperwork when you transform your hiring process with Sprockets! Our Applicant Matching System empowers hoteliers to predict applicant success before the interview and without a resume. How is this possible? The process is simple — your current top performers answer three brief questions and receive a Fit Score out of ten. Their scores will then be used as a benchmark to predict the success of incoming applicants who take the same survey. It’s proven to work and trusted by top brands like Taco Bell to increase employee retention by 43%, on average. In fact, we’re so confident in the accuracy of our solution that we hire and retain our own team members with Sprockets.

Hotel guest holding a smart phone

The Essential Guide to Hotel Technology

The Essential Guide to Hotel Technology 1016 528 Sprockets

Nearly 4 million hospitality jobs were lost in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the American Hospitality and Lodging Association. As the hospitality industry recovers from recent hardships, it’s time to take a closer look at your hotel technology. We know finding the right solution for your hotel can be a challenge. It might not even be on your current list of to-do’s. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of lodging tech essentials to ensure a positive, exceptional experience for your guests and a profitable, stress-free environment for you. We’ll even tell you about a hiring solution that is proven to boost staff retention by 43%.

 

 

Benefits of Technology in the Hotel Industry

Hotel technology optimizes daily operations to ensure your business runs smoothly. Before we dive into which tools are right for you, here are some of the many benefits of implementing hotel technology. 

  • Save Time and Money 
  • Predict Hotel Industry Trends
  • Improve Sustainability Practices
  • Create a More Enjoyable Guest Experience
  • Boost Hotel Staff Retention 
  • Increase Hotel Revenue

Current Technology Solutions in the Hospitality Industry

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

According to Hotel Technology News, artificial intelligence in the hotel industry is “imperative in order to stay in business.” In the last four years, AI has grown by 270%. However, when it comes to AI hospitality, there are some common misconceptions. 

AI is not meant to replace employees. Rather, it allows hotel staff to spend more time on everyday tasks. Although there are a plethora of examples of artificial intelligence in the hotel industry, we narrowed it down to three useful ones:   

  • Revenue Management System: Supercharge your revenue with this AI pricing decision tool. “The speed and complexity of the pricing decisions are unmatched by the most seasoned revenue manager.” Hotels large and small have seen dramatic results, with top brands reporting an increase in annual revenue by millions of dollars and smaller ones reporting a 15% “sales lift.”

 

  • Smart Hotels: Smartphones, smart homes, smart… hotels? Yup, that’s right. These tech-savvy hotels are mostly automated through the Internet of Things (IoT) for the benefit of guests and owners. From Amazon Echo devices in guests’ hotel rooms to apps that allow guests to check in and control the entirety of their stay, smart hotels could be the future of the lodging industry. 

 

  • Sprockets: Imagine what you could do if you could clone your best hotel employee. The possibilities are endless with Sprockets, a hiring platform that predicts which applicants will succeed like your current top performers. Our solution empowers hoteliers to build strong, cohesive staff that will go above and beyond for their guests and stay long-term. Forget sifting through piles of paperwork and wasting time with bad interviews — Sprockets is proven to reduce time spent on the hiring process by 37%, on average.

 

Sustainable Solutions

Reduce your hotel’s carbon footprint, improve energy efficiency, and attract more travelers with green tools like occupancy-based sensors — climate activists, Millennials, and Gen-Z guests will thank you. In fact, a recent study found that Gen-Zers will lead travel spending in 2022, so it’s important to take their ideals into account. Plus, 67% of all guests would spend a little more to help “reduce the environmental impact of their stay.” 

 

  • Occupancy-Based Sensors: These sensors are placed in hotel rooms and are triggered by motion. They’re able to detect when a room is unoccupied and shut off the power to save energy. In other words, occupancy-based sensors dramatically reduce hotel energy cost per room.

 

  • LED Lighting: Did you know that energy-efficient LED lights save up to 20-25% of energy compared to traditional lighting? Oh, and they even last longer, saving you time (no more replacing light bulbs every month!) and money you would spend on electric costs. No wonder LED lights are a growing technology in the hotel industry.

Why Your Hiring Process Is Broken and How to Fix It

Relax just like your guests and let us tidy up your hiring challenges. If you’ve made it this far but are still stressing over hiring challenges, check out our free guide: Why Your Hiring Process is Broken and How to Fix It. Learn how to attract, hire, and retain the right workers for your hotel by leveraging the mental makeup of your best staff members.

Hiring Guide Mockup
Hotel workers and guests with text reading "Quickly Learn How to Improve Hotel Revenue"

Quickly Learn How to Improve Hotel Revenue

Quickly Learn How to Improve Hotel Revenue 1016 528 Sprockets

It’s no secret that hospitality is one of the industries that was hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of people lost their jobs, and many businesses were forced to close their doors. Travel is also not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024, according to a report by the American Hotel & Lodging Association. However, it’s still possible to stay afloat — even thrive — despite the pandemic and labor crisis. This simple guide on how to improve hotel revenue will help you fill those empty rooms and find success during challenging times.

First, ask yourself is whether or not your current challenges stem from staffing struggles. If the answer is yes, you can skip this whole guide and quickly solve the issue with Sprockets. Our hiring platform reveals which applicants are the right fit for your hotel, making it easy to improve the guest experience, loyalty, reputation, and bookings.

How to Improve Hotel Revenue — Simplified

Track Key Metrics

You won’t be able to identify areas for improvement if you don’t keep track of hotel revenue metrics. Here are a few of the numbers you should keep a close eye on:

  • Occupancy Rate
  • Average Daily Rate
  • Average Length of Stay
  • Revenue per Available Room

The last one, commonly referred to as RevPAR, is arguable the most important indicator of success. There are two ways to measure this: divide room revenue by the total number of available rooms or multiply your average room rate by the occupancy rate.

Also, calculating hotel profit margin can be easily accomplished by dividing net profit (total revenue after subtracting expenses) by total revenue. This should give you a decimal value that you can multiply by 100 to find your profit margin as a percentage.

Promote Direct Bookings

It’s a common practice to promote your hotel via online travel agencies (OTAs), like Expedia and TripAdvisor, but fees from advertisements and commissions can cut into your revenue. While we’re not suggesting you abandon all OTAs, it’s a good idea to try driving more direct bookings. 

You can do this by getting the word out to potential guests about the value they get from booking directly on your website. Often, hoteliers advertise how visitors get the most up-to-date information on availability, access to exclusive specials and add-ons, and even the benefit of establishing direct communication for enhanced service. 

Of course, make sure your direct booking process is user-friendly and convenient since that’s one of the main reasons why so many people use OTAs to book trips.

Hire the Best Applicants

It can cost upwards of $5,000 to replace a single staff member, according to a study by Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research. That’s why you must keep an eye on your hotel labor costs. Specifically, make sure you hire the right applicants every time to avoid costly employee turnover. It’s not only possible — it’s easy with Sprockets’ hiring platform that’s proven to improve 90-day employee retention by 43%, on average.

Staff Smarter With Sprockets

One sure-fire way to reduce hotel operating costs and improve your profit margin is by hiring applicants who will succeed and stay long-term. Sprockets helps you do this by revealing which potential hires share personality traits with your current top performers. The user-friendly dashboard even assigns all incoming applicants with “fit scores” from one to ten, making it simple to select the ideal candidate. You’ll build a strong, cohesive staff that will stay long-term and provide the top-notch guest experience that drives loyalty and additional revenue.

Get a free, 15-minute demo now to start building a high-performance hotel staff.

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Hotel front desk staff happily helps two guests.

Enhance the Guest Experience at Your Hotel With These Terrific Tips

Enhance the Guest Experience at Your Hotel With These Terrific Tips 1016 528 Sprockets

Think back to your best hotel guest experience. What did you enjoy about your stay? What, specifically, made your time at the hotel memorable? Maybe you forgot some basic toiletries, and the staff provided you with complimentary products. Or maybe the front desk employee struck up a conversation that really resonated with you. These small, but meaningful details are the difference between a good and great stay. Avoid the dreaded hotel horror story and learn how to enhance the guest experience at your hotel with these three tips. You’ll even discover how our hiring platform can increase staff retention by an average of 43%.

 

Importance of the Guest Experience in Hotels

Guest satisfaction in the hotel industry is crucial. Good hoteliers should constantly think about how to improve the hotel guest experience as it is pivotal to maintaining your brand. Excellent experiences leave guests happy, drive customer loyalty, and increase revenue. In fact, one study found that positive online reviews significantly increase the number of bookings at a hotel. When guests are happy with their stay, the next time they need to book a vacation or travel for work, they’re more likely to return to one of your locations. If they feel they had an exceptional experience, they may even recommend your hotel to a friend, coworker, or family member. 

The same study found that word of mouth from a “good friend” can outweigh the opinion from the online majority. But beware, the same is true for negative experiences — which can severely damage your brand’s reputation — as a friend’s opinion can outweigh a majority of positive online reviews. 

How to Improve the Hotel Guest Experience

Be sure to take the time to really wow your guests. This could be their first lodging experience since the COVID-19 pandemic. Follow these three tips to ensure a smooth, satisfied hotel guest journey. 

1. Hire Hotel Staff for Fit 

Of course, enhancing the guest experience at your hotel starts with your employees. They are the foundation of your business, and without a strong foundation, your hotel could easily crumble under pressure from industry challenges. 

Hiring for fit focuses on job seekers’ mental makeup, rather than their industry experience. You may want to hire people who are empathetic, outgoing, and adaptable for your hotel. Consider asking applicants specific questions during the interview process to evaluate whether or not they will mesh well with the rest of your staff. 

Tip: Use Sprockets’ hiring solution to reveal which potential hires are the right fit for your hotel based on shared personality traits between applicants and your current top performers, empowering you to retain a strong, cohesive staff that will stay long-term.

 

2. Personalize Each Guest’s Experience

Once you have the best staff for your hotel, train them to personalize each guest’s experience. This is especially important for your front-desk staff as they are likely the first hotel employee your guests will see. Encourage your team to strike up a conversation (another reason why hiring for fit is important!). This could be as simple as asking where they are from, what their plans for their stay are, or offering restaurant recommendations. When they check out, you might even follow up on the chosen topic. Regardless, you want your interaction to be memorable so your guests can see your staff truly cares about the quality of their hotel experience. 

3. Encourage Guest Feedback

What better way to understand how you can enhance your guests’ experiences than by asking your guests themselves? Feel free to get creative with this. For example, you might promote a campaign on your website that if your guests leave a review, they get a certain amount off on their next stay. Or maybe you simply ask them if they enjoyed their stay upon check-out. Whatever the case, be open-minded and willing to listen. Remember, not all feedback is going to be a glowing five-star review, so active listening is key. 

 

Enhance the Guest Experience by Hiring the Best Staff From the Start

Sprockets’ hiring solution empowers you to predict applicant success — before the interview and without a resume – so you can easily build long-lasting staff for your hospitality location. Check out The Essential Guide to Attracting Hourly Workers: Hotel Edition to learn how to optimize job postings to fit your ideal hire and retain high-quality staff before your competitors.

A woman holding towels and text reading "Hotel Staffing: How to Hire and Retain the Best Employees"

Hotel Staffing: How to Hire and Retain the Best Employees

Hotel Staffing: How to Hire and Retain the Best Employees 1016 528 Sprockets

Trying to keep a hotel fully staffed can be a nightmare, keeping owners and managers up at night when they could be resting as soundly as their guests. While hotel staffing is challenging — and has gotten even more difficult with the labor crisis — hoteliers just need to know how to do it the right way. 

Hiring during a hotel staff shortage is easier than you might think when you follow the strategies outlined below. You can also check out our Free Guide to Attracting Hourly Workers: Hotel Edition. It shows you how to hire hotel staff and even predict applicant success so you know who will succeed before spending time on interviews.

What You Need to Know About Hotel Staffing

1. How to Tackle Employee Turnover in the Hotel Industry

One common mistake that has become even more prevalent during the labor shortage is simply hiring anyone who applies. It’s understandable to feel like this is the only solution in a state of desperation to keep your business afloat, but you might end up hiring hotel workers who have a shorter stay than some of your guests.

It’s crucial to improve your retention rate, especially when there’s a 73.8% annual employee turnover rate in the hotel industry. The first step is to understand why employees are leaving. Are they seeking better benefits? Do you need to offer more competitive compensation? There might just be a lack of employee engagement at your hotel, leading to low morale and a sense of unfulfillment with their current career path. Whatever the reason, it’s up to you to fix the problem and boost retention, especially when it comes to keeping your top performers.

2. How to Create a Hotel Staffing Plan

There are 11.3 million job openings in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So, how do you grab the attention of job seekers? And more specifically, how do you get high-quality candidates to apply to your hotel as opposed to a competitor’s?

First, make the most of your recruitment efforts. Think about your ideal applicant and the job boards they might frequent. Some of the best hospitality job boards include HCareers, HospitalityOnline, and HotelCareer. Of course, you can always stick to the classics, like Indeed and ZipRecruiter, but you must optimize your advertisement before listing it anywhere. Many job seekers simply scan the descriptions and decide within a matter of seconds whether or not they want to apply. Include important elements such as a specific job title, salary, benefits, and company culture.

Free Hiring Guide

Would you like to simply reduce your reliance on applicant flow altogether? Well, you can. Check out our free guide on how to hire all-stars even with a shallow applicant pool.

4 Steps to reduce reliance on applicant flow mockup

3. How to Hire More Applicants Like Your Best Employees

Do you have a few top-performing staff members that consistently stand out from the rest? Well, it’s possible to hire more workers who will succeed and stay long-term just like them! Our hiring platform can actually predict applicant success by identifying shared personality traits with your current top performers. It’s trusted by top brands and proven to stabilize staffing levels, even during a labor crisis!

The Staffing Solution That Boosts Employee Retention by 43%

The simplest way to build and maintain a strong, cohesive staff at your hotel is by hiring with Sprockets. Our clients spend 37% less time on the hiring process and improve employee retention by 43%, on average. If that’s not enticing enough, we’ll even give you a free demo to show you firsthand how our hiring platform can solve all of your staffing challenges. Get on the path to hiring success (and get ahead of your competitors).