view process is definitely not nearly as strict or stringent as it has been previously .”
Marci Howard-May noted similar adjustments to the interview process at St . George , Utah ’ s Red Mountain Resort . “ We as well have shaved off several days , just moving it as quickly as possible because you have to jump on people before they ’ ve been snagged . If we like a candidate , we tell them at the end of the interview : Look for a call or email from our HR person , we really want you to join the team .”
The second area where Town Hall panel members coalesced was “ Plan B ” for when experienced talent is hard to find . While prior skill development was once a high priority for candidates , the panelists agreed the best action today is to hire for personality and aptitude , then train for skills .
“ One of the things that we say in our interview process ,” said Megan ,“ is we ’ re hiring for friendly , we ’ re hiring for kindness , we ’ re hiring for ‘ how are you going to be a part of our team ,’” as well as “ are you prepared for the skills we ’ re going to teach you along the way ?”
Charlotte finds the interview process to be less focused on existing skills .“ We ’ re looking at the whole package to see what we would need to supplement with training .”
ADDING VALUE TO ORIENTATION AND ONBOARDING Changes to the process of bringing in new talent do not stop with modifications to job interviews . Newly-hired staff in the post-Covid era have a different experience for their first days and weeks than in years past .
“ When we ’ ve been short staffed and management supervisors are spread very thin , we ’ ve had to really employ the support of all of our team to assist with onboarding ,”
Charlotte said .“ So we do a checklist agenda for new hires — it ’ s been a nice way for them to be integrated into the team to get exposure to different employees . And it ’ s really a team effort to welcome somebody on board .”
“ We do a really big orientation with them , make sure they have binders filled with all the information ,” Justin said .“ And then after that , we do something called the buddy system that we recently launched . We ’ re kind of testing out how that goes — you get paired up , and that person is your ‘ go-to ’ to really help answer any questions that you need . We ’ ve had some great feedback on that . People get connected , and they get to feel like they ’ re more part of the team in the break room . It ’ s just a really good experience overall .”
LEARNING FLEXIBILITY “ I think the key word that we all are thinking about and sharing and executing is flexibility — if Covid taught us nothing else , it was that flexibility was the key to business relationships .” That was Megan ’ s summary of another consensus among the panelists . She noted Gadabout Salon- Spas and VerVe Salons have strived to be more flexible about requests for time off , specifically .
Marci shared a similar evolution in the Red Mountain Resort ’ s scheduling .“ It ’ s actually turning into this beautiful , really reciprocal partnership . There ’ s less dictating of schedules , and more working together to meet our guests ’ needs .”
Charlotte shared that , as Fisher Island Club shifted its approach to scheduling ,“ We have to hire more people to cover the shifts , because I don ’ t think that request is going to go away at all . And I think if we stay too rigid , we ’ re going to be the ones who lose .” n
FAVORITE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
Every candidate has a pat response to “ Where do you see yourself in five years ?” and “ What is your biggest weakness ?” Avoid those clichéd interview questions and instead try to introduce discussions that will shed light on your candidates ’ motivations and personalities .
“ How would your family describe you ?” • CHARLOTTE PRESCOTT observes “ it makes them pause and go , ‘ Let me think about that .’ And what comes out is usually pretty telling about the personality to deliver a true snapshot .”
“ Tell me about the most recent amazing experience you ’ ve had .” • MEGAN JASPER finds this question helps her “ learn what candidates think excellent guest service is .”
“ What is the most important thing for our guests ’ experience ?” •
JUSTIN VANDERPOEL believes “ that really helps me and my team gather more insight about how they ’ ll fit into our culture and how they ’ re going to take care of our guests .”
“ What is important to you in a workplace environment ?” • MARCI HOWARD-MAY has discovered this question “ lets us start a great dialogue about what our culture is and if we ’ re a good fit for each other .”
JANUARY 2023 n PULSE 55