Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Next, please.

Today I would like to speak about a topic that is a bit different from that of “attracting customers”. I'd like to talk about the right personnel. B&B's have different sizes. Yes, it can be just a small family business when you don't even need any extra people. In the worst case your cousin takes care of the inn while you are on a vocation.

But there are a bit bigger inns, or the owners are just not interested in being on the property all the time. That is when they start looking for reliable people. What does marketing have to do with personnel? – You may ask. Well, the person who takes care of the hotel, be it a receptionist, cleaning crew, a cook or even a gardener, they are the first to meet the guests, haves a great influence on the image, and not less – are ambassadors of the company's profile in the outside world. By the way, your cousin is also one of them.

So, here when the Internet comes in handy.

Listing: Talk about Monster – the biggest job board there is, probably. But, unfortunately, not for free. There is a new networking job agent, connected to Facebook – BrunchOut. Although, I don't personally, see any success in this invention. A – far too many irrelevant people, B – far too many irrelevant jobs surfing around. Maybe it is different in the US or anywhere else in the world, but in Norway this will not see any success.

LinkedIn is supposed to be a professional network. Yes, there s a lot of useful information and connections there. But I experience it more as a place for looking for leadership careers, IT-jobs, Social Media jobs and alike. In most groups there are Jobs discussions. It is just about finding a proper group (for example, a network of your area). What can be useful, is if you need a web designer for your new web site. Although, in this case I'd rather go to Freelance.com.

You can post a job opening on you web site, in your blog, share it on Facebook. Who knows, maybe a neighbor needs a job or your old high school-friend?

Hiring: When you start receiving those CVs, you will begin to wonder what kind of people those applicants are. It may be not too ethical, but I would look at their profiles on Facebook (Hyves, Twitter, MSN, you name it). Most people choose to have them public, so there is nothing wrong in it. Those who don't want to share, don't share.

Why can that be important (especially if you have young applicants)? You can see at once how a person communicates. In the same way he or she will communicate information about the new job and work place. You can also see more about interests, topics the person discusses, pictures he/she shares, and so on. These days Facebook has launched a so-called Subscription, when you can follow people without becoming their friends.

Both LinkedIn and BranchOut contain possibilities for people to share their CVs. It would be interesting to compare those…

Working: Everybody has for sure heard about all those scandals with people telling bad things about their employers in Social Media. Of course, the best practice is to treat your people well. But the rules on information communication must be set. The employees should know the policy of B&B in Social Media, just as well as they should know how to communicate with customers in person. They must know what they can share in their private messages, how they can do it, how they can help to promote the inn.

And of course, don't forget, that a happy employee is the best representative of you business.

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