Running a guesthouse requires a friendly smile, a knack for great service and an openness to welcome all types of guests. Due to the hours it takes to run a successful business, it may be worth considering employing additional members of staff to give you a helping hand. We’ve put together a list of handy hints to help you make sure that you hire the best possible staff for your B&B – and at the right time too!
1. Take your time
In the early days, you may want to build your business and do the work yourself. It’ll give you an idea of what type of help you may need as your business grows. In doing so, you’ll not only be saving money but also the time that it usually takes to recruit new employees and complete the resulting admin work. Once you know what kind of employee you need, you can go about hiring the right B&B staff.
2. Job specification
Once trade starts to pick up, or if your B&B has more guest bedrooms than you can manage yourself, it’s time to take on additional members of staff. The first step is to create a comprehensive job specification detailing all of the key requirements of the role. Make sure that the position is described in an honest and appealing way, as this will attract a greater number of applicants and, in turn, give you a greater pool to choose from.
3. Publicise the position
When it comes to advertising the position, one of the most effective ways is to use your own networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. You can also consult friends and family members as they may be able to recommend someone they know who would be a good match for the position.
4. The interviews
After you’ve sifted through the applications and created a shortlist of candidates, it’s onto the next step – the interviews. Getting a good impression of someone can be difficult, so one of the main things to ensure here is that you devise a consistent interview process. Draft up a list of open-ended questions that will allow you to gain an accurate representation of the candidates and reveal their true character. As people are your business, making the right choice will help build your business and reputation. If a special skill like cooking is a prerequisite, you may want to consider a practical element and get them to put their words into action by having them cook for you.
Although overlooked by many companies, gathering references is a necessary part of any recruitment process. One of these should be from a former employer, while the second can simply be a character reference. By requesting references, you will be able to gain a better idea of whether a candidate will be a sensible addition to your workforce, whether they are likely to commit to the position for a significant length of time and have the skills to do the type of work you require.
6. Cultural compatibility
One of the most crucial elements when looking for a new team member to bring on board is making sure that they are a good cultural fit. Introducing the potential new recruit to existing staff members to find out their thoughts is one way of doing so. If you work alone, you may want to do interviews with someone you trust, such as a close friend or family member.
7. Positive working relationship
Once you’ve made your decision and taken the new member of staff on board, it’s essential that you establish a good working relationship. Organising regular catch-up meetings to check on the progress of your staff and find out if there’s anything that you could be doing to make their job any easier is particularly important. New starters are a great opportunity to get a fresh eye on how things are doing. They can give feedback on how to improve things, identify things your guests may also be thinking and can be a great source of ideas. Be open to hearing what they have to say and act if something sounds like a great idea. A happy staff member equals happy guests!
Investing time in selecting the right people will be well worth your while in the long run. Hire the right B&B staff and you can expect everything else to work like clockwork.
Of course, there is another way of getting help running your B&B – by purchasing eviivo suite, which manages all of your online bookings through its booking management software, you can free up your staff to do more important jobs; like looking after the guests or cooking your signature breakfast.