3 Valuable Lessons From Hilton’s Recruitment Campaign

Hilton Embassy Suites San Francisco Airport – Waterfront - Learn To Hire Using Social Media
3 min read

Filling dishwasher and line cook positions for Hilton Embassy Suites had us breaking our heads, but we had a breakthrough!

When we first spoke to Amber, the Human Resources Manager at Hilton Embassy Suites San Francisco Airport – Waterfront, she was skeptical about using social media to find and hire candidates, and rightfully so!

Girl saying "oh, yeah right!"


Up until now, she had previously relied on Indeed, temp agencies, craigslist and traditional advertising to fill her entry-level positions. Unfortunately, the results were always disappointing, very few applications and even less hires. After we showed her a 15 minute demo, she found immediate value and gave us an opportunity to turn her into a believer.

“Truth be told, this was our toughest challenge to date. It forced us to fine-tune our marketing strategy, but most importantly, it showed us that social media recruiting can triumph anywhere.”

Before launching, we expected to generate lots of interested applicants because of San Francisco’s large and diverse population. After our first week, we generated very few applications and realized only Latinos were applying. Could Amber be right? Was San Francisco impossible to help?… Of course not.

All it took was making 3 key changes to our recruiting strategy.

1. Personalize Your Job Post To Your Audience

Dishwasher job posts targeting Latinos, Asians and African-Americans.

Our first problem was that we were not taking advantage of the entire population in San Francisco. Only the Latino community was applying and we needed a way to engage other communities to generate more applications.

Soon after, we made a simple change that made a huge difference. By changing the ad image to match the racial profile we were trying to reach, our application volume for that community began to increase. More applications means more hires. Sweet!

2. Identify Roadblocks Early On

Our next challenge was dealing with the dreaded no shows. During our screening process, candidates seemed eager and excited for their interview, but for some reason cancelled or disappeared from the face of the earth on their interview date.

Something was discouraging our candidates from attending their interview and we had to find out why. After speaking to Amber and the candidates, we discovered that people applying from Oakland, Hayward and San Leandro were not willing to pay tolls to cross the bridge to get to work and the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) was not an option as the position was for the night shift, which meant they could not take BART home. Unfortunately, the majority of applicants were coming from those areas so ONLY targeting Daly City, San Mateo and Redwood City was not a buyable option.

After some brainstorming, we decided to also target San Jose, which was an area that was not typically targeted due to its long commute, but because the position was from 3pm to midnight, the travel time was significantly reduced to 45 minutes to an hour, which was a better option than trying to cross the bridge.

3. Always Include A Phone Number

Facebook breakfast line cook job post.

Just as recruiters are beginning to embrace social media for hiring, people are also getting used to applying for jobs on Facebook. Not everyone is comfortable applying online, and what we learned is that posting a phone number on your job post goes a long way. It gives people an alternative to applying online, which is crucial for recruiting as you don’t want to miss out on potential hires.

Find out how other hotels and resorts are saving time and money to fill their entry-level positions. Click here to learn more.

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