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Hyatt Hotels Applies Supply Chain Principles to Staffing Management to Improve Hire Quality and Reduce Costs

September 18, 2003
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Hyatt Hotels Corporation, a leader in the travel and hospitality industry, opened its first hotel in September 1957. Today,Hyatt Hotels Corporation and its subsidiaries operate, lease and franchise 123 hotels and resorts across the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. With new hotels under development on an ongoing basis, Hyatt needs to fill thousands of new job opportunities annually. In late 2000, Hyatt began looking for a solution that would re-engineer its staffing management processes for the long-term. Hyatt’s Director of Staffing Susan Steffy stated, "We selected Recruitsoft because its solutions apply supply chain principles, which have been widely successful in the manufacturing industry, to the staffing process. As a result, we have improved our internal mobility and external staffing processes for more than 40,000 employees."

    Supply chain management coordinates processes in and among organizations and other entities so demand is matched with supply. Leveraging technology to optimize the supply chain in manufacturing has become mainstream; and, today leading organizations are applying those same principles to staffing management. In the case of staffing, the organization is considered to be on the demand side of the equation while candidates are considered to be on the supply side. Traditionally, candidates were pushing unstructured paper resumes and applications to corporations. Upon receipt via mail, fax or email, recruiters would then sort through thousands of resumes, which at times was like finding a needle in a haystack.

How Hyatt Optimizes its Staffing Supply Chain with Recruitsoft
    Hyatt is committed to finding and servicing candidates both efficiently and professionally. Staffing for such a large network of hotels is a complex process. The hotels employ full-time, exempt, non-exempt and hourly employees. In early 2000, when the unemployment rate dropped to a record low, Steffy and her team found the quality and quantity of applicants to be relatively poor. Prior to Recruitsoft, recruiting for each hotel was completely decentralized and paper-based. Local staffing managers posted positions in newspaper classifieds, which was very costly. Additionally, job openings were faxed to candidate-centric areas, such as local community centers, to invite candidates to apply by completing and faxing back a paper application. Steffy stated, "Hyatt has a strong culture for superior customer service. Staffing managers have no difficulties identifying candidates that match our culture. However, because our operations were highly decentralized, we were having a hard time attracting and communicating with large numbers of quality candidates in an efficient manner. The best candidates were disappearing quickly and it was clear we needed to change our process. With Recruitsoft, we have applied supply chain principles to streamline our staffing process and, as a result, are finding those quality candidates in real-time."

Defining and Centralizing the Process
    Today, using Recrutisoft’s ACE™ Best Staffing Practices, methodologies, workflows and processes, Hyatt is able to pull (referred to as demand-pull) the candidates from its structured candidate database that meet the predefined requirements for the available position in real-time. "With Recruitsoft, our team created 400 job description templates, which were centralized for the corporate office. Those templates enable staffing directors to create new requisitions quickly and easily," explained Steffy. With Recruitsoft’s staffing management solution, Hyatt posts open job requisitions internally for Hyatt employees and externally on She added, "Having the information in a digital format and housed in a central location enables hiring managers and staffing managers an easy way to communicate with each other and manage the numerous open job requisitions available at Hyatt."

Improving Sourcing and Reducing Costs
    With Recruitsoft, Hyatt is able to increase and maintain relationships with its candidate pool in order to make better hiring decisions, faster. Hyatt also tracks sources that find the best candidates and, as a result, better targets future sourcing spending. "In years past, we’ve actually spent an exorbitant amount of money on advertising costs with newspapers," explained Steffy. "Now, we have some hotels that have gone completely online even with their hourly positions and have seen, year-over-year, a 50 percent reduction in advertising costs." Hyatt’s staffing managers also use Recruitsoft’s staffing solution to enhance their correspondence with potential candidates. During the recent launch of a new hotel, staffing managers notified job seekers of upcoming job fairs. "This correspondence with potential job seekers allows us to track which types of candidates are coming to the job fair and informs us if we need to do additional marketing in specialized areas. For example, if we need more cooks to attend a job fair, we target the local culinary schools to drive greater attendance," explained Steffy.

Segmenting the Recruiting Process for College Graduates
    Before Recruitsoft, Hyatt arranged on-campus visits with the career service centers of various colleges and universities. Interested students attended the on-campus visit, but there was no preliminary screening and these typical visits attracted just 20 to 30 students who needed to be assessed. "With Recruitsoft, Hyatt’s staffing managers now post open job requisitions and invite students to complete applications before the campus visit," said Steffy. "Staffing managers identify the students they are interested in beforehand and arrange in-person meetings during the on-campus visit. As a result, the staffing managers reach a short list of higher quality candidates faster and spend face-time only with those candidates best suited for the position."

Reducing Cycle-time
    With Recruitsoft, Hyatt’s staffing managers save time because they are able to pre-screen and conduct skills assessments of candidates more quickly. By defining and centralizing the most efficient staffing processes upfront, managers are able to eliminate gaps and inefficiencies that stall the process. Steffy noted, "With Recruitsoft, staffing managers reach candidates faster and they can quickly develop a short list of quality candidates to give to hiring managers. Since implementation, Hyatt realized a cycle-time reduction of 50 percent."

Adhering to Regulatory Compliance and Reporting
    With decentralized HR operations and hiring managers at all of its locations, Hyatt’s HR department wanted solutions that would allow them to report metrics to various stakeholders across the company. "Leveraging Recruitsoft’s ad-hoc reporting tool, Hyatt delivers all necessary regulatory compliance information to its external legal counsel," stated Steffy. "The timelines and availability of these data points simplifies Affirmative Action Plan creation for our company and the real-time access to candidate data has proven to be beneficial during OFCCP audits. Recruitsoft’s solutions also save Hyatt’s staffing managers time because they no longer have to re-enter valuable regulatory compliance data, which improves overall productivity and drives additional savings to the bottom-line."

Workforce, July 2003, pp. 72-73 -- Subscribe Now!

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