As Marriott International continues to grow, it has become increasingly important to diversify our talent strategies to explore the potential benefits of social media. For example, in China, hospitality and service professions are not yet popular, so we need to educate potential employees about career opportunities with our hotel. In India, hospitality is a better understood sector. But people are often so impressed by our hotels they are too intimidated to go inside and apply for a role.
We knew we needed to introduce our brand and our opportunities in a unique way – including via social media – not only to break down the barriers, but also to show that running a hotel is a business which is not just about serving dishes or cleaning rooms.
Another reason social media is crucial is that across the world, the next generation of workers spends a great deal of time online. We need to join hands with these communities to find top talent and speak to the network of contacts from this generation.
Strategies We launched our social media strategy in mid-2011, including a global Facebook page and the first module of the My Marriott Hotel™ game on Facebook, for prospective employees to get a taste of what it’s like to work with us.
On Facebook, we share career tips and company news, post recruiting events, hold chats with recruiting teams and human-resources leaders, and have an “Ask A Leader” series – question-and-answer sessions with Marriott executives. We also engage with our almost 20,000 “fans” and answer their questions.
We kicked off the page with a video contest for our employees, asking them to submit a video that answered the question: “How Did You Find Your World At Marriott?”
In just a few weeks, we received 200 video entries from employees around the world, and visitors to our new Facebook page voted on the winners.
The first module of the My Marriott Hotel™ game is a kitchen challenge, which allows players to manage a virtual kitchen. They have to buy and sell ingredients, prepare dishes and hire and train staff – all the while trying to make a profit. We now have players from 124 countries.
For China, we have launched a China Careers Blog, and we are also getting ready to roll out a Renren page which will feature the My Marriott Hotel™ game in Mandarin.
Impact Feedback has been very positive on our social media strategy. While our competitors have been focused on posting jobs, we have been intent on engaging with our users in the same way we engage with our guests.
Joy Dong, our China talent acquisition manager, has said: “I am proud of the launch of the China Careers Blog and excited that the Renren game will be live soon. Through social media, Marriott is offering plenty of opportunities for a successful career.
“Powered by social media, our talent acquisition strategies will help us to retain current employees and attract potential qualified candidates as well.”
We have also received some very positive media coverage. In particular, My Marriott Hotel™ has been featured in media outlets across the world, from The Wall Street Journal and the Economic Times of India to The Independent. We’re most proud of being recognised for our innovativeness in the industry, and as the first hospitality company to introduce a social recruiting game.
Future plans Social media change very quickly. There is always a new social media tool or approach to try, and we want to make to ensure that we do everything that will help us execute our social media strategy. We have just launched our Twitter feed – @MarriottCareers – and MarriottU, a blog for students and graduates interested in hospitality. We also have new games in development. Eventually, players will be able to manage an entire hotel.