Marriott leveraged a not-so-secret weapon in their latest recruiting effort: their employees.
By Kristy Godbold
It’s no secret that recruitment practices have moved into the digital realm. Paper cover letters and resumes of the past have quickly been replaced by search engines. Candidates leverage the Internet to find and apply for jobs, to maintain professional contacts through social networking channels, and to showcase digital-savvy job credentials through personal websites, portfolios, and Klout scores.
Marriott has had a long history of embracing digital changes. In 1995, we were the first hospitality company to offer guests the ability to book reservations online worldwide. Our executive chairman was the second Fortune 500 CEO to begin blogging—and as an octogenarian, he continues to blog today. Last year, Marriott was the first hospitality company to offer a fully mobile optimized job application. The list goes on—we even received a spot on Forbes’ 25 Most Innovative Companies in the World list.
But we never will rest on our laurels. We saw the opportunity to innovate our talent acquisition process. When it comes to recruiting the best and brightest talent, it’s paramount to design an online careers hub that truly reflects the motivations of job seekers. The #PictureYourselfHere campaign is the result of those efforts.
The #PictureYourselfHere Campaign Process
Research was the first step. We evaluated research across 15 countries to get a better understanding of candidate behaviors when they are looking for jobs and navigating careers sites. We found that the job itself—its title and description of the position—was a primary factor that motivated job seekers to make a decision on whether the opportunity was a cultural fit and whether or not to apply. This meant a total redesign of our careers site.
We brought the decision point—the job description—to the forefront. But we took it a step beyond making the job description more accessible and putting more words on a page. We knew our vibrant workforce could make a more effective case for our job opportunities and culture.
It was time again to try an original idea and leverage the power of our workforce. We invited staff from across the globe to submit images at work. The images captured workspaces, facilities, and employees doing their jobs. The effort was to capture the real people who live and breathe Marriott’s culture every day. The response was overwhelming: We received more than 17,000 images from Marriott’s global workforce population, and they continue to pour in today.
These images were used to construct enhanced job description pages on Marriott’s both mobile and desktop careers sites. The pages capture real employees in work environments from the exact location to which the jobseeker is applying—all submitted by the applicant’s potential future colleagues. The site launched in early October, and we continue to receive behind-the-scenes images today, keeping our job description pages fresh, authentic, and fun.
The #PictureYourselfHere Campaign Results
When we started out on this endeavor, our goal was to showcase our culture to the best candidates. Many of the required work skills can be learned on the job, but cultural fit is often best displayed through images and videos. Potential job applicants will have a know-it-when-they- see-it experience with the redesign achieved through this initiative. If candidates can picture themselves in our employees’ photos, working side-by-side with those colleagues at Marriott, that’s a win.
The call for image submissions among our employees also led to a welcomed side effect among our current workforce: It’s brought our hotels closer together. Employees who participated in the program are excited they could play a key role in the recruiting process. This is an ongoing initiative that is fostering company spirit, engaging employees at all levels, building and strengthening connections across disparate teams, and improving the existing quality of our workplaces. Our employees play an active role in hiring their future colleagues, and collaborating in the process has strengthened the ties that bind. It’s these aspects of our company culture that continue to maintain Marriott’s standing as a great place to work.
It’s why we are continually recognized as one of the world’s very best workplaces, including recently being named a World’s Best Multinational Workplace by Great Place to Work for the fourth straight year.
The #PictureYourselfHere campaign is still in its early days. Our ultimate goal of filling positions worldwide with the best talent is a relentless pursuit. In the meantime, it’s our hope that this original approach will attract the kind of dynamic talent we look for, and will bring an appetite from the next generation of hospitality professionals to be part of the Marriott family.
Kristy Godbold is global human resources officer, talent acquisition and HR analytics and global finance for Marriott International.