The purpose of this study is to explore the use and non-use of social media (SM) by North American hotels for human resource (HR) activities.
This exploratory study used an online survey and a sampling frame of 1,711 North American hotels with 300 or more rooms, excluding economy properties. With a response rate of 17.1 per cent and a defined population, data were weighted to reflect the midscale, upscale and luxury market classes.
Slightly more than half of North American hotels use SM for HR activities. Higher service level hotels are related to SM HR use generally; midscale properties report higher usage for internal communication. Use of SM in hotel HR is more focused on marketing versus recruitment activities.
The generalizability and, therefore, implications are limited to North American hotels, midscale or higher with 300 or more rooms. Future research should complement this broad-based study by delving more deeply into rationale for HR communication over hiring functions for SM and its overall adoption for HR in the hospitality industry.
This study provides an understanding of how SM is being used and its perceived usefulness across a variety of HR activities. The findings will inform the application of SM for hotel HR purposes.
This is the first empirical study about SM and HR practices in the North American hotel industry.
This research was generously supported by the Office of the Vice President Research and Innovation through the Undergraduate Research Opportunity grant and the Ted Rogers Institute for Tourism and Hospitality Research at Ryerson University. The authors would like to thank Smith Travel Research for providing the hotel sampling frame.
Gibbs, C., MacDonald, F. and MacKay, K. (2015), "Social media usage in hotel human resources: recruitment, hiring and communication", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 27 No. 2, pp. 170-184. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-05-2013-0194
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