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Social media usage in hotel human resources: recruitment, hiring and communication

Chris Gibbs (Hospitality and Tourism Management Department, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)
Fraser MacDonald (Hospitality and Tourism Management Department, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)
Kelly MacKay (Hospitality and Tourism Management Department, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 16 March 2015

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Research limitations/implications

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.

Practical implications

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.

Originality/value

This is the first empirical study about SM and HR practices in the North American hotel industry.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

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.

Citation

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

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited