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Predicting hotel attractiveness via personality traits of applicants: The moderating role of self-esteem and work experience

Victoria Bellou (Department of Economics, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece)
Nikolaos Stylos (Department of Management, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK)
Roya Rahimi (Department of Marketing, Innovation, Leisure and Enterprise, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 4 October 2018

Issue publication date: 31 October 2018




Despite the fact that hotels rely heavily upon frontline employees, extant evidence on what makes a hotel attractive in the eyes of job applicants is scarce. Thus, this paper aims to incorporate the Big Five personality traits model to identify what potential hotel job applicants are likely to seek in their prospective employers.


Applicants for non-managerial, frontline posts at upscale hotels were approached via three branches of a career agency located in England, UK; their responses were gathered via a self-administered questionnaire. The 522 usable responses were used in a covariance-based, multi-group structural equation modeling scheme to investigate three main research propositions with regards to the applicants’ personality traits’ influence on their perceptions of a hotel’s attractiveness as a potential employer.


Analysis of responses indicates significant differences regarding the impact of extraversion, conscientiousness and openness on perceived facets of employer attractiveness. Additionally, findings suggest that high self-esteem does make applicants more demanding, while work experience also influences their preferences regarding the hotels’ profiles as an employer.

Research limitations/implications

The results of this study are limited to applicants for non-managerial, frontline job positions in upscale hotels in the UK.

Practical implications

Practically, this study offers practitioners valuable feedback regarding the potential applicant’s personality profile that grants the best fit with an upscale hotel.


While different studies tried to identify the organizations’ attributes that attract potential applicants, evidence on what attracts individuals to a hotel is very limited. Hence, the present study tries to address this gap and link potential applicants’ personality profiles with that of hotels as employers.



Bellou, V., Stylos, N. and Rahimi, R. (2018), "Predicting hotel attractiveness via personality traits of applicants: The moderating role of self-esteem and work experience", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 30 No. 10, pp. 3135-3155.



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