Six hiring mistakes that scare job seekers away from your spa

Looking for new talent? Beware these six hiring mistakes that scare job seekers away from your spa and attract more talent.

Attracting and retaining talent is an ongoing issue in spa and hospitality, and one that has been exacerbated since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a candidate’s market in many places, meaning employers need employees more than the other way around, and that means your candidate experience should be good.

A good candidate experience is one in which a job applicant feels that they are treated with kindness and respect throughout the process. Even if someone doesn’t get the job, a candidate who is well treated is more likely to have a positive opinion about your company. If the experience is a bad one, they probably won’t forget it, and they will also probably tell their friends. Never underestimate the power of word of mouth to turn people off wanting to work for you.

There are some common hiring mistakes managers across all industries make during the process. Avoid them to improve your candidate experience and your chances of attracting top talent.

Six hiring mistakes that scare job seekers away from your spa.

Not preparing for the interview.

One of the most common hiring mistakes. By the time you get to the job interview, you should know the candidate’s job history and experience, and have an idea of why they’re interested in the role. That information is in their resume and cover letter. While it’s true that some people say cover letters are no longer necessary to the application process, it’s smart to give priority to candidates who put in the effort and include one.

You want candidates to put effort into their job applications. On the flipside, that means that a hiring manager should demonstrate the same courtesy and show up to the interview knowing who they are and why they are there.

Asking more of the job candidate than you are willing to give yourself

Continuing on a theme, employers usually expect a lot of job candidates. They expect them to be prepared, qualified, and courteous. They expect them to be confident and poised under pressure and to answer questions thoroughly and competently.

But hiring managers themselves can sometimes behave in a completely discourteous manner. They show up late and keep candidates waiting, they talk over them, don’t listen to their answers and questions, or are distracted during the interview.

If we expect job seekers to be on their best behavior, so we should be when hiring.

If you set the interview time for 1:00 be there for 1:00, or a few minutes before. Listen when someone is speaking, ask good questions, and pay full attention. It’s the least that should be expected of us.

Not being clear on what you need in a new employee

A job description should be clear and contain the details of what is expected from the person who will fill the role.

If you’re hiring front desk staff that will be expected to know about wellness, meditation, and nutrition, you need to know what that looks like in an employee. If you’re hoping that your entire team will participate in your social media marketing efforts by becoming brand ambassadors and micro-influencers, that needs to be communicated before hiring. If your massage therapists will also be expected to be salespeople, you need to communicate that.

Not knowing exactly what you want and need will prevent you from finding it.

Asking too much in exchange for too little

You might need someone to give massages, answer phones, run your social media, and sell retail, but is that actually the job of one person, or three jobs you’re trying to roll into one?

Be mindful of turning off potential talent with unrealistic job requirements. Nobody wants to work to the point of burnout or be regularly compelled to work evenings and weekends. This has been an ongoing complaint about how the hospitality and spa industries treat their employees, and recently, people have started saying “No, thank you.”

A recent survey of more than 30,000 job seekers found that 60% would not consider working in a restaurant, bar, hotel or other hospitality job. Of those, 70% said nothing would convince them to work in hospitality, and 38% of former hospitality workers said they are not even considering a hospitality job. Only 26% said higher pay would incentivize them to change their minds.

It’s a candidate’s market out there. A job has to be compelling.

Not asking the right questions.

There are common questions that are usually asked in every interview because they provide good insight into the candidate’s potential fit with your organization. These include but aren’t limited to:

Tell me about yourself.
Why do you want to work here?
Why are you leaving your current job/did you leave your last job?
Why should I hire you?
Do you have any questions for me?

Beyond these questions, there are others you need to ask that are specific to your industry, your organization, and the role in question. You also need to know your organization’s strategic goals and how the person in this role will help you achieve them, so you can ask questions pertaining to this.

Prepare your questions in advance and put some real thought and time into them. We’ve got a list of questions to ask in the job interview here.

Ghosting candidates

A vast majority of job seekers have been ghosted by a prospective employer during the hiring process. This has to stop.

Ghosting means ceasing communication with a person without explanation and it’s been happening to job seekers for years. Some hiring managers will even take a candidate as far as the interview stage and even then not let them know that they aren’t going to hire them. These hiring managers also complain of the same behavior from job seekers, but this whataboutism isn’t going to get anyone anywhere.

It’s cruel, and also just rude, to leave candidates waiting for a call that never comes, a call that affects their livelihood and ability to pay the bills.

Ideally, a job applicant is kept informed at each stage of the process. In an ideal world, they would be sent an automated message letting them know their application has been received, another when it is reviewed, and one when they are removed from consideration (“This message is to let you know that we will not be moving forward with your application,” for example).

This isn’t always possible. But, at the very least, a job applicant with whom you have directly communicated through email or by phone, or with whom you have conducted an interview, should be told if you are not going to hire them.

A good candidate experience reflects positively on your employer brand and a bad experience reflects negatively. Unhappy candidates who aren’t well treated can go on to become detractors and steer talent away.

Avoid these hiring mistakes and be mindful of your candidate experience and it will make a big difference.


Spa Executive is published by Book4Time, the leader in guest management, revenue and mobile solutions for the most exclusive spas, hotels, and resorts around the globe. Learn more at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.