Tuesday 22 January 2019

GUEST BLOG: Staying power - ​how your hotel policy can help win the battle for top recruits

It’s a tough job market for employers. If you want to attract the top recruits, you’ll have to fight for them. When taking new roles, many employees want benefits that offer better work-life balance, like more paid time off and flexible work arrangements.

For those who travel frequently, a good travel policy is essential to work-life balance and can be a key factor when determining whether to stay in a job or accept a new one. In fact, 59% of North American business travellers and 66% of Latin American travellers told GBTA that a company's travel policy is an important factor when deciding to take a job with a new employer.

What can you do to make sure your hotel policy appeals to recruits?

1. Offer convenient locations and properties
Time and time again, business travellers say convenience is their number one priority. It’s not an unreasonable request. Who doesn’t want an extra 30 minutes of prep time or sleep before heading out to a meeting?

Yet, if you only rely on GDS content, your hotel program may not offer properties at all of the locations your travellers visit. Offering properties from third-party hotel content sources like Booking.com and Expedia Partner Services can provide travellers with access to more locations and accommodation types (independent hotels, apartments, etc.) that are not available in the GDS.

2. Be realistic about rates
Beyond convenience, travellers want to stay somewhere clean, comfortable and safe. Quality matters. While price does not equate to quality, there are significant differences in average room night rates by location. When setting city caps, make sure you know average rates by city and how much rates are expected to grow. Carlson Wagonlit's  2019 Global Travel Forecast can help you determine rate increases by region. Also, consider the type or class of property your travellers expect to stay at when setting rate caps.

3. Help travellers save time
Scrolling through pages of hotel property results trying to decide which hotel is the right fit – not so much fun. Neither is searching through several sites. Partner with a travel management company (TMC) that offers personalised search results. 

4. Offer loyalty perks
Travellers care so much about loyalty points that they’ll risk their personal safety to earn them. Literally. 3 in 10 business travellers surveyed by CWT said they would sacrifice safety for loyalty points and incentives. The good news is that travellers can book rates with loyalty points through RoomIt. The even better news is that they can earn additional hotel loyalty points through Loyalty Booster, driving in-channel bookings to your preferred suppliers.

5. Make Bleisure easier
More companies are allowing travellers to add a holiday to the end of their work trips. However, most travellers book their trips through consumer sites. Make sure travellers are clear if they can take advantage of your preferred rates or TMC when booking personal extensions and how to pay for those accommodations so they can book their full trip all at once. 

Blog author: Scott Hyden, Chief Experience Officer, RoomIt by CWT, who will be exhibiting at Business Travel Show on 20-21 February at Olympia London. Secure your free ticket now at www.businesstravelshow.com.

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