Justin Moss: Co-Founder, Hoss Hire LLC

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Justin Moss currently oversees all aspects of Talent Acquisition for Hoss Hire LLC, a company he co-founded in 2013. Justin brings over 15 years of restaurant and hotel experience with him to Hoss Hire. He served as Food & Beverage Director for Hilton Worldwide before starting the company. During his years as a hospitality manager he specialized in new store openings and hiring. Mr. Moss has a degree in Human Resources and is a member of SHRM.

How did you get into the industry?

I guess you could say I drank the hospitality Kool-Aid pretty early on. I took my first restaurant job making pizzas at age 16 and never looked back. After college I went into hotel management and eventually parlayed my hiring experience into a recruitment business.

Any emerging industry trends?

For hospitality businesses, the bar has definitely been raised industry-wide. Online reviews, social media, and health-conscious millennials have changed the game. Average service is no longer acceptable, nor is a mediocre product. We’re seeing Fortune 500 companies rebrand themselves to accommodate higher consumer expectations.

For hospitality recruitment businesses, we’re seeing a shift from the traditional hiring models. Hourly recruitment outsourcing has become increasingly popular. HR software and automation are steadily making the hiring process more efficient. Using social media as a recruitment platform is pretty much the norm these days. I think we’ll see even more of that outside of LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter in the coming years.  

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

One of the biggest opportunities in hospitality recruitment is time-to-fill. When a restaurant or hotel has an open management position, they usually need it filled as soon as possible. Unfortunately, that time frame doesn’t always coincide with traditional recruitment processes which can take weeks, and sometimes months, to facilitate. Hiring great people faster is something we’re always focused on.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

My aha moment came when I was a manager being recruited by a third party agency. The process seemed drawn out and indifferent to me. My experience was unpleasant to say the least, but I’m glad I went through it. Being recruited showed me the need for a more personalized recruitment experience. My co-founders and I built Hoss Hire with the client’s wants and needs in mind, as well as the candidate’s.

Technology changes everything, and recruitment is no exception. HR software is changing the way we find, source, and hire talent. One of our major goals as a company is to stay ahead of the tech curve and capitalize on those types of innovations.

What's next for the Business in the near future?

I think the question you need to continually ask yourself is, how do we use what’s available to make our business better? For example, one of the most time-consuming tasks of recruitment is sourcing candidates. We’re currently transitioning into a comprehensive sourcing platform that will help us become more efficient in that phase of the hiring process.

We’ve also introduced performance-based hiring metrics into our candidate selection process. A resume, while certainly useful, only tells one part of the story. We want to know what a candidate has actually accomplished throughout their tenure with previous employers. This information helps us align candidate capabilities with client-specific needs.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

You learn pretty early on in a startup that sales and marketing are going to take up a lot of your time. As a new company, it’s the most important thing you’ll do day to day. SEO marketing has become very successful for us. You need to position yourself exactly where your potential clients are looking. In our case that took trial and error testing.

In addition to sales, our team background gives us an advantage over a lot of the competition. Almost every member of Hoss Hire is an ex-restaurant/hotel manager. We’ve been where the clients are, and that allows us to understand them on much deeper level. You can leave the world of hospitality management, but it never really leaves you--it’s in our blood. Terms like “heard” and “all day” are a regular part of our lingo.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)

It wasn’t so much a moment as it was a lesson learned the hard way. The problems you think you’ll have when starting a business are often times not the ones you actually have. Going into this venture we assumed that attracting new clients would be our biggest challenge. That was not the case at all. Finding and signing new clients has never been an issue for us. Getting them to hire our people, however, was another story. What we learned was that success (for us) was all about timing and building relationships.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

I believe it’s an end-to-end service and product. It all starts with actually listening to the needs of the client. There’s no one size fits all solution for recruitment. Each company is different; each client has their own ethos. It’s our job as recruiters to understand that culture and match qualified candidates accordingly. How a candidate will fit into a company’s culture is just as important as their background.

The other half of the equation is consistently delivering great talent. Our goal is to help clients succeed through superior hospitality management. For us, that means recruiting the very best managers in every market regardless of extenuating circumstances.

How do you motivate others?

It all starts with the people you bring on board. You can teach someone a job; you can’t teach them to care. Surrounding yourself with passionate employees is half the battle. As a restaurant and hotel manager I always tried to lead by example. The goal for me was, and still is, to be the hardest working person in the room.

My hospitality experience has certainly carried over into my role at Hoss Hire. I’ve found over time that no one on this team is ever complacent. We’re always looking for that next challenge. The drive we all share seems to motivate everyone involved.

Career advice to those in your industry?

For those who may be interested in starting a recruitment company, my advice is don’t try to be all things to all people. Find your target market early on and then focus on sales, marketing, and business development. Recruiting is all about relationships, and relationships take time to develop.

My advice for everyone in this business is to have a long term vision for your operation. What’s the landscape of your industry going to be like in 5, 10, and 15 years? As I’ve mentioned previously, technology changes everything. It’s important to stay on top of the changes and innovations that are going to affect your company long-term.