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Imagine you are promoted to a managerial position in a hotel company. Imagine having to make tough decisions that affect the overall productivity, image and customer satisfaction of your hotel. Imagine that you must manage a team of professionals in order to do this. Now try to imagine how challenging it will be to delegate the right responsibilities to the right people, let alone recruiting, training and monitoring all of them.

Welcome to HR for Hospitality Managers 101

A couple of months ago, I started taking my first Human Resource Management lectures in Glion. Just hearing the name, I thought I already had it figured out: a person sitting at a desk all day, hiring and monitoring employees and dealing with some paper-work. But I was wrong, HR isn’t the role of one department, it’s a part of every management position.

Hospitality is currently one of the world’s fastest growing industries and it is continuously evolving. With new jobs opening constantly and a high turn-over rate in operational jobs, finding “the right candidate for the right job” in hospitality can be harder than finding a needle in a haystack. So every manager needs to understand how to hire efficiently and correctly.

The Cost of Bad Hiring Practices

Every manager plays a role in hiring staff, monitoring performance and conducting reviews. So, as future managers, we must understand the pitfalls and risks of the hiring process. For example, the hiring process can have a very negative impact on finance and morale if the new hire doesn’t stay. “The Harvard Business Review points out that as much as 80% of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions. And according to a study by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), it could cost up to five times a bad hire’s annual salary. SHRM also found that the higher the person’s position and the longer they remain in that position, the more it will cost to replace him or her” (Yanger, 2013).

3 Keys to Hiring the Right Person (or Getting Hired for the Right Job) in Hospitality

  1. Know exactly who you want. A manager must have animage for their ideal candidate. By choosing to hire somebody, they are investing in not only human capital, but also brand image. And top hospitality companies are very serious about their brand image. So managers must be aware of the qualities a company seeks and look for those qualities in future employees.
    For the Candidate: Project the right image. The first-impression and professional image you present in an interview may be the most important factor to getting the job. Show up on time, well-dressed and smelling good. It can make all the difference.
  1. Know the job. Hotels have a wide variety of jobs and responsibilities, so in-depth knowledge of each position’s requirements, and the company standards, is a must for every hospitality manager.
    For the Candidate: (Also) Know the job. Take time to learn as much as you can about the job you are applying for and make sure you present your skills as they apply to your future role.
  1. Listen to the questions, not just the answers. Every manager must know how to interview a potential candidate. Many HR managers will ask, “Do you have any questions for me?” A candidate who asks pertinent questions shows initiative and interest.
    For the Candidate: Ask questions! I was asked if I had any questions once in an interview and I replied with “No, thank you, nothing in particular.” Needless to say, I didn’t get the job. So I highly advise job-seekers to ask as many questions as possible during their interviews, it’s a chance to gain first-hand information about the company and to show your interviewer that you are interested.

Every Manager has HR responsibilities

HR is part of every hospitality manager’s duties, and it’s a hand-full of responsibilities, especially if one is working in a multi-cultural and dynamic environment, such as a hotel. People must be guided, their opinions listened to, their qualities monitored and improved on – but most importantly support must be provided. As the name of the HR department suggests, it’s all about managing a company’s most valuable resources, its human capital, in an intelligent and supportive manner.

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About the author

Glion Institute of Higher Education
Glion Institute of Higher Education is a private Swiss institution offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hospitality, luxury and event management to an international student body across three campuses in Switzerland and London, UK.
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