Recruitment Lessons from My Favorite Hotels in the World

By Joyce Gioia CEO, Employer of Choice International, Inc. | October 02, 2011

General Managers worldwide face different challenges in recruitment. How they handle those challenges to provide the highest levels of service is a reflection of their leadership. And their strategies and tactics provide great insights for their peers.

Visit hotel schools

For a long time I have recommended to clients of all kinds that they go into the schools. Recently, I was pleased to discover that one of our favorite GMs, Fintan Odoherty from the Windsor Plaza Hotel in Saigon (now Ho Chi Min City), does just that.

Odoherty personally visits the 10 to 12 hotel schools in his city and "lectures" to interested students. His last topic was "the importance of communication in hotels". His presentation was preceded by his Human Resources Director delivering a talk on their property, and he finished the program with a look at "a typical day in the life of a Hotel Manager".

"The presentation generated so much interest that I had to bring the question and answer session to a halt after one and a half hours!", said Odoherty. These sessions and others conducted by his managers are so successful that they have quite a few students start with them part time, while they are still in college.

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.