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Tips on Hiring in Hospitality

Tips on Hiring in Hospitality

Searching for the right candidate for a managerial position in a hotel is no easy task. Here, Michael Tall, president and COO of Charlestowne Hotels, offers his insight on how to pick the right person for the job.

What to Look For: Keep an eye out for potential employees with a hands-on, can-do attitude who exude a pride-of-ownership mentality. Personality and an affinity for customer service come above all the rest. The biggest differentiator to the competition, and what will keep guests coming back, is always going to be service.

Be Slow to Hire: Don’t settle for the first qualified person and look outside the box. Hotel experience isn’t always critical. Many times employers get pigeon-holed looking for someone with a hotel background. Through recent experience, Charlestowne Hotels found that a bank teller was the best candidate for a GM position, since the same skills were involved: accountability, great customer service, and exceptional organization and record-keeping.

Think Local: Understand the demographic of the hotel guest. Rather than getting caught up in finding the “best” talent, consider the benefits of a candidate with local talent.

Profit-Minded: Find a leader who can meet service expectations while driving top line revenue and maximizing profits. This person could be well-versed in the flow of hotel expenses, or they may bring an entrepreneurial spirit in their approach to generating revenue and perfecting the guest experience.

Make it Work: Don’t be bound by pay or benefit boundaries. If there is an ideal candidate, make it work and get creative. More often than not, extending the budget to get the right person will pay off tenfold moving forward.

Don’t Be Blinded by a Flashy Resume: Get to know the person—an in-person interview and property walk-through will help reveal whether they’re the right fit. Even if the person has worked at a notable four-star hotel in an exotic location, they may not be the right person to run an upscale independent boutique property in a second-tier city.

One comment

  1. Hi Michael – agree on all points. “Searching” is not the hardest part, though, finding and then aligning the specific talents of an individual with the key ingredients and expectations of the job is where HR earns their stripes. Like you, I found that some of the best hires had customer experience outside the industry, and were able to nicely translate, and even expand on, their skills inside the hotel. Also, resumes are good for talking, but it is the actual performance once in the job that counts. Many times, resumes are poor indicators of success.

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