Owning or operating a hotel property in today’s employment market is no easy feat. With vast and changing HR technology options, ever-evolving compliance requirements, tight labor markets, and workplace automation on the rise, hotel owners and operators face tough decisions to maintain their workforce, stay in compliance, and manage their total costs. Among the pressing operational needs of running a hotel, effective human resources is one area that is often overlooked. However, a well-functioning HR department can ensure that a hotel’s valuable employees are secure, properly trained, aligned with the brand’s culture, and take pride in their role in growing the business.
A strong HR and employment team supporting the property allows hotel owners and operators to focus on agreed-upon strategic goals, developing employees, and improving the guest experience. Choosing, or re-evaluating, a hotel’s HR partners can make a significant difference in the quality of the guest experience.
Getting Help Where it’s Needed
Hospitality executives know that hiring the right people for the right positions is critical to the successful operation of their business. Building out a team with talented, motivated individuals who will grow with the company and positively impact the bottom line is where C-suite energy should be spent. Internally managing HR and compliance, payroll, benefits, and employer-related duties may actually cost more than partnering with an experienced hospitality HR partner.
HR is Not One Size Fits All
It’s important to establish up front exactly what role HR will play in a hotel’s operations. The answer will help identify specific deliverables to look for in the search. Simple payroll providers are a commodity and easily sourced. More than likely, hoteliers need a provider with a broad range of digital, paperless tactical deliverables, including payroll, timekeeping, integration with valuable industry platforms for analytics and general ledger, applicant tracking, performance management, and ACA compliance, as well as soft HR skills and employment compliance. The right HR partner provider can execute a variety of administrative tasks.
When evaluating potential HR partners, ask them the following: “How deep is your experience in the hospitality industry? How do you configure your deliverables to accommodate to my specific needs? Can your human resources information system (HRIS) integrate with my GL, analytics, ATS, POS, and other critical legacy platforms? If we choose your services, how do you ensure my team stays focused on my operations versus executing your implementation? Do I have to hire outside consultants to extract maximum value from your platform?”
There should not be a one-size-fits-all approach to HR with pre-defined solutions. Make sure they can deliver on the technology solutions that the hotel needs and provide the expertise the business is missing. HR providers should clearly align with the brand’s values, culture, goals, and mission.
Making the Right Selection
Whether ready to make the switch to a new HR provider now, or simply preparing for the future, it’s crucial for hoteliers to evaluate the business’ needs and resources, talk with respected industry peers, and take the time to make an informed decision. Dive into their experience within the hospitality industry and explore their history of integrating with hospitality industry platforms. Ask them to provide referrals from other hospitality clients to make sure they are a sound choice. The best providers will have a solid track record for responding to regulatory and industry changes, and will move quickly to meet the demands of the business.
When searching for an HR partner, insist on a provider that truly understands the hospitality and hotel management industry—a partner with proven processes to execute the recruiting, onboarding, timekeeping, payroll, and benefits administration tasks. In the end, a hotelier’s focus should remain on strategic goals, building culture, and delivering on their brand’s promise of an outstanding guest experience.