Taking Recruiting to the Next Level: Choosing Your Team

By Jesse Boles Executive Director of Operations, FreemanGroup | July 03, 2011

Any good chef will tell you that if you put garbage in, you'll put garbage out. Just as it is best for chefs to know what dish they are preparing before they go out in search of the best ingredients to make it, hotel professionals are better off when they know what they are looking for in staff members before they hire and train them.

When an organization hires just one person for the wrong job, the effects can be damaging to the entire enterprise. When an organization makes bad hiring choices a habit, the results can be disastrous. At best, bad hiring choices result in poor service; at worst, they cause safety and health risks and perpetually high turnover. Unfortunately, despite the negative consequences of poor hiring choices, many organizations still put little thought and planning into recruiting and interviewing.

Who Do You Want?

Without a clear objective in our heads, most of us will simply go into the market and pick out whatever looks best without really taking into consideration how the items will combine when they are thrown into one pot. We can fool ourselves into thinking that this approach is a good one by saying things like, "We are going to hire experienced people with the right skills, so we won't need to do much with them once we get them," but the truth is that if we don't have a clear recipe for hiring the right employees for the right jobs from the very beginning, we are probably going to wind up with an inarticulate culture made up of people who are each doing their job in a different way.

If you want to recruit and hire effectively, you must be able to articulate exactly what you need and expect a candidate to bring to the table prior to training. You should also be able to articulate what you will be able to provide to candidates during training. Being confident in your training program frees you to focus on building the right culture during hiring instead of merely assessing candidates' technical skills.

One oft overlooked benefit of having a good training program is that it allows you to present potential hires with fewer boxes to check on their applications in order to qualify for a particular job. Allowing more people to qualify for a job expands your pool of qualified applicants and enables you to base your final selections on the more desirable characteristics you will be able to uncover during the interview process.

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Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.