Selecting for Success: Recipes for Improving the Quality of Your Hires

By Roberta Chinsky Matuson President, Matuson Consulting | December 16, 2012

What if you could whip up a selection process that would be the envy of others? Well you can, by following this recipe for selecting for success. Here's what you need to begin:

Choice ingredients

I recently purchased a fish share that provides me with fresh fish delivered within a day of the catch coming in. I consider myself a "foodie," but I have to say, I've rarely experienced such flavors at home, even though I frequently purchase fish from the local seafood store. The fish share purveyor is going straight to the source. Sometimes he meets the boat, and other times he grabs the fish from the packaging center. He's extremely selective about what he is providing to his customers, and it shows.

I wonder if you are being as selective as you should be when choosing employees who are going to be representing your brand. I suspect that for many of you, the answer is probably no. I say this because there are only a handful of hotel brands that stand above the rest in terms of service, and not all of these brands are five star hotels.

Delivering the finest experience should be the number one goal of every executive and team of managers. You have to hire the absolute best to achieve this noble goal. But in order to do so, you must have a culture that treats employees as well as you treat your guests.

When I think of memorable hotel experiences, I always think of Kimpton Hotels. It's easy to forget that their front desk people are probably paid the same as those who work in other hotels. Yet every employee that I've encountered appears to be hand selected. The next time you are tempted to hire a new employee, ask yourself, "Is this person good enough?" If you can't say, "Absolutely!" right away, then pass. Remember, there are plenty of fish in the sea. You need to be patient and wait for the right catch to come in.

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.