Making the New Hire Our Smart Hire

By Mark Ricketts President & Chief Operating Officer, McNeill Hotels | April 15, 2018

It's been reported that millennials decide within their first 48 hours with an organization whether they will stay on for an extended period of time. Talk about first impressions being the most lasting! 

But when we think about it, first impressions are important for all ages and experience groups. When guests arrive at our properties, the impression of their stay will often be indelibly forged by how things went at its very start. How did check-in go? Was he or she made to feel genuinely welcome by our staff? How did the room present itself upon that first opening of the main door or first peek into the bathroom? How did breakfast look and taste the next morning? And so on.

When we meet with a new supplier or industry partner, again, first impressions count for a great deal. Did we look our new colleague firmly in the eye? Did we ask the right questions or provide the answers that were being sought? The silent grading starts right then and there. The expectations of others and how we match them are essential to our success.

We must put the same care into the acquisition, training and career development process for our new hires. What we do at these stages must reflect what works best for our operating model and how we believe people should be treated within an organization.  Moreover, we must be careful about adjusting core procedures depending on whether the labor market is tight, or looser, at any given time.  Perhaps, above all else, we must be consistent with how we treat all of our associates, at entry point and into and throughout their careers with us.

This article will discuss some best practices and ideas in making any new hire feel welcome to a hospitality organization while "coming up to speed." It will also consider strategies and techniques that will help keep unproductive misconceptions or misunderstandings from arising between employer and employee. 

Hospitality isn't a career for everyone, but there are ways to improve the odds and make the new hire our smart hire. While this article will apply to our entire hospitality organization, we will be focusing on the broad range of associates, the ones who interact with and care for guests, as opposed to higher level managers and the C-suite.

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Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.