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 March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.