The New Key Functions in Today's Hotel Human Resources Department

Hotel human resources has morphed and HR executives need to recognize these changes

By Suzanne McIntosh President, McIntosh Human Capital Management | March 25, 2018

If you have been employed within the hospitality business for any length of time, you may have seen your Human Resources department evolve from the "Personnel Department" to the "Department of Talent Acquisition". This office has evolved from a cost center, which was mostly compliance-based, focused on record keeping, workplace safety, salary management and employee grievances, to essential centers for talent engagement. Employees have gone from "resources" to "assets" and have become recognized as a valuable source of competitive advantage.

Our most successful hospitality companies understand that their talent acquisition, retention, employee engagement and reward, requires continuous innovation in order to remain competitive in attracting top talent. Our customer's guest experience expectations are met and exceeded by the talent we employ. Our Human Resources departments no longer just process employee paperwork and administer benefits. They are integral to our customer engagement and financial success.

This article will focus on several key areas that our Human Resource professionals, particularly as it relates to our Sales Talent, are now charged with in their roles. The key areas to ensure a key competitive advantage include:

  • innovative recruiting strategies
  • retention strategies, including compensation and incentive bonus plans
  • developing training and leadership development programs
  • redesigning work to enhance colleague involvement and engagement

Recruitment and Interviewing

Competition for high performing talent has never been so fierce. Attracting the best people to our organizations requires deploying strategies far beyond posting an internal job vacancy or Help Wanted ad.

Social media has expanded our reach significantly. Platforms like Linkedin and sites such as HCareers, allow us to present opportunities to a larger audience. Our employees can use their personal FaceBook pages to talk about their own great work environments and promote opportunities to join their team.

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Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.