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The hotel industry is a service industry and hence it strongly relies on human labour; that is, its service quality is directly connected to its staff quality. There is generally a worldwide view that the hotel and catering industry has a number of personnel related problems and poor employment practices and conditions, especially smaller hotels. Larger hotels have more advantage in human resource HR recruitment and development, because the higher level of remuneration and benefit that they can offer usually makes them the number one choice for highly competent and skilled staff.

Many hotels justify the absence or neglect of HRM functions with the size of the organization. Smaller hotels with limited financial resources claim to be restricted in developing and implementing HR systems in comparison to larger hotels. It is a fact that small and large organizations typically differ in terms of resources, money, and time. Still, all businesses—whether small or large—must hire employees to run the daily operations.


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A well-established and maintained HR department offers a solid structure which is an organizational advantage that is vital to success. Although small-sized hotels are faced with unfavorable conditions, they nevertheless have opportunities to grow, as their small size typically grants them a higher level of flexibility.

Smaller organizations need to change HR practices compared to larger organizations because of the different workforce requirements and legalities. Specifically, they must focus on improving customer satisfaction and the quality of service through well organized HR management. Human Resource Management HRM is the function within an organization that focuses on the recruiting, managing, and providing direction for the people who work in the organization. Sadly, small hotels face many HR-related problems related to: the quality of staff, staff training and development, discipline, unattractive salaries and benefits, and the high levels of turnover of younger staff members.

The reality is that small independent hotels cannot be successful without the presence of an efficient HRM system. Hotel owners play the most important role in establishing such systems, and so they should be the starting point of changes. But what can be done in order to set up a HR system?


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One of the major obstacles facing by small hotels in implementing human resource practices is the scarcity of HR practitioners to maximize their outcomes. Several steps should be taken to improve the sources of organizational efficiencies. First of all, small hotel owners should realize that HRM is an investment and that it can lead to business sustainability and success, since staff members are the most precious resource that a service sector firm has.

Second, a Standard Operating Procedure SOP should be shaped to include working policies and detailed procedures for staff members in every department in order to define and maintain quality standards. HR planning should involve analysis of HR needs, capacity of existing staff members and the preparation of job descriptions to define staff duties and qualifications.

Appropriate and skilled employees should be compensated properly, since low salaries and benefits do not attract the best qualified staff.

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This may lead to low-quality service terms and, eventually, to a decrease in customers and revenue. Small hotels do not need the same substantial HRM system as a large hotel would, but there is a requirement to take care with staff selection and training to ensure that quality standards are maintained. Indeed SMEs should use recruitment and selection procedures more carefully than any other HR practice. In fact, the most frequent staffing method by SMEs is word of mouth, as it is a low-cost option of attracting candidates.

Furthermore, new graduates from educational institutions may work with zeal and commitment. More experienced staff may be hired through walk-in interviews. According to human resources experts, here are the latest recruiting trends. Recruiting 2.


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They need to be top-notch salespeople, not just to persuade people to join their organization, but also to create a pool of potential applicants. Recruiting is rapidly evolving, thanks to the growing use of mobile apps, social networks and collaborative software. Henceforth, companies eager to gain an edge over the competition must add social and collaborative components to their recruiting process, not just to attract new employees but also to retain existing talent. Generation Z i. Their hiring expectations involve simple, direct and multi-channel contact through social media, e-mails and chat.

In a period of increasingly rapid change, technical skills quickly become obsolete. Future employees are also increasingly being chosen for their soft skills, i. Some tourism companies are devising imaginative ways to overcome difficulties and attract the best possible applicants, such as launching original recruitment campaigns and implementing tools that make hiring easier.

Here are a few examples. Recruiting internationally trained workers ITWs is one possible way tourism employers can maintain a stable workforce. These workers from overseas may encourage tourists from the same culture and country of origin to come to Canada and to OLMCs. For example, Destination Canada puts on a mobility forum for Europeans who want to live and work in Canada, more specifically in Francophone minority communities. On January 1, , Citizenship and Immigration Canada [1] introduced a new system called Express Entry that manages applications for permanent residence under the following federal economic immigration programs:.

The goal of Express Entry is to make the economic immigration system faster and more flexible by improving the way applications are processed.

Hospitality HRM: past, present and the future | Emerald Insight

Provinces and territories can also use Express Entry to recruit applicants through their Provincial Nominee Program. Provinces like Quebec have their own recruiting programs. Since , these events have resulted in the hiring of over 1, people from such countries as France, Belgium and Spain. On a smaller scale but with a similar aim, some Canadian provinces, including Prince Edward Island, host networking breakfasts [2] for potential employers and new immigrants.

This recruiting approach is not exclusive to Canada. In , the Swedish government launched Fast Track, an initiative to move newcomers to Sweden with training and experience in understaffed professions more quickly into the labour market. With head chef being one of the most difficult positions to fill, the Scandic hotel chain has undertaken to evaluate and validate the skills of newly arrived chefs and provide in-house training.

Source: Conseil canadien des ressources humaines en tourisme. Tourism HR Canada has also developed a toolbox for attracting and retaining internationally-trained workers in tourism. These days, videos are a popular medium, both for presenting job opportunities and conducting interviews. Video interviewing has been used for over ten years in the United States and has proven its worth. These interviews generally consist of three simple steps:.

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Distance recruiting also relies heavily on Skype and Google Hangout. Its mandate includes developing and marketing tourism services. The DMO is also responsible for maintaining and developing the web portal, inarisaariselka. Finding the right person for a management position is never an easy task, but the job gets ten times harder when the job is in a place as remote as Lapland.

Using the Recright video interviewing tool, the organization was able to find the right person from among thirty candidates, and save time and money, too! Source: Youtube. The recruiting process also gets a boost from artificial intelligence. In this context, AI simulates human interaction, creating a relationship with the job applicant.

It conducts relatively unimportant conversations, thereby freeing up employees for more value-added tasks. Chatbots , for example, can tell applicants about the status of their applications see example, below. Some digital recruiting platforms [1] specifically geared to the hospitality and restaurant industry such as Industry , enable future employees to create profiles listing only their sector-relevant skills.

Applicants can also upload content, such as photos of meals they have prepared, and even videos of themselves performing their daily tasks, in the kitchen, dining room or behind the bar. The hospitality industry often talks about the guest experience in terms of personalization and authenticity.

Some hotel chains have taken this a step further, and are integrating these same concepts into their recruiting process. Some Hyatt and AccorHotels facilities have started getting their job applicants to role play in real-life job situations, as though they were auditioning for a play.

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This method also means employers hire only the most talented candidates. INK Hotel Amsterdam AccorHotels posted an original and highly targeted video on social media to get the word out that it was hiring see link, below. Two weeks later, some applicants had replied to the ad, using poems, videos and even newspaper articles. One hundred and twenty-five of them were invited to an audition that consisted of role-playing in a scenario that focused on customer experience. Other opportunities to present their skills included a group project, interviews and skits.

As a result of that process, sixty people were hired. The following video summarizes the day. Source: YouTube. Tourism companies typically meet potential candidates by organizing recruitment fairs. The date and location of these events are advertised in advance on job sites or on the company website. Parc Safaria zoo in Hemmingford, Quebec and a major regional tourist attraction, also holds a day-long recruitment fair each spring in order to prepare for the summer season.

With many baby boomers increasingly embracing an active lifestyle after they retire, their growing number represents a good pool of potential employees — all the more so since they are available when students return to school en masse. In spite of this, few companies have done anything to attract or retain workers who are 55 and over. Source: Ski Saint-Bruno. A growing number of people are returning to work after retirement. Some do so for personal growth, others out of financial need.

Statistics Canada confirms that more than half of workers aged 55 to 64 who left a long-term job between and were rehired in the following 10 years.

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But retirees who return to work have certain expectations. In that respect, tourism companies have a lot to offer retirees eager to return to earning a pay cheque:. In the early s, the CQRHT developed a number of projects to encourage companies to hire workers aged 50 and up. These include:. Part of the Careers website was aimed at retirees, outlining the advantages of working at the facility, telling inspiring real-life stories and listing job offers.

Managing Human Resources in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry

Potential employees are offered year-round work with two different seasonal businesses whose busy periods are complementary rather than mutually exclusive. Normally, seasonal employees are laid off at the end of the season; by helping them to find work in another business, the resort is increasing the likelihood its employees will return, year after year. Mont Sutton has the advantage of being the only company offering jobs in the winter months. In , there were an estimated , Quebec workers holding down a seasonal job.

This type of employment accounts for a significant share of the labour market across Quebec. In the tourism industry, The combined EA member company needs constitute a full-time job. The staff hired on the basis of this alliance can have long-term jobs in the various partner companies. EA partner company employees can also achieve full-time employment by working in other sectors. The alliance allows them to meet the specific ad-hoc manpower needs of member companies through shared time and open-ended employment contracts. Jobs such as dishwasher, cook, waiter, chamber maid, maintenance manager and community manager fall into this category.

Source: Reso Thanks to shared time, alliances such as this one foster loyalty among part-time employees by providing them with the position best suited to their employment needs, whether it be ad-hoc or permanent. Again, several part-time positions can be combined to create full-time jobs, which are managed by the alliance. In Canada, Mobilize enables the tourism, accommodation, resort, golf course and food sectors to meet their labour needs on an ongoing basis. Employees, or Mobilizers, travel from place to place, changing jobs with the seasons.

Since it was launched in , the program has provided more than young Canadians with the opportunity to work and gain experience across the country. A key factor in employee retention is showing appreciation. Simply saying Hello, Thank you, or Good work can be surprisingly effective and go a long way towards fostering a positive work environment. Case studies of the hospitality and restaurant industry have demonstrated that effective recognition programs boost overall employee satisfaction and morale, reduce turnover, and increase profit and performance. The opportunity to work flex hours and take a sabbatical after a few years on the job also constitute a form of recognition.

The web and social media provide managers, colleagues and clients with a forum where they can share their success stories and give positive feedback. Travel Association, will showcase the hardworking and creative people who make Association member businesses a success. The Association has created a video and is developing a toolkit to help companies develop more employee recognition initiatives. It includes a peer-recognition component whereby employees are asked to be on the lookout for instances of excellence at work, and to write that action on the appropriate fish.

Committee members vote and submit a list of semi-finalists to management for final judging. Employees accumulate points based on positive feedback from guests and their co-workers, and are honoured when they reach a certain number of points. The portal has useful tools for both companies and workers. Employers can show daily appreciate in thousands of small ways. By way of example, this link takes you to a page with 52 employee recognition ideas.

In the United States alone, 14, of its 75, employees have been working there for 10 years or more. Clearly, Hyatt is doing something right when it comes to keeping valued personnel. A few years ago, the company began implementing an internal hiring program as a means of obtaining the best possible candidates.

The hotel company also launched a training program called Change the Conversation, based on empathic listening, and inspired by principles developed by the Stanford School of Design. Putting this new approach into action, employees are encouraged to find new and creative ways to go about their daily tasks and solve problems when they arise.

This trust-based approach is working so well that many new hires come from the Employee Referral Program. On average, one in four new employees will leave their job before the end of the first year. Key components of such programs include:.