HR, we need you more than ever! HR, 前所未有的存在感！
Updated: Aug 20
Take a moment to think where all the department offices are located in your hotel.
Where is your HR Department located?
It would be safe to assume that your HR is somewhere tucked away on LG2 close to your staff entrance and the furthest physical distance away from your operations and from your guests.
The message is subtle, yet the perception lingers. Our HR hotel departments are somehow disconnected, out-of-touch; a necessary department, but one that is expected to operate with the fewest resources from the basement. And yet, they are expected to also be the gatekeepers of the industry professionals we recruit, employ and train.
In theory, HR (HUMAN Resources), is the embodiment of empathy and genuine care for others, and it is through their department that a true hospitality mindset and company culture should originate. Unfortunately, HR is under-valued and under-invested, as is evident in the limited resources dedicated to staffing HR departments. A team of 4-5 people is expected to onboard, train and administrate the careers of hundreds of employees who stay much longer than the average long stay guest.
Yet, according to the “2020 China Hotel Investment and Asset Management Outlook Report” prepared by Horwath HTL, the impact of COVID-19 has resulted in hotel owners and asset managers to rank cost control as most important in effectively managing their properties compared to “driving revenue” or “staff training/ incentives”. What is the long-term impact this “cost-control” mindset is having on our industry, especially if we “cost control” Human Resources to the point where they are unable to effectively attract, train, retain and develop talent?
What is certain is that today’s talent pipeline is already scant. In China, Gen Z hospitality students are graduating from hospitality schools in China and from abroad, and they are already disillusioned with the disparity between the physical work of our industry, the erratic work schedule and barely livable wage. Couple all of that with societal and family pressure to avoid our industry at all costs. Upon starting their careers in our industry, this talented group of professionals has their passion for hospitality already hanging by a thread.
At the Young Elite Alliances in Hospitality (YEAH) Summit 2020, we had the chance to hear
directly from the Gen Z students who expressed how “lost” they feel since returning from studying abroad. Their passion for hospitality is not matched by the way they are treated during the recruitment process nor when they are placed in operations roles in China. Ultimately, these students avoid operations and flock to consulting jobs preventing the contribution of top talent from elevating the service experience in China.
Therefore, the HR Department, as the first impression and point of contact for new applicants, especially Gen Z applicants, plays a critical role.
We must begin to re-evaluate and prioritize the role of HR in our hotels if our industry is going to have sustainable growth.
There are immediate and easy steps we can take as operations leaders to begin to make a shift in our mindset as it relates to the role of HR in our properties.
HR = Brand Ambassadors
“Brand ambassador”, is a term typically reserved for “front of house” team members. Front of House “brand ambassadors” tend to have the BEST uniforms, the BEST verbiage, the BEST technology, the BIGGEST teams. What would happen if we treated the HR team as Brand Ambassadors? What impact would that have on applicants and on the overall energy of the company culture? What impact would that have on the learning and development experience for everyone?
Genuine Care is the BEST Form of Recruitment
With so many candidates filtering through our online application systems for hotel, are we giving our HR teams enough resources to respond to applicants in a timely way and with the respect and genuine care we expect our employees to extend to our guests?
I was moved by Zachary Ledford, who told MILLIONS of people via his social media post on LinkedIn, about the lasting impression of genuine care extended to him from Human Resources. At 7 years old when he applied for a job at Lego, he was far from the “ideal” candidate, but that didn’t prevent the Lego HR team from taking the time to respond and to nurture a potential future talent. Do our HR teams do the same for interested applicants? Do applicants tell others about their recruitment experience with your HR team?
Complete an HR Hospitality Checklist
Make a trip down to the basement and take the pulse of your HR department. This checklist has the hospitality “basics” and you can quickly determine if your HR team has its priorities on extending the genuine care and service you expect of your operations teams. If you find more gaps than expected, spend some time with your HR leaders to review what can be done or what resources are needed to make them the brand ambassadors & exemplars of genuine care that the future of our industry needs them to be!
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根据浩华 (Horwath HTL) 发布的《2020年中国酒店投资与资产管理展望报告》(2020 China Hotel Investment and Asset Management Outlook Report), COVID-19的影响已导致酒店业主和资产管理者将成本控制列为有效管理其物业的最重要因素，而不是“推动收入”或“员工培训/激励”。这种“成本控制”的思维模式对我们的行业有什么长期影响，尤其是如果我们“成本控制”人力资源，以至于他们无法有效地吸引、培训、留住和发展人才？