Hotel Professionals

Human Resources.

Human Resources

Several skills are required in the restaurant business.

Human resources:

• Management
• Supervision
• Service
• Cooking
• Dishwashing / Sanitation Accounting
• Office, organization and controls Maintenance
• Marketing

In large operations, in addition to the above marketing specialists, catering managers, gardeners, purchasing directors, and controllers must be employed to ensure success. All of the above skilled people must be sought, interviewed, trained, indoctrinated and taught about internal processes.

In some locations labour is readily available; in others it may be scarce and expensive. Government regulations and laws also contribute to labour availability and cost.

In some locations unskilled labour is abundant, but must be trained at great expense.

High employee turnover resulting from poor hiring practices affects profitability adversely. It is best to hire people with a positive attitude and train, rather than hiring individuals who think they know it all and contribute little to the operation.


Only a few decades ago, human resources management was referred to as personnel manpower management, or industrial administration.

The recognition of human resources as one of the most important assets of any enterprise has been slow, and still today in most developing or underdeveloped countries, manpower is regarded as secondary, if not of tertiary importance. In such countries, unskilled manpower is abundant and inexpensive. Benefits are rarely included, and if mandated, almost always ignored.

In most instances, newly hired employees are poorly trained, and put to work in menial jobs. This is patently wrong.

Good human resources management requires a strategic and coherent approach with the conviction that individuals contribute positively to achieve the goals and objectives of the company or organization. Managing human resources in theory and practice addresses problems encountered in production, sales and planning.

Each situation involves gathering relevant information, analysis, and a course of action to solve production impasses or human problems.

Each employee has needs and goals that must be treated accordingly, and with due respect to the satisfaction of both parties.

Human resources management theory believes that each employee wishes to contribute positively to the wealth or potential of the company or organization.

The objective of human resources management is to maximize return or investment from human capital and minimize financial risk. The manager(s) of this department must conduct all business in an effective and fair manner consistently, and within the legal framework of the jurisdiction.

These activities are: Work force planning; recruitment; orientation; skills management, training and development; performance evaluation; personnel administration; compensation; time management; promotions; redundancy; travel management (applies only to large national and multinational manufacturing companies); payroll; record keeping; benefits administration and policies, counselling and manpower cost.

In some companies, the Director or Vice President of human resources negotiates union contracts with restrictions or guidelines from general management and the accounting department.

In small enterprises, all of the above or some must be performed either by the principal and/or partially accomplished by the accounting department.

Human resources policies and techniques reflect company culture, national approach to manpower, need, and employee availability.

The ultimate goal of personnel management is to help an enterprise succeed by recruiting, training and maintaining talented, honest employees who believe in treating company property as their own, and work diligently to increase value.

Change is constant, and all establishments must adapt to it by innovation and new approaches to beat the competition. In order to be successful, the human resources department must be thought of as: strategic partner; change agent; employee advocate and administration.

Some companies, treat employees as machines with an infinite capacity to perform repetitive tasks rapidly, day in, day out. Nothing can be further from the truth especially in the hospitality industry. Success depends heavily on the quality of its employees, selection, training, company culture, attitude and motivation. An unhappy or troubled server reflects his/her feelings, regardless of efforts to hide them.

Expertly prepared and presented food or beverages served by a surly server fails to impress or satisfy a guest.

Ultimately, in the service industries the product is intangible, and only the memory of the experience remains. Restaurants deliver food or beverage, service and ambience. All are equally important parts of the product and must be delivered consistently. In order to achieve this objective, human resources must be instructed to recruit with due care to attitude and skill.

While the capitalist economic system believes in infrastructure by creating huge, impressive, gleaming, and ostentatious buildings, human resources theory advocates the creation of intellectual capital that must be blended by skillful management to maximize profitability and/or value.

In heavily unionized economies (France, Germany, the U.K.), companies with the encouragement of unions agreed to create job descriptions for each position. This helps each employee, but in the long run it may be detrimental in the service industry to deliver the product consistently and to innovate in order to remain competitive. Large fast food companies vehemently oppose unionization for fear of escalating payroll costs, and becoming rigid in developing new concepts.

High employee turnover in the hospitality business is common, and costs untold

amounts. Consider the expense of finding, training, and the administrative costs involved with each new employee.

Losing a newly hired employee after a few months incurs an irrecoverable cost. Occasionally, the competition benefits from hiring a trained employee.

It is important to thoroughly analyze employee recruitment, the level of skill / technical abilities, competencies, suitability, and flexibility to determine manpower needs.

Both internal and external factors must be considered. External factors are present, as well as projected labour market conditions, i.e., skills, educational level, government policies to import labour from distant sources.

In order to know the business environment, human resources managers must study: demographics, diversity and skills qualifications.

Demographics represents the workforce, i.e., age, gender, or social class. All affect pension offerings, insurance and other benefits.

Diversity refers to the gender mix in the workplace. Only 20 years ago the female representation was much less than today. Companies are now more culturally diverse and employ many part-time, casual and seasonal employees. Discrimination with regard to skin color, sexual orientation, nationality, and unfair termination, are against the law in most industrialized western countries.

Skills and qualifications play an important role in the industry. As industries move from manual to more professional and managerial manpower, the need for hiring highly skilled, literate, and numerate graduates increases proportionately. Although in the hotel and restaurant industries manual skills are still important, more and more employees are required with computer skills and the ability to express themselves coherently and articulately. The location of any enterprise is important to attract customers, clients, or guests, and to access potential employee pools.

An enterprise located in a very remote area will encounter severe difficulties finding suitable employees, but may be able to attract guests seeking total quiet and solitude. Resorts can solve severe employee shortages by offering accommodation. In some cases, even houses or cottages may be offered to managers.

Employees respond to

• Location of the business
• Occupational structure
• Generational difference

Location of the Business : If the enterprise is located far from population centers with poor to non- existing public transportation, the labour pool will be severely restricted. This problem can be solved by offering in-house accommodation.

Occupation : is concerned with 3 types of occupational structure – craft loyalty

to the profession ) ; organization career (promotion through the company); and unstructured ( lower/ unskilled workers on part – time basis)

In many European countries, professionals are loyal to the profession, whereas in North America most workers change careers several times in an attempt to improve both their comfort and income. Talented, hard-working people can count on internal promotion and advancement if they are physically fit and attractive enough for envisaged promotions.

Generational Difference : is important to consider. Older employees have certain characteristics, work habits, beliefs, and expectations. They may be very loyal, thorough, and diligent, but somewhat slow, and may report. sick frequently.

Young employees may be fast and adapt quickly, but tend to change jobs frequently before settling down.

Human resources departments advertise in local newspapers on the premises put the word out that they are hiring , contact specialized recruitment agencies, hotel and restaurant management schools, high schools, and sales representatives who start calling as soon as an establishment starts to take shape.

First, any prospective employee must fill out an application form on which the name, address, date of birth, sex, previous employment experience, and education must be recorded.

Questions regarding previous criminal convictions , drug use or addictions, may or may not be asked, pending on laws of the jurisdiction.

Prospective employees who show up late, poorly dressed, uninformed about the business, and have an undesirable attitude, are quickly eliminated by experienced interviewers.

Following the interview, all information provided by the applicant must be verified. Once this is accomplished, the applicant should be invited for a second interview during which pay, vacation, policies, benefits if any, training period and conditions, future prospects, progress reports, and interviews are discussed. If all are acceptable, and the hiring decision is made, the starting date of employment, training duration, day and time are established.

Hrayr Writer – Hrayr Berberoglu – E-mail – Read his books?
Professor B offers seminars to companies and interested parties on any category of wine, chocolates, chocolates and wine, olive oils, vinegars and dressings, at a reasonable cost.

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