Hotelier Forum Archiver

frank Posted: 3-7-2009 07:38

Recruitment and selection

Generally recruiting and selecting people to fill new or existing positions is a crucial
element of human resource activity in all tourism and hospitality organizations,
irrespective of size, structure or activity. Although we have noted how the
importance of service quality has increased the pressure on organizations to select
the ‘right’ kind of individual, it is often widely suggested that too often decisions
are made in an informal, ad hoc and reactive manner. This point may be especially
true in smaller organizations that may not have well developed HRM functions or
recruitment and selection systems, and may recruit irregularly with heavy reliance
on informal systems and methods (Jameson, 2000). Indeed, within the context of
the hospitality sector, Price (1994) found that of 241 hotels sampled in her research,
a third never used job descriptions or person specifications. More recently,
Lockyer and Scholarios (2005) surveyed over 80 hotels and again found a general
lack of systematic procedures for recruitment and selection. This lack of systemization
may seem strange when many writers would point to the cost of poor
recruitment and selection being manifested in such things as:
● expensive use of management time;
● retraining performers;
● recruiting replacements for individuals who leave very quickly;
● high-labour turnover;
● absenteeism;
● low morale;
● ineffective management and supervision;
● disciplinary problems;
● dismissals.
Clearly then it is important for organizations to consider how they can approach
recruitment and selection to increase the likelihood of a successful appointment/
decision and in a cost effective manner. Reflecting this latter idea of cost
effectiveness it is important to recognize the contingent nature of recruitment and
selection. Thus, although there may be good practice approaches to recruitment
and selection these are not going to be appropriate for all positions available in an
organization. For example, for a management traineeship in a major hotel the company
may use a variety of sophisticated and costly mechanisms culminating in
an assessment centre. On the other hand for a part-time seasonal position in a
fairground the company may recruit an employee based on word of mouth.
Indeed, in considering why it may be difficult for tourism and hospitality companies
to aim for best practice in recruitment and selection Lockyer and Scholarios
(2005) recognize that the lack of formality can often be overcome by effective use of
local networks in recruiting employees. For example, they suggest that the person
responsible for selection should have a good knowledge of the local labour market
and be able to make the best use of informal networks to find suitable employees.
A further point to consider by way of introduction is the notion of ‘fit’ between
the individual and the organization who are seeking to attract and admit those who
are considered ‘right’ for the organization, in terms of issues like commitment, flexibility,
quality, ability to work in a team and so on. Thus, the match between the individual
and organization may be ‘loose’, that is applicants having the ability to do the
job; or ‘tight’, where the individual has to demonstrate not only technical competence
but whether they have a specific personality profile to ‘fit’ the organizational culture,
as discussed in previous thread. In such circumstances clearly there is the possibility to see
the notion of tight fit between organization and individual in a slightly sinister way
and we will consider this point throughout the thread. Relatedly, there is the idea of
discrimination being a key issue within the recruitment and selection process. Of
course, at one level recruitment and selection is inherently discriminatory as, at times,
organizations will have to choose between two or more applicants for a job, particularly
for managerial positions. Crucially though such discrimination should be based
on the applicants ability to do the job. Thus companies are discriminating all the time
on the basis of whether or not candidates have the attributes and skills to do the job,
but this should not contravene statutes in areas such as race, sex and disability
. One final point by way of introduction is to recognize the range of
skills which managers need in the recruitment and selection process. As many line
managers in tourism and hospitality, as well as human resource specialists, are
increasingly involved in recruitment and selection it is important that they should
recognize the skills required in such a process (and see HRM in practice 5.1).

[[i] by Frank at 3-7-2009 08:04 edited [/i]]

frank Posted: 3-7-2009 07:40

HRM in practice 5.1 Skills involved in the recruitment and selection process

The recruitment and selection process                              The skills required
Job description                                                               Evaluation of the vacancy
Person specification                                                        Drafting the criteria
Advertisement                                                                 Summarising
Shortlist                                                                          Fair discrimination
Interview                                                                         Questioning skills
Selection tests                                                                  Listening skills
References                                                                      Assessment skills
Decision                                                                          Evaluation
Decision Evaluation

frank Posted: 3-7-2009 07:41


Recruitment is defined by Heery and Noon (2001: 298) as ‘the process of generating
a pool of candidates from which to select the appropriate person to fill a job
vacancy’. In essence, in the recruitment process organizations are seeking to attract
and retain the interest of suitable candidates, whilst at the same time also seeking
to portray a positive image to potential applicants. Of course, recruitment is a
dynamic process as within organizations people are constantly retiring, resigning,
being promoted or, at times, being dismissed. Equally, changes in technology, procedures
or markets may all mean that jobs are re-configured and become available
to the external labour and thereby trigger the recruitment and selection process.
Having decided to recruit, organizations will ordinarily consider a range of question
to determine how they might approach filling the vacancy. Specifically, they
might ask themselves the following questions:
● What does the job consist of?
● What are the aspects of the job that specify the type of candidate?
● What are the key aspects of the job that the ideal candidate wants to know
before applying?
Conventionally the answers to these questions will be provided by job analysis,
the job description and person specification, which allow the candidates to gauge
their chances of being appointed.

frank Posted: 3-7-2009 07:41

Job analysis

Armstrong (1999: 190) defines job analysis as ‘the process of collecting, analysing
and setting out information about the contents of jobs in order to provide the basis
for a job description and data for recruitment, training, job evaluation and performance
management’. Marchington and Wilkinson (2005) suggest that undertaking a
job analysis may not be necessary for every time a vacancy arises, especially in
organizations that have high levels of labour turnover. However, they do recognize
that job analysis does allow for an examination of whether existing job descriptions
and person specifications/competency profiles are appropriate for future needs.
The same authors also recognize that there is likely to be variation in terms of the
sophistication, cost, convenience and acceptability of job analysis and this will also
determine the methods utilized to analyse a job. Organizations may use one or more
of the following methods: observation of the job, work diaries, interviews with job
holders and questionnaires and checklists. The output from such job analysis is the
job description and person specification.

frank Posted: 3-7-2009 07:42

Job description

Heery and Noon (2001: 186) describe the job description as, ‘A document that outlines
the purposes of the job, the task involved, the duties and responsibilities, the
performance of objectives and the reporting relationships. It will give details of the
terms and conditions, including the remuneration package and hours of work’. In
many respects the job description can be thought of as a functional document
which outlines the ‘what’ elements of a job. It should aim to provide clear information
to candidates about the organization and the job itself, such that it acts as a
realistic preview of the job. Importantly, as well as offering a realistic description
of the nature of the job, the job description should also act as a marketing document
that seeks to make the job look attractive to potential applicants.

frank Posted: 3-7-2009 07:42

Person specification/competency profile in the recruitment context

Whilst the job description considers the ‘what’ aspects of the job, the person specification
is concerned with the ‘who’. In this way the person specification should
aim to provide a profile of the ‘ideal’ person for the job. In reality, the ideal person
may not exist, but the person specification provides a framework to assess how
close candidates come to being the ideal. Conventionally the person specification
is a document which describes the personal skills and characteristics required to
fill the position, usually listed under ‘essential’ and ‘desirable’ headings. In that
sense essential criteria form the minimum standard expected for any given job and
will form the basis for potentially rejecting applicants. For example, if an advert
for a tour company manager stipulates a degree in a travel and tourism-related
area, then non-degree holders would be automatically excluded. On the other
hand the desirable criteria are those things which are considered over and above
the minimum and should provide the basis for selection. For example, an organization
may stipulate that for the same managerial job we have just outlined that a
foreign language is desirable. If a candidate had a foreign language they may be at
an advantage to other candidates who do not, though ultimately the company
may appoint somebody who does not have a language.
The two most important person specification models are those provided by
Alec Rodger in 1952 and John Munro Fraser in 1954 (Torrington et al., 2005).

frank Posted: 3-7-2009 07:42

Rodger seven-point plan

1 Physical characteristics – such as the ability to lift heavy loads or appearance,
speech and manner.
2 Attainments – educational/professional qualifications, work experience considered
necessary for the job.
3 General intelligence – such as the ability to define and solve problems.
4 Special aptitudes – skills, attributes or competencies relevant to the job.
5 Interests – work related or leisure pursuits that may have a bearing on the job.
6 Disposition – job-related behaviours, for example demonstrating friendliness.
7 Circumstances – for example domestic commitments or ability to work unsocial

frank Posted: 3-7-2009 07:43

Munro Fraser five-fold grading system

1 Impact on other people – similar to Rodgers physical make-up.
2 Qualifications and experience – similar to Rodgers attainments.
3 Innate abilities and aptitude – similar to Rodgers general intelligence.
4 Motivation – a person’s desire to succeed in the workplace.
5 Adjustment – personality factors that may impact on things like ability to cope
with difficult customers.

frank Posted: 3-7-2009 07:43

More recently, Marchington and Wilkinson (2005) note how many companies now
use competency frameworks to outline the type of person that they are seeking.
The focus of competency frameworks is on the behaviours of job applicants and
they are useful as they can also set a framework for other subsequent HR practices,
such as performance management and pay. Marchington and Wilkinson (2005:
169) also note how, ‘the competencies can be related to specific performance outcomes
rather than being concerned with potentially vague processes, such as disposition
or interests outside of work’. The use of competencies tends to focus on
areas such as team orientation, communication, people management, customer
focus, results orientation and problem-solving.
Regardless though of whether organizations are using person specifications or
competency frameworks, tourism and hospitality organizations are now seeking
employees, especially those who will interact with customers, with certain types
of skills.

frank Posted: 3-7-2009 07:44

The ‘ideal’ front-line tourism and hospitality employee

With the shift to a service economy the type of skills demanded by employers has
also shifted. Employers in hospitality and tourism in both the UK and elsewhere
increasingly desire employees with the ‘right’ attitude and appearance (Chan and
Coleman, 2004; Nickson et al., 2005). The right attitude encompasses aspects such
as social and interpersonal skills, which are largely concerned with ensuring
employees are responsive, courteous and understanding with customers, or in simple
terms can demonstrate emotional labour. However, it is not only the right attitude
that employers seek. Nickson et al. (2001) have developed the term ‘aesthetic
labour’ – the ability to either ‘look good’ or ‘sound right’ (Warhurst and Nickson,
2001) – which points to the increasing importance of the way in which employees
are expected to physically embody the company image in tourism and hospitality.
In an analysis of 5000 jobs advertisements across a number of different occupations
and sectors in the UK, Jackson et al. (2005) found that the skills stated as
necessary by employers are ‘social skills’ and ‘personal characteristics’; only 26 per
cent of organizations mentioned the need for educational requirements. Within
personal services this figure was less than 10 per cent. Furthermore Jackson et al.
found numerous instances of front-line service jobs asking for attributes that
referred less to what individuals could do than to what they were like, such as
being ‘well-turned out’ or ‘well-spoken’, or having ‘good appearance’, ‘good
manners’, ‘character’ or ‘presence’.
Nickson et al. (2005) also report evidence from a survey of nearly 150 employers
in the retail and hospitality industry. On the question of what employers are
looking for in customer facing staff during the selection process, Nickson et al.
found that 65 per cent suggested that the right personality was critical, with the
remainder of respondents suggesting this aspect was important. Equally, 33 per
cent of the employers surveyed felt that the right appearance was critical and
57 per cent as important, only 2 per cent of respondents felt it was not important.
These figures can be compared to qualifications, with only one respondent seeing
qualifications as critical, 19 per cent of employers felt it was important and 40 per
cent suggested it was not important at all for selecting their customer facing staff.
In terms of the skills deemed necessary to do the required work, employers
placed a far greater emphasis on ‘soft’ skills for customer facing staff. Ninety-nine
per cent of respondents felt that social or interpersonal skills were felt to be of at
least significant importance, and 98 per cent felt likewise about self-presentation,
or aesthetic, skills. Conversely 48 per cent of employers felt that technical skills
were important in their customer facing staff and 16 per cent stated they were not
important at all. The skills that matter to employers in customer facing staff in
tourism and hospitality are generally then ‘soft’, including aesthetic skills, rather
than ‘hard’ technical skills, which will often be trained in when people join the
organization (and see HRM in practice 5.2).
Of course we should recognize that the use of person specifications and competency
frameworks may still involve a degree of subjectivity, especially in judging
which potential employees have the ‘right’ kind of attitude or appearance.
Evidence suggests that employers will often make judgements which penalize
people for not having the ‘right’ appearance or attitude (Nickson et al., 2003).
Clearly, then, there is the potential for overt and not so overt forms of discrimination
in how person specifications and competency frameworks may be used by
those making the final decision about who is to be employed by the organization,
a point considered in further detail in following threads.

frank Posted: 3-7-2009 07:45

HRM in practice 5.2

HRM in practice 5.2 ‘Scotland with Style’: aesthetic labour and employees who
look good and sound right
Glasgow was once an industrial city. Now, over 85 per cent of the city’s jobs are in services.
Aiming for the city break tourist market, the city promotes its retail, cultural and
hospitality attractions. Between 1994 and 2000, the number of major hotels in the city
increased from 42 to 89, with 27 more planned. Glasgow has approximately 1000 bars
and restaurants and is second only to London as Britain’s culinary capital. Similarly,
Experian acknowledges Glasgow as the second largest retail centre in the UK outside
London. The city also now has a well-developed niche of designer retailers, boutique
hotels and style bars, cafes and restaurants. Not surprisingly, the city was recently
described by US magazine Travel and Leisure as ‘The UK’s hippest and most happening
city’. Three million tourists visit the city each year, generating £670 m annually in the local
economy. In recognition of this new economic success, the city re-branded itself as
‘Scotland with Style’ in 2004.
To take advantage of this booming tourist market and reflecting the city’s new
image, tourism and hospitality employers want staff with the right customer service
skills. Job adverts specify that applicants be ‘well spoken and of smart appearance’ or
‘very well presented’. One Scottish-based boutique hotel company, known pseudonymsly
as Elba, has created a sophisticated recruitment, selection and training programme
for its new staff. Elba has hotels in two Scottish cities and has expanded into
England and France. Opening a new hotel in Glasgow, the company deliberately placed
job advertisements in the Sunday Times rather than local evening newspapers. Opening
a hotel in Newcastle, England, it placed TV adverts during programmes aimed at the
youth market. As a consequence, its typical front of house employee is in his or her twenties,
a graduate and well travelled. Recruitment literature featured a person description
not a job description, asking applicants to assess themselves by the 13 words that characterized
that company’s image; ‘stylish’ and ‘tasty’ for example. After a telephone interview,
application with CV and then a face-to-face interview, there was a 10-day
induction at the Glasgow hotel in which extensive grooming and deportment training
was given to the staff by external consultants. Sessions included individual ‘make-overs’
for staff, teaching them about hair cuts/styling, teaching female staff about make-up,
male staff how to shave and, for all, the expected appearance standards. The sessions
were intended to relay ‘this is what we want you to actually look like ... you have to
understand what “successful” looks like ... what “confident” looks like.’ The hotel
wanted staff that were confident, with a good attitude and appearance. ‘There is an Elba
look’, said the hotel manager, ‘neat and stylish…young, very friendly ... people that fit in
with the whole concept of the hotel’ (Nickson et al., 2001: 180). The hotel wanted staff
able to project the company’s image and help it differentiate itself in a crowded and competitive
market. It is a policy that seems to pay: the hotel claims above average occupancy
rates for the city.

frank Posted: 3-7-2009 07:46

Ultimately in considering the person specification or competency profile it
would seem sensible for organizations to consider several points.
● Are all the items on your person specification/competency profile relevant to
the job?
● Are you reasonably sure that none of your criteria would discriminate unfairly
against a group of potential candidates?
● Would your person specification/competency profile enable a shortlisting and
interviewing panel to distinguish clearly between candidates?

Having reviewed the importance of the job description and person specification/
competency requirements we can now move on to consider how organizations can
attract the interest of appropriate potential employees. Initially, there may be a
choice as to whether the organization looks to somebody within the organization or
alternatively looks to the external labour market. For example, for a promotable
position organizations which are seeking to sustain a strong internal labour market
may have a policy to offer this position in-house first to existing staff. Equally,
though, the organization may feel that offering such positions to the external labour
market is important to bring in new ideas and new blood to the organization. In
deciding their target group organizations may also wish to address issues such as
under representation of a particular group, for example ethnic minority employees
or women managers, a point that is further considered in the following thread.
Generally speaking organizations have a number of methods which they can
consider in seeking to engage with their target market for new employees. First, as
we have already noted they may use existing employees. For example, this can be
in relation to promotable positions or also in terms of word-of-mouth approaches,
which are commonplace in tourism and hospitality, especially for front-line positions.
Alternatively the organization may choose to use external contacts, such as
job centres. Indeed, this may well be something that organizations see as important
in their attempts to be good corporate citizens (and see HRM in practice 5.3).

frank Posted: 3-7-2009 07:47

HRM in practice 5.3 Jurys Inns: offering a helping hand to the unemployed

The Jurys Inn hotel is a three-star plus hotel chain targeting business travellers and leisure
guests. It is the key brand of the Irish Jurys Doyle Hotel Group PLC that owns and operates
three-, four- and five-star hotels in the UK, Ireland and the US, and has a workforce
of 4000 employees. As any other companies in the highly competitive and unstable hospitality
sector, the Jurys Inn hotel had to develop a successful strategy to stand out from
the competition and weather the economic slowdown. Among the strategic initiatives
was a recruitment and training strategy aimed at improving the quality of customer service.
Every time Jurys Doyle Hotels opens a new Jurys Inn, they rely on key local employment
providers, such as the Job Centre Plus, the local council and a local training
provider, such as a college, to develop a gateway training programme for people willing
to move into the hotel industry. Applicants who have passed the initial sifting process are
then invited to an 8-week pre-employment training programme run in partnership
between Jurys Doyle Hotels and the training provider. This programme has proved successful
since it was first launched in 1993 and 20 people who are currently working in
the company are estimated to have joined the pre-employment scheme. It is now estimated
that there are, on average, 30 places available at each new Inn, representing
25 to 50 per cent of the staff base. After the pre-employment period, successful candidates
and other new recruits alike join the Guest Service Staff (GSS) training 4 weeks before an
opening. The main objective of this scheme is to develop a multi-skilled team able to
operate within all areas of the hotel. Furthermore, the programme has no time limit and
is available for every employee willing to advance their career. Finally, to make sure
its employees are the most effective in the industry, Jurys Doyle Hotel strive to ensure
that their staff gain external or professional qualifications such as National Vocational
Qualifications (NVQ) or CIPD qualifications.
Jurys Inn’s recruitment and training strategy has helped them expand in a recent
context of economic slowdown. Aside from building Jurys Inn’s skill base, the preemployment
scheme has contributed to creating jobs in cities often hit by unemployment,
thereby improving employee loyalty to the hotel. In addition, it involves new recruits in
the development of the building in which they are to work. This helps build the involvement
of employees who might have had doubts about the scheme or working in a hotel.
On the other hand, the GSS training aimed at developing multi-skilled staff, is beneficial
both to the employer, who seek to maximize the use of its workforce, and to the employee
who gains diverse levels of experience and benefit from more flexible working hours, as
they are able to take on a number of different roles. As Edward Gallier, development and
training manager for the UK and Ireland, puts it, ‘Our employees can work anywhere in the
Inn ... this means we have GSS who can deliver the services of a receptionist, room attendant
or porter equally well, with the confidence good training gives them’.

frank Posted: 3-7-2009 07:47

A further key aspect of looking externally for new employees is the importance
of advertising and media. An obvious starting point here is the printed media and
specifically the press. The use of the print media to advertise jobs is one of the most
popular formal methods of recruitment. When thinking about where adverts are best
placed organizations need to be cognizant of the labour market on which they are
hoping to draw for a particular job. In recognizing the most appropriate labour markets
organizations could conceivably place adverts in either the local/national press
or in trade and professional journals. For example, for a front-line position it is likely
that the local press will be used, whilst for a managerial or specialist position the use
of the national press or trade press may be more appropriate. In using the printed
media it is important to consider the manner in which organizations can portray the
desired image and here we will consider how this issue can be addressed.
When organizations advertise vacancies it is important that they convey the
right message in order to attract suitable applicants and discourage those who do
not have the necessary attributes. Equally important is that advertisements project
a positive image of the company and in that sense adverts can be considered a selling
document. Initially organizations have the choice to get it alone and contact
the media directly or alternatively they can deal with an advertising agency, who
can help in drafting and placing an advert. Advertising agencies can be thought of
as experts who can offer advice on the choice of advertising copy and the choice of
media. They may also have better contacts to ensure advertising space at short
notice. The only drawback is that agencies may also be rather costly. Regardless of
whether an agency is used or not there are certain key points which should be
borne in mind in devising an advert and at the very least the following aspects
should be apparent (Torrington et al., 2005: 128).
● Name and brief details of the employing organization.
● Job role and duties.
● Key points of the person specification or competency framework.
● Salary.
● Instructions about how to apply.
Moreover organizations should also consider the image they are portraying and
the CIPD and the Institute of Professional Advertisers (IPA) outline the following
criteria for judging excellence in recruitment advertising (CIPD, 2006):
● visual impact,
● typography and balance,
● clarity of message to the target audience,
● promotion of job vacancy,
● projection of a professional organizational image,
● focus on workplace diversity.

frank Posted: 3-7-2009 07:48

With regard to that last bullet point it is important to reiterate that adverts must not
discriminate on grounds of sex, race, sexuality, religious orientation and disability.
In addition there are other areas which can potentially be used including TV,
radio, cinema, careers exhibitions, conferences and open days and posters. Whilst
TV, radio and cinema adverts have been utilized to recruit in areas like the military
or teaching they are much less likely to be used by tourism and hospitality
organizations. The other aspects though could all be conceivably used. For example,
TGI Fridays, the American restaurant chain, have successfully used open days to
recruit staff in the UK. As a company with a very distinctive service style open
days are felt to be useful to expose potential employees to the nature of the work
they will be undertaking. As the company is looking for very outgoing individuals
who can do things like juggle or sing whilst serving customers the open day is
designed to assess such aspects. Team tasks and tricks and dances are just some of
the things that potential employees will be expected to demonstrate in their ‘audition’
during the open day (Baker, 1999; and see HRM in practice 5.4).
Another source of recruitment is increasingly the Internet. IDS (2003) have
recently noted how the use of the Internet in recruitment has tended to be complementary
to existing methods, rather than replacing them. In this sense, although
the Internet is playing a growing role in organizations recruitment strategies, its
importance should not be exaggerated. For most companies the use of Internet
tends to be in terms of sections on their websites that allow job seekers to check for
current vacancies. Beyond this facility there may be more strategic approaches in
using the web, particularly with regard to the ability to receive and process job
applications online, something which is outlined in HRM in practice 5.5.
Smethurst (2004) notes other reasons for employers, including Whitbread, for
using online recruitment, including:
● Reducing cost per hire.
● Increasing speed to hire.
● Strengthening the employer brand.

frank Posted: 3-7-2009 07:48

HRM in practice 5.4 Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?

Hills (2004) reports on the recruitment process in Tiger Tiger, which is one of the UK’s
most popular nightclub groups. As part of their recruitment process they host open days
to allow potential employees to sample the Tiger Tiger atmosphere. A general manager,
Beverley Harley, is quoted as saying, ‘the leisure sector is a particularly social and competitive
one and we’re on the hunt for hardworking team players’. As part of assessing
whether applicants have these attributes, during the open day potential employees take
part in various ‘fun’ activities, including being asked who they would most like to be
stuck in a lift with and which type of animal they would choose to be.

frank Posted: 3-7-2009 07:49

HRM in practice 5.5 Hilton International: spreading the web

Beal (2004) notes how Hilton International wanted to improve its fast-track Elevator programme
– a selection tool introduced in 1998 and designed to recruit highly talented
graduates as future hotel general managers. As new graduates had to learn the role of
a manager in a short period of time, the tool had to be extremely reliable to pick up the
right candidates. As such, the Elevator scheme, which involved hand-processing and
scoring an application form, conducting a face-to-face meeting, psychometric testing
and conducting a final 24-h assessment centre, proved costly and time-consuming, especially
in terms of senior management involvement.
To streamline its selection tool, Hilton International commissioned the businesspsychology
consultancy Human Factor International to introduce a web-based screening
system – a so-called ‘virtual psychologist’ – running in five European languages. This online
tool would not have been possible without a technological breakthrough which allows for
a time limit on the intellectual-reasoning part of the test. The system was successfully
implemented in 15 working days, from Christmas 2003 to 20 January 2004. Since the running
of the programme, Hilton has invited applicants through presentations at the main
European hotel schools and universities to apply through the website: hiltonuniversity.
com and complete the standard application form. Those who pass the initial sifting
are then asked to fill in online ‘personality’ and ‘workplace values’ questionnaires. At
this stage all candidates receive an electronic report analysing their results and providing
tailored career advice. Successful candidates are then invited to complete three ability and
skill tests of 15 min each before being selected to the assessment centre. At the end of the
assessment centre unsuccessful candidates receive detailed e-mailed feedback outlining
the reasons why they have not been chosen and inviting them to phone in if they want to
have further explanations. As Christine Jones, Director of the Consultancy Human Factor
International adds, ‘Even unsuccessful candidates have told us they have been pleased with
the feedback they have been given, and are comfortable with it’ .
By introducing the online system, Hilton has been able to reduce the number of assessment
days without damaging the quality of its new recruits. Indeed, the 14 graduates who
first joined Hilton through this tool had to pass only two final assessment centres rather than
the five or six previously needed. As John Guthrie, Head of International Management at
Hilton International comments, ‘While unlikely to save significant costs in pure cash terms,
getting rid of manual processes has freed up managers’ time to concentrate on more valueadding
work. Additionally, it helps to portray the organization as more contemporary and
technologically oriented and strengthens our appeal in a competitive search for talent’ .

[[i] by Frank at 3-7-2009 08:02 edited [/i]]

frank Posted: 3-7-2009 07:50

● Greater flexibility and ease for candidates.
● Broaden the applicant pool.
Lastly, beyond individual company websites there are other commercial websites,
such as, which aims to allow job seekers to access
jobs in a wide variety of travel and hospitality jobs, including airlines, hotels, cruise
lines, restaurants and other travel companies.
We recognized earlier in the thread how a key aspect of recruitment and selection
was cost effectiveness. As a result it is not necessarily sensible to use certain
recruitment methods for certain jobs and in reality the aim should be to ensure the
best method to hit the particular target group for a particular job and in a cost effective
manner. The recognition of the need for a contingent approach to recruitment is
apparent from the research outlined in Figure 5.1 (and see also HRM in practice 5.6).
At this juncture in the recruitment process the organization will hopefully
have generated sufficient interest from suitable applicants. In that sense it is
important for organizations to periodically review the recruitment process and
evaluate its effectiveness against this kind of criterion. Additionally, the organization
may also want to consider the issues of costs and equal opportunities issues.

[[i] by Frank at 3-7-2009 08:03 edited [/i]]

frank Posted: 3-7-2009 07:56

Figure 5.1 Sources of recruitment in the hospitality industry

Operative (%)    Management (%)
Job centre                                              87                        13
Local press                                            80                        30
Word of mouth                                      70                        35
Employment agencies                             32                        57
Trade press                                            26                       66
National press                                         8                         24
Personnel consultants                              2                         42
Others*                                                  22                       22
*Others represented internal sources and in one chain an in-house recruitment
Reprinted by permission from ‘Personnel management in hotels – an update:
a move to human resource management?’, Kelliher, C. and Johnson, K. (1997).
Copyright John Wiley and Sons Limited.
Figure 5.1 Sources of recruitment in the hospitality industry

frank Posted: 3-7-2009 07:57

HRM in practice 5.6 ‘Realistic’ recruitment in the cruise industry

Raub and Streit (2006) recognise that, as within other tourism and hospitality settings,
human resources are crucial to success in the cruise industry as guests are in constant contact
with service staff and unlike conventional hotels cannot usually wander ‘off site’.
Regardless of the likely pressure that this is likely to create for front-line service staff many
people might think that working in the cruise industry is likely to be exciting and fun. Life
on board a cruise ship though can be difficult for staff, for example they are likely to face
cramped and difficult living conditions. The unique work context in the cruise ship industry
means that many organizations attempt to offer a ‘realistic’ and ‘honest and objective’
view of working life in the industry, which means that staff do not have an unrealistic view
of working in the industry. Key to this approach is the use of several types of recruitment
media such as interviews, company-specific videos, company presentations, written information
(such as fact sheets) and web-based information. This realistic job preview is
placed alongside the positive aspects of the job, for example the manner in which working
on cruise ships can significantly broaden the professional and individual horizons of
young employees. By balancing both positive and negative aspects of working in the
industry in this realistic manner companies seem to be able to lessen high levels of labour
turnover thus increasing retention and potentially enhancing job satisfaction.

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