News for the Hospitality Executive
How to Find the Right Manager to
Effectively Lead Your Hotel
by John Hogan, May 2010
The worlds of hospitality and tourism industry are part of a multi-billion dollar industry that frequently depends on the availability of leisure time and disposable income. A hospitality unit such as a restaurant, hotel, conference center and other segments consists of multiple groups such as facility maintenance, direct operations (servers, housekeeping service, kitchen professionals, beverage service, etc.), management, accounting and financial services, marketing, and human resources. The industry covers a wide range of organizations offering food service, entertainment and accommodation. Each segment has its own areas of expertise, with skill-sets required for the work involved and a clear need for effective leadership to successfully integrate the efforts.
The hospitality industry may seem to be a rather basic business to the outsider. At quick glance, the business of renting rooms, preparing and serving food and hosting meetings appears to be one that requires a fundamental understanding of the components of the industry. Yet, a realistic check shows the tremendous range of skills and competencies needed to succeed in one of the world’s largest and most cyclical industries. The hospitality industry consists of broad category of fields within the service field that includes lodging, food service, entertainment and theme parks, meetings and events, transportation (including cruise lines) and additional fields within the tourism industry.
For this article, I chose an area that is of universal and consistent interest to all hotel owners: HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT MANAGER TO EFFECTIVELY LEAD YOUR HOTEL
I looked for a respected, medium sized group of qualified professionals in a nationally known company. I was pleased to be able to interact with Bruce Dingman, President of The Dingman Company in Westlake Village, CA firstname.lastname@example.org; www.dingman.com. As an introduction, prior to joining the firm in 1986, Bruce spent almost 20 years in the hotel, food service and food distribution industries, managing business units for Sheraton, Holiday Inns, the Scottsdale Memorial Hospital, and Associated Grocers.
I asked Bruce several open-ended questions:
Question #1 Are there really major differences among search firms and recruiters?
In a slow-moving economy, working with a knowledgeable recruiter is even more beneficial than in an aggressive economy. Just as there are significant differences between contingency and retained recruiters, likewise there are among retained search firms.
Here’s a description of what we feel sets us apart from others.
Three Things Must Be Present
Many recruiters are very ethical and professional, and some are, shall we say, “Opportunistic.” Be sure to ask what organizations from which you expect the search firm will seek candidates and then ask if they have recently done any work for those firms. Are any of those firms therefore “out-of-bounds”?
The industry practice for professional search firms is that any client, who has been served for within the last two years, is out-of-bounds, as it is with us. With us, all the employees of the client are out-of-bounds for recruiting away for two years after we last served them, and the candidate placed there is “evergreen” (forever off-limits while with that organization).
“Parallel processing” is when a search firm presents the same candidate at the same time to more than one client. In large search firms or firms specializing in one industry, this is common. This can result in the candidate you want to hire no longer being available because he or she has just taken a job. As long as a candidate is under consideration for selection by one client, we will not present that person to another client.
We see it as a conflict of interest to do two or more searches at the same time that are seeking the same type of candidate. If we did, how would we fairly decide to which client should such a candidate be presented? We avoid the problem altogether by not specializing in just one industry or function, and do not take simultaneous searches seeking the same type of candidate.
Reputation of the Firm versus the Recruiter
Question #2 What are additional factors in deciding which recruiter to use?
1. Check References of the Recruiter
About H Bruce Dingman, President of The
While Bruce is a "generalist" working in many industries, one-third of his assignments are in hospitality or senior living, and one-third for non-profit/religious/education organizations. The latter is his way of giving back to the things he believes in. While any good recruiter seeks out candidates with the right experience, Bruce also strives to find people who fit the values, management style and goals of the client organization while insuring that the candidate and family, if there is one, fit the locale. He has done numerous assignments overseas where cultural and geographical focus was crucial. Having worked in three foreign countries himself and speaking English, Spanish and Portuguese, Bruce is adept at finding candidates who fit cross-culturally.
KEYS TO SUCCESS is the umbrella title for my new 2010 programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings will focus on a wide variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my "HOW TO" articles and HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS. My segments Lessons from the Field, Hotel Common Sense and Principles for Success will be featured at appropriate times in the year as well.
Feel free to share an idea for a column at email@example.com anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements ………….
And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.
Autographed copies of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD – a COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES are available from THE ROOMS CHRONICLE www.roomschronicle.com, www.smartbizzonline.com and other industry sources.
All rights reserved by John Hogan and this column may be included in an upcoming book on hotel management. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this publication
John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. http://www.linkedin.com/in/drjohnhoganchache.
Dr. John Hogan, CHA MHS CHE
|Also See:||It's the Size of Your Idea, Not the Size of Your Budget / Dr. John Hogan / May 2010|
|How to Keep the PASSION in Your Career / Dr John Hogan / April 2010|