Three human resource (HR) managers speaking exclusively to Hotelier have all said that the hotel job market is competitive in terms of available talent, pushing them to rethink recruitment measures.

Hotel HR managers are having to rethink their recruitment strategies in an ever-increasing jobs market, in order to hire the right talent for the right job. Kathy Sorenson, Premier Inn Middle East’s HR director, said that sifting out quality talent among the high number of talent currently on the market is causing a challenge for HR people. “Your recruitment meetings need to be firm and tight. You need to know what it is you are looking for in terms of capabilities and skill,” she said.

Sorenson described how Premier Inn has changed its recruitment process in order to identify quality recruits.  Apart from behaviour orientated interview techniques that include experienced based questions, the hotel company also includes role play scenarios in which the recruiter is able to gauge how candidates work through specific problems and interact with other team members.

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 “What we are looking for is not the answers but the behaviours that they display during that process as they work through it,” said Soreson.

For Kaustav Sen, the director of human resources and training Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island and Staybridge Suites Abu Dhabi Yas Island, hiring recruits who have worked for other brands in the UAE tops his list for the coming year. However, he said that finding sales people is the most challenging aspect of recruitment at the moment. “We are still finding them but it’s definitely a challenge compared to other departments.” 

Compared to 2018, the biggest recruitment challenge for Mary Redman, HR manager, Fairmont Dubai, is finding recruits who are confident enough to make their own decisions without consulting a manager.  

“This is the redeeming factor for new recruits,” said Redman, adding that AccorHotels, the hotel’s parent company, wants those types of forward thinkers who can assess a situation and make a smart decision.

In terms of new recruits, Sorenson said that a challenge is finding somebody who is “hungry to learn the job itself and who wants to get everything they can out of it.  Not so much about what we are going to do for them but what they believe they can give to us.”

Read the full interview in the January issue of Hotelier Middle East.