3 Ways Great HR Can Help the Hospitality and Hotel Industry

Bryan Adelson
April 20, 202114

HR in the Hospitality and Hotel Industry

The hospitality industry is a very demanding industry, one that requires long hours and varied shifts.  Industry employees will interact with demanding customers and must have great customer service skills,  while being ready for change at any moment.  Great HR can assist the hospitality industry by providing a solid hiring and recruitment process, implementing a training and development program, as well as ensuring there is a worker safety program in place.  Focusing on these three areas will create a positive work environment in the hospitality and hotel industry and contribute to continued success.   

Red Clover’s newest Consultant, Bryan Adelson started his career in the hospitality industry right after college.  Fast forward 12 years, and he pivoted into the world of HR and joining the Red Clover team.  Over the last 12 years, he has seen the importance of a strong, process-driven HR function and how hospitality companies benefit from great HR.

Hiring and Recruitment Process 

In order to run a successful business, you will need to hire the right people for the job.  The hospitality industry is no different, where having the right hiring and recruitment process makes all the difference in building your hospitality team.  This process will need to attract high performing, dedicated, and customer-focused individuals.  In the world of hospitality management, some roles don’t require direct experience, as the new employee will engage in  on the job learning.  In order to do so, a job posting will need to paint a picture of the job and include as much information as possible.  While some tasks and duties may change, the job description should be revised for accuracy to accurately reflect the general responsibilities of the position before posting. .  There are plenty of job boards and posting sites that attract hospitality driven individuals (HCareers, Ziprecruiter, LinkedIn, etc…)  Red Clover utilizes LinkedIn Talent Solutions to help our clients source for top talent in their industry.  

Now that the job is posted, it’s time to start the interview process.  A recruitment plan in the hospitality industry may be similar to other industries. In my experience, we held initial phone interviews to understand if the candidates are a potential fit for the role and then an in person interview with HR and the hiring manager.  Asking behavioral interviewing questions helps us understand the candidates’ past experiences and how they will perform  in the role they are interviewing for.  A great way to build rapport is by allowing the candidate to ask questions about the role, and the hiring manager will answer those questions. If all goes well, the final interview will be with the General Manager/or Director.  The focus for any hospitality professional should be candidate experience, and we believe in developing an efficient interview process with no more than three interviews.  As you can see, the potential new employee meets with the people they will directly be working with; with their assessment of the candidate essential to the hiring process.    Although this seems pretty standard, there are some considerations to be made specific to HR processes in the hotel and hospitality industry.  For example, it’s common that those applying for hourly positions in housekeeping may not have a resume.  Behavioral interviewing becomes incredibly valuable in this case,  because it provides the hiring manager the opportunity to understand their past experience and ask them to explain their previous employment. 

When your hospitality organization has a sound recruitment process that focuses on job postings, job descriptions, and interviewing, you will be on the road to successfully hiring the best talent candidate for their company.  

Training and Development

Congratulations, you have successfully hired your team, now it’s time to continue the training and development process after the initial onboarding.  What does your training and development curriculum look like?  Developing an effective and intentional learning curriculum for your team is an extension of your recruitment process.  You’ve attracted top talent and now is the time to put plans in place to retain them.

For the hospitality industry, this is a crucial aspect to keeping your team members engaged with high morale and to leave them wanting more.  The more engaged your team is, the less turnover there will be, and the easier it will be to achieve company goals.  Specific to the hotel industry, a happy employee  results in happy guests!  Turnover has an adverse impact in the hospitality industry due to the nature of the business.  In order to limit the turnover, a proper training and development plan should be in place.  This plan should be well thought out and specific for  each position,  identify potential growth opportunities, and targeted to the overall development goals of the employee and the company’s business needs.

Some of the key ways to train and develop your team members may include: 

  • One on One Weekly/Monthly meeting with manager which includes long and short term goal setting
  • Involvement in monthly department and team meetings 
  • On the job training 
  • Online courses, whether self-created or through LinkedIn Learning, focusing on management skills, organizational skills, diversity & inclusion, and other related topics
  • Role Playing and then on the job training to demonstrate what they learned from the role-playing.  For example, the Front Desk, you can give the task of guest engagement to an agent or give them the task to increase loyalty enrollment. 

The training and development plan can be a structured process, however,  feel free to adjust based on the goals and objectives the employee has for their future.  

Worker Safety 

In the ever changing hospitality environment,workplace safety is critical.  Due to the nature of business, the hospitality industry is one that must ensure their employees are trained on worker safety to keep themselves, their colleagues and guests safe. 

In order to provide a safe working environment, a business should prioritize conducting a risk assessment of the work environment.  A risk assessment identifies possible hazards in the workplace and evaluates the risk factors that could cause potential harm.  Once this assessment is completed, it is time to use that information to create a worker safety plan.  

 A satisfactory safety plan is succinct and should include the following: 

  • Potential hazards and how to address them.
  • How to  address potential hazards if there is no fix.
  • What training should be provided to employees ( i.e- heavy lifting, equipment training, bloodborne pathogen, etc…)
  • What equipment (including PPE) should be made available (gloves, glasses, masks, etc…) 
  • Identify any state and local regulations that need to be followed, like OSHA requirements.

How Red Clover Can Help

Does your business need help creating the foundation for your recruitment process, training & development, and safety plans? Red Clover consultants can help you create what you are looking for.  If you are interested in learning more, please contact us here.

Related Articles


The Results

Tech Companies

A 70 headcount pharmaceutical technology firm needed support in company culture alignment and integrating company core values in business interactions internally and with external customers. As a leader in medical software, there was also a need to guarantee legal and regulatory compliance in every aspect of the business, especially as it scaled to serve an expanding customer base.

See The Full Case Study

For News and Events

Sign Up For News and Insights on HR, Change Management and Strategies.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.