Hotel Pre-Opening Guide: Staff Planning

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24/11/2016 - Hospitality

Staff planning is one of the most critical steps during the pre-opening activities. Which hotel can ever run smoothly without the necessary labour force? In the pre-opening stage, the Head of Departments need to set up and prepare the team.

The following factors need to be considered when recruiting an excellent pre-opening team:

1) Experience - The risks associated with undertrained staff will have a negative impact on the hotel brand and the operational costs. An inexperienced opening team, lacking the appropriate knowledge and skills, will delay the opening.

2) Time – Appropriate and realistic timeframe to recruit depends on the positions and tasks. For example, hiring a GM at an early stage could exceed the budget allowance while hiring a GM at a later stage could cause mismanagement issues, leading to further delays.

3) Estimate - Poor estimation of the workforce required leading to a future unsmooth operation, whether due to shortage of staff or from excess of staff.

The hotel asset manager shall analyse the overall hotel staffing plan schedule prior to any recruitment activity. In addition, specifically in Dubai, the hotel owner must provide the staff accommodation which shall be planned simultaneously with the personnel planning.

Based on our research paper “Hotel Pre-Opening Strategies”, some key positions such as the Chief Engineer shall be hired before or at the same time as the General Manager, followed by heads of the Human Resources, Marketing and Finance departments.

The hotel operator must use the social media to hire the line staff. This helps reach out to a larger pool of talent.

Personal networks or referrals are also effective recruitment methods. Large international hotel brands are encouraged to promote internal staff movement from hotel to hotel. They require less training to blend in with the corporate culture.

A professional and experienced Hotel Asset Manager shall be aware that a good staff planning will lead to a successful performance of the hotel.