Category Archives: Human Resources

Human resources viewed from a different perspective.

8 Traits Leaders Must Have

Traits to interview for when looking for true leaders.

Leaders need and must be able to articulate:

-Have ability to manage complexity.

-People who act strategically.

-People who cultivate learning agility. Leaders learn from every situation they are in. Are your candidates?

-Develop personal adaptability.

-Create an environment that fosters innovation.

-Inspire engagement.

-Leverage existing and new networks.

-Have experience and know how to manage global businesses.

Traits come from excellent article by Loise Axon, Elisa Friedman, and Kathy Jordan on ERE Sept. 2, 2015. Article title: Finding Leaders Who Can Take On Today’s Complexities: 8 Capabilities recruiters Should Put on List.

True leaders evaluate prospective employers based on questions that identify leadership abilities and skills from managerial abilities.

How About Hospitality Executive Committee Positions?

Executive committee members on hospitality management teams all need the first 7. Do your interview questions identify if your Executive Committee candidates have the traits? Equally important, has your team identified depth needed on each trait for different Executive Committee positions? How you are or will, measure performance against the traits?


Effective Recruiting Ads…for Employers

Recruiting is advertising. You need to sell your opportunities.

To many ads have job descriptions in them. Concept of job descriptions was to satisfy internal HR record keeping and help in relating similar positions for pay purposes. Later EEO drove development of job descriptions. Have you ever read one that didn’t put you to sleep?

Come on. If you want me to get excited about your employment opportunity don’t bore me to death.

Majority of employers do good job interviewing candidates with what, how, when, where, and for whom questions. Employers strive to learn about the accomplishments of the candidates and how those accomplishments mesh with the employers immediate needs.

Candidates want the same information. The best candidates will be hired by the employers who provide the information the candidates want.

Candidates want to know what the challenges are in this job or what the goals are. How the employer wants to see them accomplished. (Can I fire as many as I need to build a better team? Or am I restricted to the existing employees for at least several months?)

They want to know how the employer expects them to do the job? Phase things slowly? Or move fast?

When is the candidate expected to show results? Tomorrow? Or is the time frame realistic?

Where are the greatest challenges for this job?

Who does the job report to? Where are the hidden reporting relationships? (Position reports to Department A, but Department B has lot of say in how A operates.)

Put real information in your ads so people can tell you how they will benefit you.

Common Mistakes When Recruiting and Hiring

What are head hunters hearing from candidates?

There is no sense applying to jobs at (fill in name of employer) because they:

  • Never respond
  • They respond quickly, and then it’s weeks before they get back to us, if ever.
  • We get contacted about another job, usually at lower salary or in area with higher cost of living.

There are two types of management candidates. Job seekers and career seekers. Most employers want candidates who are looking for long time career with same company. Most of those same employers end up attracting job seekers. Why? Process most employers use with candidates is unprofessional.

Employers are hurting the reputation of their companies. Candidates talk among themselves and share their experiences about different companies they have applied to. Many candidates identify specific companies they would never work for. Invariably because they had bad experience with that prospective employer. Do you really need career seekers bad mouthing your company?

Is Your Company Doing Any of the Following?  (We sure hope not.)

  • Employment ads that fail to identify the “real” required skills.
  • Employment ads that are nothing more than position descriptions. Come on!  Have you ever read a position description that didn’t put you to sleep? Position descriptions were never intended for employment advertising.
  • Employment ads that don’t include salary range. Or responding back to candidates with much lower salary than that posted. To candidates, that’s classic “bait and switch.”
  • Employers who don’t have the courtesy to ever contact candidates after the initial electronic email that says employer received resume, blah, blah, blah. Daily, we hear candidates blister hotels and management companies about their lack of professionalism. Create canned candidate letters that say something. It only takes few seconds to send candidates a real letter. Candidates expect “canned” response emails…but they expect the emails to be more than an insult to their intelligence.
  • Application forms that take more than 20 minutes to complete.
  • Failing to notify all candidates when the job has been filled.
  • Contacting candidates about another job opening (usually at much lower salary.) Identifying other opportunities to candidates is great. BUT, include why you are suggesting this position to them, especially when the new job pays less than the old one.

How Do You Know What Candidates Are Saying About You?

  • Use a simple survey. Send it to all candidates that applied. Survey only needs to be 3-5 questions. Just the fact that you do a survey will benefit your hotel and company.
  • Call candidates you have interviewed and ask them for their impressions of your hotel, company, and your recruiting process. These are your best candidates. Their opinions will help your future recruiting and hiring.

The demand for qualified candidates is getting really intense. Salary demands are increasing a lot from best candidates. Are you ready to compete?

New Look to Hotel Industry Impacts Your Career

Hotel News Now, 4/15/15 had excellent panel discussion on how hotel industry has changed and what it means for owners.

The build and hold philosophy rarely works when brands require $2-3 MM in capital every 3-4 years. Owners are forced to turn properties. Likelihood of getting $2-3 MM back plus additional profit is unlikely.

That totally changes how business is managed.

  • Hotels require strategic thinking as well as operational thinking. Exit strategies are now as important as positioning strategy. Of course day-to-day operations are important, but they are only part of the equation to maximize the return on the asset.
  • Strategy is now changing how hotels are built. Why build it to last 100 years if you are going to sell it in 3 years. Strategy is also changing on renovations.  Owners no longer want to do one capital project a year when brands may change rules just after the project is done. Now owners want to wait until they know what the brands are demanding.
  • Guests used to compare hotels to home. Now they are comparing home to hotels. Guests expect hotels to be more technologically efficient than the guest is at home.
  • Owners are now doing better job using the napkin test. If it doesn’t pencil out on back of napkin, based on simple cost analysis, odds are it won’t pencil out using more detailed and sophisticated tools.
What does this mean for your career?

When you are interviewing look carefully at the physical hotel. Is it up to date? Getting tired?

ASK: When is your next pip planned? What importance do you place on keeping the brand? When does your franchise agreement come up for renewal?

If they look at you with a blank stare  talk about the above and mention part of your decision is based on likelihood the brand on the hotel will be downgraded. Good companies will welcome these questions and your perceived value to them will rise. If you get body language that indicates they didn’t like you asking, odds are you have hit the nail on the head. It’s unlikely they will help your career. Think long and hard about any offer they make.

Your interviewing needs to evolve as the industry is evolving.

Why Are Salary Demands Going Up Fast?

Companies are starting to have difficulty with salaries. The larger the company the more difficulty they are having (because adjusting salary ranges for them is very difficult process.)

Average salary increase the last three years has been under 1%. Historically it has been slightly under 3%, That means people are falling behind every year. Maybe not you, or your star employees. Majority of people in the management work force are not keeping up.  Adjusted for cost of living,  US population is making less now than they were 10 years ago. We all know what has happened to prices in those 10 years.

Your employees, and job seekers,  understand their best chance to get back some of the money they lost is when they change jobs. Good people will only accept less than 10% increase:

-if they are unemployed
-it they have personal reasons that requires them to get back to a specific area.

Promises of rapid advancement or future training is rarely accepted. People know these promises are very rarely kept. Your hotel may be the rare exception, but don’t expect job seekers to accept your word for it. If your hotel really does it, introduce job seekers to 3-4 people you have trained and promoted in the last year.

What can your hotel or company  do,  besides taking a long time to fill positions?

Put together practical training program to develop your existing  staff for promotions.

How can companies do that efficiently?

Identify hotels that are training properties for certain positions. Different hotels can be responsible for developing people in different positions. This concentrates training per hotel to reduce training costs. Training improves at the same time. Last it reduces pirating of employees as soon as they get trained.

US hotels have three choices.

-Start doing a much better job of preparing their employees for the next step.
-Or paying much higher salaries when the hotels replace people.
-Or reduce standards, even more, (but that’s dangerous to long term business.)

(If you don’t think your service is mediocre, odds are 99% that you are badly out of touch. Observe how your employees interact with guests  and respond to questions. DON’T interact with the employees yourself. You represent their paycheck, of course they are going to give you great service.)

Talent Metrics

Dr. John Sullivan had good article on Predictive Analytics in Mar 9th issue of

Here’s very brief synopsis.

Initial efforts in predictive analytics concentrated on:

  • Identifying employees likely to leave.
  • Identifying  which factors predict on-the-job performance.
  • Forecasting when employee survey scores will begin to impact productivity.
    What’s Needed Next?
  • Identifying how talent actions impact profits.
  • Identifying ways to identify and project ways to improve revenue per employee.
  • Developing an easy-to-compare index to measure performance.
  • Developing a metric that identifies the replacement cost on individual employees and positions.
  • Predicting coming productivity issues.
  • Coming up with a metric to identify employee behavioral issues.
  • Plotting career trajectory of new hires and existing employees.
  • Identifying factors that impact manager success.
  • Likewise the factors that identify leaders and leadership capabilities.
  • Metric identifying factors that predict an innovator.
  • Plus several others.

You get the idea, industry, unions, schools, and all levels of government need to do a much better job of identifying the characteristics needed to hire and then keep good employees. Many companies have identified the above for select positions. There’s a need to step back and identify trends that impact more than a single position or job classification.


Very few companies have real training programs. At the same time the educational level of public school students in US continues to drop. (Last I saw US was ranked 12th in the world. Wasn’t too many years ago we were ranked first.) World is becoming much more technology reliant and that is going to require different skill sets and different ways to measure productivity.

Unless industry, government, schools and unions develop better metrics and then apply them to ALL employees we will have fewer and fewer people available to do the jobs necessary. That in turn will:

-drive wages up fast,
-further the spread between classes
-Increase the percentage of permanently unemployed and under-employed.

Result will be reduced  innovation and profit margins.

Tell Friends About Your Job Openings

Ask Employees to Tell Their Friends About Your Job Openings.

We all know the value of employee referrals. Have you asked your employees to tell friends and family about your openings? Or do you just assume they do that?Expand your network of referrals.

Be sure to offer an incentive for any referral hired. (What get’s rewarded gets done.)

71% of US Workers are looking/open to new opportunities

71% of US workers actively looking or open to new opportunities.

 If 71% are looking for new jobs how come we are making recruiting employees so difficult?

Only two things are needed for successful recruitment.

  1. Make sure recruiters are spinning the dial…calling prospects, calling peers in position to ask for leads, etc.
  2. Require every manager in your organization to refer at least 4 “A” candidates to your company every year.

What’s an “A” candidate? The types of employees you need the most. Your ‘A’ candidates are different than mine.

Recruiting should be the responsibility of the managers who have the direct responsibility for the function.HR Departments can be responsible for recruiting hourly associates, but individual managers are the most efficient when it comes to identifying the people they need to meet their goals.

Remember: Every new employee should make a contribution to profits = to at least 5 times their salary the first 12 months on the job. Sales people 10x.


We are interested in hearing and sharing steps you are taking to make sure your key employees are in the 29%.

Recruiting Better Employees-Quickly & Effectively

71% of US workers are actively looking or open to new opportunities.

What are you doing to keep the top 29% of your employees? Do you know who they are? Do you know why 71% of your employees are looking? (Money is rarely the reason.) Share your stories so we can pass them along.

Why are we making recruiting difficult?

If 71% are looking for new jobs how come we are making recruiting employees so difficult? Come on! 7 of 10 people you see are looking or willing to listen.

Only three things are needed for successful recruitment.

  1. First, make sure recruiters are spinning the dial…calling prospects, calling peers in position to ask for leads, etc.
  2. Second,  require each manager in your organization to refer minimum of 4 “A” candidates every year. You need to build an ongoing pool of “potentials” to shorten time jobs are vacant.
  3. Effectively work employee referrals. (Standard of Performance for  hourly Associates: Refer at least 3 people qualified to work for you. Not warm bodies, qualified candidates.)

Quit relying on job boards, LinkedIn and social networking.  2/3rds of those employed are not watching those sources. Why would you want to ignore 2/3rds of candidates? Those sources sometimes are effective, but the hours spent makes them very expensive. Additionally it means your jobs are vacant to long. That impacts morale and reduces profits.

Who Should Do Your Recruiting?

  • Management Candidates should be recruited by the Department they are going to work in, NOT HR.
    Managers know best the traits they need today to drive revenues and profits, and to improve management and morale in their Department. Next, they won’t waste time recruiting in the wrong places. HR should be used to  set up interviews, run references, do background investigations, make job offers, handle orientation paperwork, etc. BUT NOT the actual recruiting. Why? Two reasons:

    1. HR staffs are rarely given enough information to effectively do cold recruiting. (A Job Description is a terrible source for recruiting information.  Actual skill sets are about 20% of any job, 80% is how well people supervise, train, motivate and mentor to improve revenues and profits. It’s not what you know, but how you use what you know.)
    2. Most HR people dislike (many say ‘hate’) recruiting.
  • Hourly Candidates should be recruited by HR Departments. HR Departments need to use employee and peer referrals much more effectively to reduce the time HR spends on recruiting.   80% of hourly Associates should come from promotions or referrals.

What’s an “A” candidate?

The types of employees you need the most. Who knows which traits are needed better than the manager responsible for the function?

Remember: Every new employee should make a contribution to profits = to at least 5 times their salary/wages the first 12 months on the job. Sales people 10x.

Every person we hire must help increase revenues and profits. Otherwise they are not needed. Goal is to continually grow a business so it can expand to create more opportunities for more people.

How About Employment Companies?

Two times to use them:

  1. Jobs that historically are very difficult to fill.
  2. Positions that have critical economic impact and need to be filled quickly to avoid drops in revenues or profits.



10 Reasons to Hire an American Veteran

1.  Accelerated learning curve.
Veterans have the proven ability to learn new skills and concepts. In addition, they can enter your workforce with identifiable and transferable skills, proven in real world situations. This background can enhance your organization’s productivity.
2. Leadership.
The military trains people to lead by example as well as through direction, delegation, motivation and inspiration. Veterans understand the practical ways to manage behaviors for results, even in the most trying circumstances. They also know the dynamics of leadership as part of both hierarchical and peer structures.
3. Teamwork.
Veterans understand how genuine teamwork grows out of a responsibility to one’s colleagues. Military duties involve a blend of individual and group productivity. They also necessitate a perception of how groups of all sizes relate to each other and an overarching objective.
4.    Diversity and inclusion in action.
Veterans have learned to work side by side with individuals regardless of diverse race, gender, geographic origin, ethnic background, religion and economic status as well as mental, physical and attitudinal capabilities. They have the sensitivity to cooperate with many different types of individuals.
5.    Efficient performance under pressure.
Veterans understand the rigors of tight schedules and limited resources. They have developed the capacity to know how to accomplish priorities on time, in spite of tremendous stress. They know the critical importance of staying with a task until it is done right.
6.    Respect for procedures.
Veterans have gained a unique perspective on the value of accountability. They can grasp their place within an organizational framework, becoming responsible for subordinates’ actions to higher supervisory levels. They know how policies and procedures enable an organization to exist.
7.    Technology and globalization.
Because of their experiences in the service, veterans are usually aware of international and technical trends pertinent to business and industry. They can bring the kind of global outlook and technological savvy that all enterprises of any size need to succeed.
8. Integrity.
Veterans know what it means to do “an honest day’s work.” Prospective employers can take advantage of a track record of integrity, often including
security clearances. This integrity translates into qualities of sincerity and trustworthiness.
9.    Conscious of health and safety standards.
Thanks to extensive training, veterans are aware of health and safety protocols both for themselves and the welfare of others. Individually, they represent a drug- free workforce that is cognizant of maintaining personal health and fitness. On a company level, their awareness and conscientiousness translate into protection of employees, property and materials.
10. Triumph over adversity.
In addition to dealing positively with the typical issues of personal maturity, veterans have frequently triumphed over great adversity. They likely have proven their mettle in mission critical situations demanding endurance, stamina and flexibility. They may have overcome personal disabilities through strengths and determination.

Above thanks to Martin Mongiello, GM of The Inn of the Patriots and the Presidential Culinary Museum.