How to develop your staff

The soul and lifeblood of our hotels is not in the cool design or the latest technology that smooths the way, but in the teams that bring the hotels to life. The colleagues who put the ‘H’ into hospitality and the ‘S’ into service. It’s the people that represent us every day that put a twinkle in the eye and a smile on the face of every guest. Your approach to recruitment, retention, training and development is a crucial piece of a good business, the key to a great reputation and a safe pair of hands for your hotel every day.

You can’t neglect the people that make it happen, front line or back of house. If you don’t have a solid strategy for nurturing your team, then you definitely risk your future success. This is made even more important in these uncertain times with political unrest, a changing employment pool and shifting attitudes to work and social balance. It’s very clear that finding good people is getting harder. Migration has played a large part in the talent we attract into our industry over recent years. That body of people looking for opportunities in hospitality has changed and will continue to change as we navigate the unknown world outside the EU. Despite the fact that the UK’s job market is evolving and becoming more competitive, the challenge still remains to recruit the best people we can find to grow and be successful.

So what do you need to be successful? More importantly, who do you want to help make you successful? Team structures might be straightforward, but you have to be clear what makes those roles work and what types of people you’re going to find. It’s not always about qualifications, however, it’s very often about personality. The days of City and Guilds at the top of a job profile may have been replaced by a list of character traits and genuine attitudes which align with your brand and service style.

Recruitment has certainly evolved from old fashioned, standard CV interviews to complex capability tests, behavioural investigations and personality questionnaires. However, despite all the recruitment tools available these days, one thing is for sure, if you don’t really know what you want, you’re almost certainly going to get it wrong. Or you rely on a huge amount of luck to find a superstar who may be just what you’re looking for and hiding in plain sight because your recruitment process doesn’t reach the essence of the role or the brand.

The reality of recruitment today means that where you look for new talent and how you sell your available roles are far more critical than ever before to your likelihood of success. You have to go further to build your employer story, to present a complete employment picture which will appeal in a complex and transparent employment market. How are you going to stand out on the recruitment websites? What are you going to do and say to get noticed? Your own website and the many various social media channels are now just as important as a shop window for new team members in the future.

Ever since the decision was made by referendum almost three years ago to leave the EU, companies like Roomzzz have been scratching their heads trying to decode the political process and the mass of media speculation to isolate the best way to protect, preserve and develop business in the future new world. Of course, at the time of writing, we still don’t know much about what the new world might look like, but the government has been at pains to try and tell people already here that they’re still valued in the UK. They’ve also been keen to sell the UK as a progressive place where jobs will still be available, and we still want people to come who are looking for opportunity… The reality is that potential team members have been looking elsewhere for opportunities and, if the media is to be believed, there are many looking for their future outside the UK.

It’s been clear to me that our people strategy is the single most important consideration for the future. Whatever the upcoming political or supplier hurdles we face, we will overcome them. It’s the preservation of a people and experience-driven hospitality business that we must solve and that means recruitment, retention and development for a precious team that can stand the test of time.

At Roomzzz, we’ve put huge efforts into strengthening our people platform. We’ve put more thought behind the way we’re organised and recruit the people we need. We’ve enhanced the central resources that back up the hotel teams and drive consistency and value across the wider team. We’ve developed a far stronger training and development culture with a new apprentice programme to encourage future talent from school leaving age.

We’ve identified high performing individuals to get supervisory and leadership qualifications which benefit them as individuals, as well as us, with highly engaged individuals providing strength in depth. We’ve gone further with reward and recognition to ensure that all team members have a vested interest in the company’s performance and that they’re rewarded for their contributions and success.

This may not be new to you, and maybe it’s obvious, but don’t miss the opportunity to remind your team what you’re doing and tell your future candidates that you do care and how much your people count in your organisation. You can’t take anything for granted these days, however, growing your people and your talent strategy seems to be the best place to spend your time and keep one step ahead of the competition around you.

About Roomzzz

Roomzzz is not a hotel, it’s not a flat but instead it’s smack bang in the middle of them both. If you imagine a boutique hotel, but without the boxy room, and combine it with an apartment, but with more security and spacious enough for you to be yourself. In a nutshell, spacious city centre aparthotels designed to make you feel at home. Roomzzz has nine aparthotels within its portfolio in major cities such as Manchester, Leeds, London, Chester and Nottingham. The brand has ambitious growth plans in 2019 with further developments in the pipeline for Edinburgh, Harrogate and York.

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