CAN YOU IMAGINE THE DAY WHEN TECHNOLOGY WOULD ALLOW OUR INDUSTRY TO FORM A GROUP OF ENTHUSIASTIC YOUTHS WHO WANT TO WORK IN OUR BUSINESS BUT CAN'T BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO EXPERIENCE?
Hang on a minute!! There's no reason why we can not harness today's technology and an appropriate social network and work this fun project together with our colleagues. And what does no experience mean? We're not looking for brain surgeons.
I have expressed my frustration with the Human Resources sector of our exciting hotel industry that systematically rejects the interest of all those candidates who apply for posted positions and who are not chosen.
Let's call them HNW..........no not High Net Worth but Hoteliers iN Waiting and treat them as a pool of talent to be developed by the whole hotel community in your area and not lost to other industries. They are in fact also High Net Worth potential. They are bright-eyed, bushy tailed and ready to start work.
In a typical hotel community there are let's say 10-15 hotels that all draw from the same residential employee communities and the hotels range from medium size 4 and 5 Star to smaller or medium size 3 to 4 Star Limited Service hotels. Add together other hospitality companies such as restaurants, airlines, tour companies etc etc etc. Together the hotels alone employ about 750-1,000 employees including management. These numbers may be larger in cities and smaller in the countryside. They all have the same needs and responsibilities. They all have some form of turnover during the year which might range from 20% - 40% per year. All of the hospitality constituents have a stake in attracting employees into our field.
Side Note # 1. Our industry is spending time and resources on reducing turnover and increasing retention but is doing nothing outside our boundaries to nurture the many in our communities who seek jobs who have many of the right attributes.
A Club will be formed to include management representatives of all hotels and other interested groups... who will commit to refer all active but unsuccessful applicants to become members of the HNW - (Toronto) Club at no cost to the members but with a commitment to those members and their colleagues to hold a series of training and orientation sessions throughout the year with a view to increasing their value, enrich their industry knowledge and position them for employment when the jobs become available.
I envision that these clubs would probably best be managed by a small group of Managers iN Waiting or young stars who are potential department heads. They were known in years gone by as 'acorns'.
I also envision that the clubs might well become known as responsible launching pads for the employment of the handicapped, military veterans and other candidates with great potential in many of the positions for which we seek employees.
Side Note # 2. We have spent millions on the creation of labour saving devices which have successfully eliminated millions of jobs. It is definitely time to address the unemployment created by those devices
Depending on the needs of the hotels in the Club, the monthly training sessions would probably include specific training or orientation sessions in the following potential positions,
- Banquet Server.
- Restaurant Server.
- Prep Cook
- Breakfast cook
- Short Order Cook
- Room Attendant
- Reception/Front Office Clerk
Students who had successfully completed 5-7 sessions which might be a shift shadowing a star employee or a classroom/practical session taught by a manager, and, depending on the numbers might become eligible for an apprenticeship or a position in one of the participating organizations.
Side Note # 3. The training sessions might well use some of the many retired industry employees who might welcome the chance to contribute. Young trainers will be exposed to future colleagues and may well be motivated by the responsibility of contributing to the strategic development of the industry.
HNW students would be provided with,
- suitable uniforms identifying them as apprentice hoteliers,
- transit tickets (negotiated with the local transit authority),
- a meal while on duty,
- an interview with a manager after 4 sessions,
- priority for a position when one becomes available within the Club members,
- a passport recording the dates and sessions attended,
- a CV in motion to build the tool by which this individual will be marketed.
Side Note # 4. Strategic partners in this exercise might also include local Transit, Government employment agencies, hospitality education organizations, supplier sponsors.
It is not impossible to imagine a day in which this concept might even be linked with other communities in other communities (or countries) where supply can be linked with demand and HNWs linked with opportunities.
There are no limits to where technology could participate in harnessing the horrific blight of unemployment. This does not have to be big, in fact start small and grow from there. There's far too much to lose and so much to gain.
At least that is how I see it anyway!!