Hiring for hospitality

Hiring for hospitality

Hiring for hospitality positions is not always straightforward, especially when soft skills really matter. We hear what two hoteliers and two restaurateurs have to say about recruiting the right people for their organizations.

MARK WILLIS
CEO India, Middle East, Africa & Turkey
all.accor.com

How do you select the right candidate for senior management positions?
When setting up my team, I always make sure I am not the smartest person in the room.
Some of the main traits I look for are passion, entrepreneurship, drive and the ability to be outspoken. I always encourage my team to be open with their thoughts and feedback; it is the best way to navigate any situation we may encounter in our day-to-day activities.

SHAI DUNBAR
Group head of human resources, Rotana Hotel Management Corporation PJSC
rotana.com

How do you select the right candidate for senior management positions?
Leadership capabilities are among the most important factors to consider when advancing to a senior management position. It is essential that our leaders are able to understand, encourage and empower team members, and we seek those who can learn from past experiences, embrace new challenges and take decisions, specifically during these tough times. Strategic thinking and acting is a must, and we believe senior managers need to have the right perspective to be able to effectively manage daily tasks and strategic actions that impact long-term success. We look for individuals who are comfortable with initiating and delivering change, enabling our business to grow and achieve its objectives.

NAIM MAADAD
Chief executive & founder, Gates Hospitality
gateshospitality.com

What should recruiters look for when hiring chefs?
A vital area of focus is the brand stature and the market reputation of the chef’s place of work, their length of service, title and the size of their team. The role must be clarified — whether the need is for a hands-on chef to lead the culinary food production or for more of a kitchen administrator who can handle documentation, recruitment, roster, approvals, approvals and appraisals, among others. In the modern era of digital imaging technology, it is important to request a visual presentation of the chef’s culinary creations.
In addition, commercial understanding is crucial — business acumen and knowledge about food costs, menu engineering, competition awareness, target audience and demographics, cultural understanding and so on.
Furthermore, food tasting and trial after the interview is a must to judge the real culinary talent of a chef. Conducting reference checks with the chef’s ex-colleagues and those who have worked with them would provide valuable additional information. Finally, make sure you discuss career development with a chef so that there are no misunderstandings.

ZIAD KAMEL
CEO & founder, Cloud Restaurants
cloudrestaurants.com

What do you look for when hiring a chef?
Character is the most important quality when recruiting chefs for our cloud restaurants. It’s the soft skills and character traits that matter most to us. Leadership skills, people skills, management, likeability, ownership mindset and creativity are crucial. Experience and technical skills are important and necessary, but ultimately character prevails in our company.

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