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.

CEO India, Middle East, Africa & Turkey

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.

Group head of human resources, Rotana Hotel Management Corporation PJSC

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.

Chief executive & founder, Gates Hospitality

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.

CEO & founder, Cloud Restaurants

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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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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