What Job Fits You Best in a Hotel?
Modern hotels have quite a complicated structure and employ many associates to smoothly operate the hotel. Full service hotels with not too many facilities employ approximately as many people as they have rooms. Those that have many entertainment facilities or cottages, restaurants, occupy a large territory; they need more people to run it. Sometimes hotels need to employ more people because in the planning and construction stage of the hotel they didn’t plan the workflow well enough.
This can be the organizational chart of a typical small (50-70 rooms, 1 restaurant) hotel:
With the size of the hotel growing, the organizational chart is also growing. In the picture you can see how many different positions of various levels exist in a hotel.
Generally salaries in hotels are not the highest in the job market of the country. Most of the time working in a hotel is not just connected with the money people earn. There are many benefits that may keep you longer at a hotel, more in detail covered at “10 Reasons to Work in a Hotel”.
Now we will discuss various positions in a hotel.
Non-management level jobs can be separated into Front-of-the-house and Back-of-the-house categories.
Front-of-the-house positions are those that have direct guest contact during their work. These are the reception staff, the bellboys, the security guards, the waiting staff at the restaurant, Sales and marketing staff. These position holders wear uniforms; need to be multilingual (depending on the market).
The reception staff in a hotel that is targeting foreign markets, need to speak difference languages. In Armenia, as the main source markets of guests are Russia, European countries and the USA, the knowledge of at least Russian and English languages is a must. The knowledge of any other language gives an advantage for recruitment. With the recent trend of more tourists arriving from the Gulf countries like Iran, UAE and other Arabic countries, more attention is given to the knowledge of Arabic and Iranian languages. The reception staff must have excellent language skills in these hotels. In those hotels that target the local market, the Front-of-the-house staff does not need to know English, but the knowledge of Russian is still considered. The waiting staffs at the restaurant and the bellboys also need to speak at least these languages, but the skill level requirement may be lower. It is not necessary to have previous experience in order to be hired at the Reception. The most important features of a successful candidate are being positive, pleasant and smiley, the language skills. Preference is given to young and good looking candidates. Many advanced hotels are now also paying attention to the university the candidates are studying or graduated from. Preference is given to candidates with Tourism related education. As hotels work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it means that the staff should work in shifts, which means there will be a night shift and working in weekends as well. The salaries in Yerevan for the front-of-the-house associates range from 180 to 250 USD. Besides the salaries, the Receptionists and the bellboys usually get tips from guests that may make about 30% of their monthly salary.
Back-of-the-house hotel staff includes all the staff in housekeeping, kitchen and engineering departments. All the staff in these departments are uniformed. As the hotel related technology is advancing as never before, these, once considered a place for not qualified workers, now more and more consideration is given to the candidates with a formal education. This is particularly true for the engineering staff and the cooks. In modern hotels the engineering infrastructure is so complicated, that without previous formal engineering education it is almost impossible to understand how the systems work and interact. The engineering staff usually consists of young and middle aged skillful men. The salaries range from 200-300 USD.
The housekeeping staff consists mostly of women of all ages. The work involves a lot of walking and intensive working under pressure, with much attention paid to details, especially in higher level hotels. The salaries range from 200-250 USD in most cases. Some tips are also coming, but not as much as at the reception. The housekeeping staff also works in shifts, which means there will be night-shift work. Now the housekeeping staff needs to learn a lot of things before they can effectively implement their duties. Because of this type of learning curve, some hotels prefer to hire already experienced housekeepers. Cleanliness is one of the crucial factors for guests satisfaction, so the housekeepers’ quality work becomes a key factor in the overall service level of the hotel.
The housekeeping department may include also gardeners, workers, pool attendants, etc.
All this departments, mostly due to the size of the hotel, may have supervisory staff that help the management in day-to-day activities. The supervisors usually work as regular staff, but with more responsibilities and for a higher salary. Their uniforms may also differ from other associates in the same department.
When hiring the department heads of the hotel, you need to spend time to find good and experienced specialists. For the management - the good track record and experience is a must. If you hire a hotel manager from other industry, you will in most cases disrupt the work of the department. A good department head will always keep the good control of the property, save money and train the staff. You think hiring a good manager is expensive? Hire a non-qualified one and count the losses. With the increasing competition in the hospitality sector, hiring the best specialists to work in your hotel makes the difference. Hotels now are competing for the best specialists in the industry. A bad manager can bring your hotel to knees or take it to heights like never before. So invest time and resources to find good specialists. The salaries are significantly higher for the department heads. It may range from 500 to 1000 USD for the best ones. Bigger hotels may afford significantly higher salaries.
You need to always check the references with previous employers before telling the candidate that they are hired.
If you are an experienced hotel manager, or you are willing to work at a hotel, you can always send your resume to HR@hotel-consulting.am to increase your chance for employment.