Hoteliers and booking agents do a bad job of recruiting and retaining talented people, according to more than half of the attendees at the Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA) Annual Forum.
The poll was conducted at the event at the Ramada Manchester Piccadilly in Manchester last week during a plenary session on nurturing talent. Chris Parnham, managing director at event management agency, Zibrant, said the process started at the interview stage.
“Remember it’s not just you doing the interview; the candidate is also deciding whether to work with you,” he said. “Likewise, the three month probation process you put in place to protect yourself also gives them the same opportunity to decide.”
He added: “When I first started at Zibrant I went on the induction programme and the first thing I did was change it. I couldn’t believe that was the first impression we were giving people of our company.”
Sarah Wright of Sarah Wright Consulting, previously head of events for Barclays, recalled tackling high staff turnover when she joined the bank: “When I arrived at Barclays it was like a revolving door,” she said. “Out of a team of 31 people we had 50 per cent turnover in that first six months.
“The setting of objectives and measurement was severely lacking in all areas. We introduced personal development; it was about what they wanted to achieve as individuals not just as employees. I don’t think anyone had ever been promoted within the Barclays events team before I got there.”
Parnham added that good leadership was key to achieving staff loyalty: “Teams work harder for leaders they respect. Nobody wants to work for a bitch or an arse.”
To keep teams motivated in tough times, Parnham suggested setting a series of small targets: “One strategy is to set longer term goals with milestones along the way. Don’t just make it about financial targets that can fail.”
Pictured: Chris Parnham