Human Resources Management in the Hospitality Sector

Learning Objectives

  • Describe current human resources department principles and practices
  • Describe the various functions of human resources management
  • Describe current human resources management issues
  • Describe the human resources planning process

Human resources management (HRM) is often perceived as an extra cost for businesses; however, the opposite can be true. Regardless of the type of business you are running, in order to successfully attract and retain good workers, you need to have a good understanding of effective human resources practices and implement those practices in your business. A well-planned HRM program that is tailored to your organization and staff can actually improve your business’s bottom line. Increasingly, employers in the hospitality sector are recognizing the importance of, and challenges associated with, attracting and retaining good workers and are placing human resources issues at the top of their priority list.

Business success can never be achieved by just one person; it takes a team – and the right team – for you and your business. So how do you find, attract, and keep the right people to work for you and your business? You do this by putting employees first. Some of the overall benefits of good human resources (HR) practices include higher employee satisfaction, lower staff turnover, superior customer service and, of course, increased profitability. In short, A human resource department’s main goal is to implement a variety of functions that are strategically designed to both attract and maintain an effective workforce.

Most HRM initiatives fall into one of the following functions. These functions are described in further detail in the following chapters of this book.

  • Human resources planning: Through job analysis and strategic planning, including assessment of the environment and projections for future business, organizations can forecast short- and long-term staffing needs and the strategic use of the human resource functions to meet those needs.
  • Job analyses and job descriptions: Job analyses are used to define the tasks and responsibilities involved in each job and to determine the qualifications required to successfully fulfill the job requirements. Job descriptions are the resulting documents. They provide a basis for all other HR functions.
  • Recruitment: Various methods are used to attract suitable applicants from labour pools.
  • Selection: The selection process is used to hire the best people into the positions for which they are most suited.
  • Orientation: A new employee’s initial introduction to the company provides essential information and creates a positive first impression.
  • Training and development: These functions facilitate the development of knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for staff to perform in their current position and/or to prepare for advancement.
  • Compensation, benefits, and recognition: Businesses need to determine appropriate types and levels of remuneration and incentives, including wages, formal benefits, and perquisites (perks).
  • Performance management: Providing feedback to employees on their work performance encourages and supports improvement. Also included in performance management is coaching. Progressive discipline is a separate process intended as a formal corrective process to address unsatisfactory behaviour or job performance.
  • Termination: Businesses must manage the process of employees leaving the organization due to just cause or termination being the final stage of progressive discipline.

The following pages describe these human resource functions in more detail.


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Human Resources in the Food Service and Hospitality Industry Copyright © 2015 by The BC Cook Articulation Committee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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