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Strategic Role of HRM in Tourism and Hospitality Industry

Strategic Role of HRM in Tourism and Hospitality Industry Introduction:

Strategic Role of HRM in Tourism and Hospitality Industry highlights importance of The Human Resource Strategic Role of HRM in Tourism and Hospitality IndustryManagement (HRM) for the Tourism, Hospitality, and Event (THE) sector is based on HRM policies and practices relevant to the tourism and hospitality industries. The use of the existing human resource management (HRM) practice and theory helps to contextualize it to the industries based on specific employment practices in the industries, such as working in the airline industry or managing tour reps. (Nickson, 2007)

Additionally, there are foreseen and unforseen challenges and opportunities that should be worked upon to either avert it or achieve it respectively. More so, labor is an essential aspect of the factors of production, therefore, the process of recruiting laborers or employees in the THE industry is changing on a daily basis. More selection methods or approaches are being employed based on criteria that seem to be effective in the THE industries. Based on these major criteria, this paper discusses the reasons behind these major elements and how they are being done.

Human Resource Planning

Human Resource planning is important to any organization and its success because it forms an integral part of the organization and also ensures that the organization succeed in achieving all its defined goals and targets. The reasons why HR planning is important in an organization will be discussed below.

Firstly, HR planning is defined according to Sampurna Majumder (2014) as the systematic evaluation of HR needs that makes sure that the accurate number of employees with the most suitable skills are readily available whenever they are required. In the process of HR planning, it is required of the practitioners that the objectives needed to be achieved must be in mind. This is the exact reason why many job seekers keep seeking employment. When these requirements are neglected by an organization’s authorities, there are possibilities of poor performances and even other industrial issues within the organization.

Furthermore, another important aspect of planning for human resources is the forecasting demand. It is imperative that the practitioners fully have some idea of where the organization is headed with its sales and revenue. The percentage of sales in the current year should be better than the previous year. The new recruiting of new staff to the organization can help to meet this demand. Basically, the need for employees who will help meet some financial demands is necessary here. Otherwise, customers may see the organization not effectively carrying out their business success. (Bradley, 2016)

Additionally, being proactive is another aspect of HR planning. Bearing in mind the idea of being proactive in business will help keep heads-up with what the business process is And thus, build more effective method to create a pipeline of employees that are ready, unforced, and able to help the organization grow and attain its goal. When employees see some excitement in the management on the foreseen success, they will also be excited about the future of the organization and also about the new talent that would be brought on-board, this will make them excited to help the organization reach their goals, hence increasing organization financial bottom line. (Bradley, 2016)

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Achieving these reasons are based on employing the right methodologies. These include the following;

  • Workforce analysis:

The workforce analysis is considered as one of the methodologies used because the workforce is a very important factor in human resources planning. The current workforce and future workforce, both have their different roles in human resources. The strength of the workforce determines the level of output. (Franklin, n.d)

  • Seminars and Job Fairs:

Seminars, job fairs and other social functions are ways to advertise the company. Human resources should organize seminars and job fairs to recruit employees in quality and quantity, as qualified employees increases the strength of the workforce which in turns increases productivity. (Franklin, n.d)

  • Training programs:

Training programs improve the employee skills, this includes customer service and sales training, or a focus on specific work-related skills. The provision of training and retraining programs will help reduce present and future liability. (Franklin, n.d)

  • Retention Programs

Since there are possibilities for employees to seek other opportunities, retaining them may be difficult. But human resource planning can help reduce the possibility of employee departure through retention programs. Additionally, the retention program can include advancement, rewards, or growth and even work-life balancing. (Franklin, n.d)

Ignoring HRP processes can lead to the following problems:

  1. Firstly, when there is no human resource planning, it will be difficult to know which employee has the required qualifications, knowledge, skills, work experience, and aptitude level for the work at hand. (Cartwrigh, 2002)
  2. Second, it will be difficult to choose the right personnel to replace the large number of those who retire, grown old, die, or become incapacitated based on physical or mental ailments. Therefore, the work would have to suffer. (Cartwrigh, 2002)
  3. Third, labor turnover is something that cannot be avoided, but beneficial, lack of human resource planning will not help understand how such labor turnover arises from factors such as discharges, voluntary quits, promotions or marriage; or even factors such as cyclical fluctuations in the business which could lead to the constant ebb and flow in the organization. (Cartwrigh, 2002)

Ignoring HRP will not allow an organization meet the needs of expansion programs, which is very important because of the high increase in the demand for goods and services by a developing population, increase in the standing of living – which results in larger quantities of similar goods and services for new goods. (Cartwrigh, 2002)

Finally, when HRP is taken into effective consideration, it will help identify areas in which there are surplus employee or areas where there is a shortage of employee. Because, if there is a surplus quantity, it can be redeployed; and if there is a possibility of shortage, it can be made good. (Cartwrigh, 2002)

Finally, it is agreeable to note that the above are key factors as to why human resource planning is so central to the successful running of any business. Human resource planning is a must for every business, no matter how much it is ignored within an organization, the vacuum would be left. As a matter of fact, human resources planning has to be linked to the entire strategic direction of an organization, and the human resource practitioners need to have a strategic table and seats to define this strategic direction and to also have information about the organization corporate strategy.

The Changes in the Process of Recruitment in Tourism, Hospitality & Events(THE) Industries

Recruitment plays an important function in every industry. It gives the opportunity to list the skills necessary for the new hire in order to fulfill their duties. An evaluation of the roles of recruitment is explained below.

Recruitment performs the roles of analyzing the job. In every organization, before recruiting exercise is carried out for a new or existing position, it is relatively important that some time is invested in gathering information about what the job entails. This is not just about the task, making up the job, but the major purpose of the job, the output expected of the job holder, and how it conforms to the organization’s structure. This should form the basis of the job description.

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Recruitment describes the job. After the job analysis, writing the job description is the next phase. This clearly explains the job to the intending employees, and assists the recruitment process by offering a clear guide for everyone involved, about what is required in the job.

It gives the required person specification or job profile. A person specification states the imperative and desirable criteria for selection. Such kind of specifications depend on a set of competencies identified as needful in the performance of the job.

Recruitment Methods in the Tourism, Hospitality & Events(THE) Industry

The methods of recruitment in the THE industry include the following:

  • Word-of-mouth/referrals from other employees:

Using the word-of-mouth/referral approach in recruiting in the THE industry helps to get better quality of candidate because the referral who recommends a candidate understand the needs of the organization. Also, word-of-mouth/referrals helps to settle the candidate and increases retention, this is because, such candidates have a better understanding of the organization, their role, and even the workplace environment. (“Energi, 2014”)

  • Internet advertising, both by the THE organization and via general volunteering websites:

This method helps the employees access the recruitment information more clearly and they will be sure they do not miss out any details expected of them for the position or job they intend to fit in.

  • Employment agencies:

Employment agencies are professionals in the human resource industries and this method gives the THE industry a confidence that these agencies have the knowledge of the market, the agencies are getting the right candidates, they are also building the THE company brand, allowing the agencies to gain short term access to their key strategic skills, and agencies are usually on good budget or resource. (Dinnen, 2014)

  • Newspaper advertising:

This method allows the companies in the THE industry to increase their brand recognition, new foot traffic, product sales, and repeat business.

  • Stakeholder, such as local councils:

The use of local government for recruiting is employed by the THE industry confirms that the company had been given legal power and grant to operate in their community and they are being supported.

  • Community groups:

Utilizing community groups help to gain increased diversity through various community groups.

Recruiting is changing in the THE industries based on some factors, such as legal and policy changes. Also, since there has been the removal of the DRA, older workers are now being provided with the right to remain in their employment as long as they choose in the hospitality sector in the UK. (Hospitality Sector, 2011) Therefore, causing a relative change within organizations in this section. In addition, the changing economic conditions are another aspect that is impacting this sector negatively. All employees in this sector have been given the right to flexible working, thereby bringing a shift in the approach to how things are done in this sector.

Furthermore, the current trends and issues in the events sector cause more change in the recruitment process. The growth of the THE industry has been retarded based on the economic issues in the country. According to the labor market review of the events industry (2010), it was seen that the size of the THE workforce can only grow after the recession at the time. This implies that there are possibilities that the fear of possible recession can give rise to consciousness in the recruitment process. According to the report, there must be reinforced need for clarity in information, advice, and guidance for anyone coming into the industry based on job roles, salaries, job profiles, progression opportunities, skills and knowledge, as well as qualifications/training.

Moreover, such downtown in recession could lead to a public perception. Due to the unfavorable events that could have occurred in the past in the THE industry, many organizations will be cutting back, and would not want to recruit as many employees as possible. And because companies are also being watchful on going on various trips in order to cut expenses, it affects the industry negatively, hence, a level of redundancy.

The increase in competition is another factor that affects the recruitment process in the THE industry. There will always exist competition in every sector, as long as it is business-related.

The THE industry is filled with various job opportunities and it is growing and developing at a fast pace with hard work and high turnover. Since the recession has gradually come to an end, employment trends have been positive. (“agcas, n.d”) Recruitment processes are beginning to become a great success and more vacancies open on a daily basis to many major qualifications. The recruitment processes show that graduate training schemes exist for employees/candidate who wants larger organizations, such as hotel chains and restaurant. While, there are also opportunities with developing businesses, such as independent restaurants, exhibition venues and event management companies, bars, and hotels. Generally, restaurants, hotels, and bars offer more opportunities for various skills. However, work experience is needed in the THE industry in the recruitment process. (“agcas, n.d”)

The Effective Use of Selection Methods in the Tourism, Hospitality & Events(THE) Industries

Selection is the process of choosing individuals from a pool of job applicants based on requirements, qualifications, and the competency to fill the available jobs in an organization.  The role of selection is crucial for some reasons.

First, the performance of work depends on the individuals. The most advisable way to enhance performance is to hire people who are competent and willing to work. From an employee viewpoint, inappropriate or bad choice of selection can demoralize the individual concerned (especially, those who found themselves in the wrong job) and also demotivating the remaining parts of the workforce. Thus, effective section provides greater relevance.

Furthermore, the cost incurred in recruiting and hiring an individual speaks largely about the role of selection. This is because recruiting has become relatively expensive. When a wrong selection is made, the costs are much greater. Moreover, selection should not be made based on predicted success, otherwise, may result into failure results. The costs incurred include, the cost of while the individual is employed resulting into profit losses, accidents due to negligence, damaged company image or reputation, absenteeism, and more. Other costs include the one associated with training, and possible transfer, or termination of the services of such employee. The cost of replacing that employee comes in, cost of hiring, training, and building a fresh one constitute the kind of costs in selection.

Methods of Selection in the Tourism, Hospitality & Events(THE) Organization

Tourism, Hospitality, and Events (THE) organizations use various methods of selection of their choice of employee. This includes interviews, practical tests, assessment centres, and psychological tests.


This method of selection helps to determine the communication or social skills of the applicant. Also, the interviewer can get supplementary information, candidates’ verbal fluency, job knowledge, equally qualified applicants, the compatibility between the applicant and the employees, and also allow other related questions to the job.

Practical Tests

Selection process can use practical tests to check the candidates’ attitude, measurement o specific job skills, or job knowledge. Additionally, it can be used to check for other general skills such as analytical, interpersonal, and organizational skills.

Assessment Centres

These are designed to evaluate the various types of job related abilities and skills to assess job applicants. It also checks for communication, interpersonal, analytical, as well as planning and organizing skills.

Psychological Tests

This is the use of questions or problems to assess, measure, or evaluate the ability of the candidates to learn quickly, reasoning, logic, reading comprehension and any related enduring mental abilities that are the basis for the success in various jobs in the THE industry.

The Effectiveness of these Selection Methods in Differing Job Roles


Well-designed interviews are effective because of the use of a standard set of questions to evaluate skills, abilities, knowledge, and other qualities required for the particular position relative to a candidate in the THE industry. The THE industry requires a high level of competence in the role of event organization, tourism management, hotel management, and other sensitive position. (SIOP, 2016)

Practical Tests

The effectiveness of practical tests in differing roles is seen in how best a candidate can perform some tasks that are similar or same to those they would perform while they secure their job. This gives the employer(s) conviction that a candidate possesses a level of skill or competence in the THE industry. (SIOP, 2016)

Assessment Centers

This is effective for differing roles as it consists of different exercises that show job content and types of challenges faced on the job. Additionally, the assessment centers usually include other kinds of tests, which include cognitive ability tests, job knowledge tests, and personality inventories. Multiple raters, who are well trained to classify, observe, and evaluate behaviors are used in this method. After the assessment center, the raters meet to agree on overall judgments about the individual performance at the center. (SIOP, 2016)

Psychological Tests

The effectiveness of this method is based on the assessment of individuals’ aptitude or potential to proffer solutions to job-related problems based on providing information about how much their mental abilities can operate, such as mathematical or verbal reasoning and perceptual abilities like precision and speed in recognizing objects or letters of the alphabet. It is relatively cost effective to administer, can be administered through paper and pencil approach or computerized methods easily, but it can be time-consuming to develop. (SIOP, 2016)

Varying Features of Selection Tools

With the existence of the war of talent with respect to globalization in the world today, organizations that have successfully attracted quality applicants were able to do so because of the methods of selection employed in their hiring decisions. This is so because such organizations achieve a huge competitive benefit over their rivals. (Michaels et al., 2001: Kundu, 2012)

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