Hospitality is not the public service

It has been some time since the last News Letter. I have been writing ( Joe Bugner, My Story and The Satin Man Disappearance of the Beaumont Children ) but not the newsletters due to time constraints. So here it is. A bug -bear of mine.

One comment that comes up fairly regularly is “ I am looking for a good group that offers security.” If you wish to have security , join the Public Service :


Because one has worked for a major or minor hotel group for many years we sometimes believe we are “entitled” to transfer to a higher position, a better location BUT unless you are productive, efficient and constantly striving for better performance , better results , becoming a better manager, a better person. One is NOT ENTITLED at all to a better title , better position, nor location simply because one has stayed with one group for a considerable length of time . That’s not how it works nor should it. “ Longevity does not equal productivity”

Stating to a recruiter “ I have been with the same group for 15 years as I needed the security “ is hardly a sound reason to stay with the group. There are many positive reasons to stay with your group apart from “ I needed the security “ OR “I cannot join a group that does not offer security “ I and, I would say the Hotel Groups HR and Regional Managers are wanting to hear better reasons to stay with their respective groups.

Or , Why do you want to marry me ? “ Well I need the security, NOT a good start to a happy marriage.

Some managers do not realise they are in a career holding pattern, not realising it is time to move on. The saying: MOVE TO IMPROVE rings true. Sometimes we need a reminder , a push from life itself. Unfortunately or fortunately depending on how one thinks Redundancy is not the end of the world . A lot of times later on the person realises it was the best thing that could have happened as it woke them up. This has happened to a lot of us .

Redundancy or being let go is not the end of the world it is the beginning. It shook the tree. It shook us out of our complacency. It woke us up from the security slumber. Things change and so should we. Life is constant movement , change , embrace it. Do not embrace security, it is an illusion. Embrace your abilities. Embrace you.

When one is regularly overlooked for GM or Resident Manager , EAM , Exec Chef role and the like or sent to locations not many wish to go to, it may be time to move on. DO NOT hold onto the notion of security. HR will move the best GMs to the best locations and best properties, that’s life and we all can’t be first division players BUT we can always give our best.

Realise that the quest for security does not bring with it productivity nor lift your energy levels nor your drive nor does it inspire. And it shows , you may not see it but your peers do.

As recruiters we understand that family comes into this but with a dad or mum coming home with an unhappy look on their face as working at the same hotel for years for “ family security “ reasons doesn’t make the family happy , Happy Dad and Mum equals happy family. If you have to stay in one city due to schooling then keep improving, learning and striving and overall be happy in what you do.

Striving for security doesn’t make you happy. Kids overall want happy parents and not listening to the goings on at work that make you annoyed and the kids unhappy. As John Lennon once said :

“ When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

Some candidates state “ For me to move I must stay with the majors “ when asked why and why not just stay with quality. Again they believe in and are looking for security , not realising security comes with the internal thinking and overall perceived ability and belief in that ability from the candidate. Not which group you are with. What you believe you will see. A Head of HR does not want to hear , after asking this question “ What interests you overall in our group” One answers “ the security “ You can count on the meeting as over.

Many have moved to smaller groups or independents and moved from these to the majors and back again and their respective careers have sky rocketed. Taking the road less travelled isn’t a bad road at all.

The other one I’ll bring up is security in location . A General Manager in South East Queensland recently interviewed a senior Chef for the senior role. Asking why she is interested in this role the reply was : “ It is based on the Gold Coast Surfers Paradise” So basically they were not interested in the Hotel nor the company, they were only interested in the “ Lifestyle location” . We also get this with locations like Singapore, KL and Phuket to name a few the : “ Life style” choices , not career choices and with life style choices we end up with a 9 to 5 mentality which doesn’t bode well for the guest experience.

You are in this industry , this business for a career or should be, because if you are not, the service to the guest, the guest experience will undoubtedly suffer.

The biggest mistake that you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else. Job security is gone. The driving force of a career must come from the individual. Remember: Jobs are owned by the company, you own your career!
Earl Nightingale

When one is looking to move , move to improve. Keep the continuity in the CV and keep the quality whether an independent property , small group or large group. It doesn’t matter ,as a recruiter is looking for this. Not hanging your hat on that you spent the last 15 to 20 years in one hotel group in only one or two locations. We are not happy with job hoppers but also not overly enamoured with security hunters.

Quality Groups or Hotels does not necessarily mean high end 5 star, it can be Holiday Inns, Mecure’s , Nikko’s , Best Westerns etc. , quality can take many forms . Whoever you work for be happy and perform well in what you do and everything will look after itself.

Not all of us are destined to run the IHG, Four Seasons , Kempinski, Howard Jonson , Wyndham, Oakwood, Tune Groups and the like. It’s rather like the English Premier league.

Not all have the skills , drive and complete 24/7 commitment to play for Manchester City , Liverpool, MU or the mighty Chelsea, these are your COO’s and their backgrounds have a few different hotel brands experience under their belts. And I would say MBAs and more . There are many great and very capable football players in 1st 2nd and 3rd division and without these players, the ones that give it their best, the whole premier league fails . After all , you are there to please the fans………………..the guests so play your best all the time.

And sometimes when a player is floundering after several years with one club, they are released and then how many times have we seen the player experience a new lease on life .New energy and drive with a new football club We see this in football and other sports a lot of the time and we see this is hospitality.

When the student is ready the teacher appears.

So do not hold on to security for security sake, it will not make you happy nor more productive and won’t help you manage people better. Strive to improve, through learning new things, through developing as a person , then the world will open up to you. There is a big, interesting exciting world out there getting better all the time BUT……

Your can choose freedom OR security , choose the latter, you will get neither.