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Human resource management plays a very important role in any industry as it deals with the management of human resource, which is the most fundamental resource of the company. The importance of human resource and its management in service sector in general and Hilton hotel in particular is discussed in the following pages. The discussion focuses on role and purpose of human resource management in Hilton followed by a discussion about the justification of a human resource plan in case of Hilton based on service and demand. This is followed by a discussion about the current state of employment relations in hotel industry and the impact of laws on the Human resource management functions. This is in turn followed by a person specification and job description for a particular job and the different methods that are used for selecting the right candidate.
In practice and in theory HRM encompasses human resource management encompasses a diverse body of scholarship. These activities are concerned with the management of people and work. All activities of the management that focuses on employment relationship were the focus of an early definition of human resource management by Michael Beer and his colleges. Storey acknowledges that HRM is just one of the recipe out of several different alternatives that are available, it is stated by Storey that HRM plays a fundamental role in an organization. In his definition of HRM, Storey focuses on commitment by the employees and strategic dimension of Human Resource Management in the process of generating activities of Human resource management (Bratton and Gold, 2012). However, if HRM is conceptualized as a high commitment strategy of management; then the study of HRM as a discipline is limited to a small number of organizations, which are distinct. This is because most firms provide minimal wages and training opportunities to the employees. Thus, it is best to define HRM as a strategic approach that is used so as to manage employment relations (Hendry, 2012). There is an emphasis on the fact that leveraging commitment and capabilities of people is critical for achievement of competitive advantage that is sustainable. In order to achieve this there are distinctive set of practices, programs and employment policies that are embedded in societal and organizational context.
In this regards there are six core activities of human resource management. These are:
The human resource management in an organization performs several functions. The functions are related to the following:
Harmonization of relationship between the employees and the employer- For example in case of Hilton it is required that the HRM is successful in developing good relationship between the management and employees of the company. It is also required that the hotel is able to maintain the performance level. In a service industry, the performance of the employees becomes all the more important (Boxall and Purcell, 2011). In this regards, it is required that the HRM define performance standards that are to be used as benchmark for evaluating the performance of the employees.
The HRM of HILTON is also required to design the compensation, payroll and benefits of the employees working for Hilton.
The process of identification of current and future needs of human resource so that the organization is able to achieve its goals is referred to as human resource planning. The planning of human resource serves as a link between the overall strategic plan of the organization and management of human resource (Boxall and Purcell, 2011). The fact that the working population in western world is ageing and there is a greater demand for qualified workers in developing economies have underscored the importance of effective planning of human resource. Human resource planning has been defined as the process of identifying human resource requirements and making plans for satisfying those requirements. Planning for workforce has also been defined as a process through which an organization tries to make an estimate of the demand of workforce and tries to calculate nature, source and size of the supply to be used for meeting the demand. There are different strategies that are included under the planning of human resources. These are strategies related to management of flexibility, management of talent, retention and management of absence, selection etc. Creating a brand of the employer falls under the human resource planning process.
Some of the services that would be provided by the new branch of Hilton hotels which is set to open at Stratford includes storage of baggage, sauna center, barber shop, multi lingual staffs, shoe shine stand, room service, facility for parking, steam room, spa etc. In order to provide these services, Hilton hotel would require fresher or experienced multilingual staffs that would be able to provide these services to the people. It is better if the staffs are already experienced. However, experienced staffs would come at a premium and the company can instead hire fresher for cost cutting effort (Boxall and Purcell, 2011). The staffs would be provided training so that they are able to provide the best service to the guests at Hilton hotels. It is important for the staffs to exhibit high degree of professionalisms and upholds the high service quality for which Hilton is known across the world.
Business and leisure travelers would be catered to by the Hilton hotel at Stratford. The hotel would try to provide the guests a list of different services to ensure that they are comfortable during their stay at the hotel. The travelers visiting the hotel would expect that the staffs of the hotel provide them with a service that is of top notch in terms of quality. It would also be expected that the staffs exhibit professionalism in their behavior and are expert in their trade so that they can satisfy the demands, which are made by the guests. Additionally the guests would expect that they are able to satisfy their varied needs within the hotel so that they would not have to venture out as often for silly issues and can enjoy their holidays well.
The legal link that exists between the employees and the employer is referred to as employment relationship. There is existence of employment relationship when a person under certain specific condition in exchange of being remunerated performs certain services or work. The reciprocal obligations and rights that exist between the employ relations are created through employment relationship, irrespective of the definition of the term (ILO, 2016). In areas related to social security and labor laws it has been and continues to be the main vehicle through which the employees or workers have been able to gain access to their rights. In fact it can be said that application of social and labor laws and its provisions to the employees are based on the condition that there exists employment relationship. Employment relationship can be said to be the key point of reference when it comes to determination of nature and extent of the rights and obligations of the employers towards employees. The issue of employment relationship has gained increasing amount of importance in recent years. This is due to the fact that there is an increasing widespread phenomenon of dependent workers who seem to lack protection because of one of more of the following reasons.
It is important to reflect that the fact that the hotel and restaurant industry is a labor intensive industry. It is basically dominated by small businesses and is characterized by a lower degree of affiliation towards the trade unions or the employers. It is also found that the sector is generally young in the sense that most people who work in the hotels are actually young people. It is a sector which is pretty labor intensive and thus the growth of the sector has a direct impact on employment figures. During peak hours, the sector hires large number of temporary workers in addition to the permanent workers who work at the hotels (European Observatory of working life, 2012). It is also found that there are more number of women as compared to men who work in the sector and the sector is characterized by periods of job stability which are lower than average. It is also found that as compared to whole economy in the hotel sector there are lower levels of formal education. Although the physical environment found in the sector is not unfavorable, there are certain occupations that report considerable ergonomic risk. It is also found that the workers work for non-standard times in the hotel industries. There has been however, a reduction in total weekly working hours. As evident from the above discussion, employment relationship becomes all the more important in the hotel industry in general and Hilton Stratford in particular as most of the employees lack formal education, hired for a short duration and are required to work for long hours. In this case it is important to clearly set the rights and obligations of the employers so that they do not exploit the employees working in the hotel.
It is important to take note of the fact that the field of human resource management is greatly impacted, shaped and influenced by the laws at federal and state levels governing the area of employment. (Boella and Goss-Turner, 2013) Indeed, it is found that regulations are there to govern almost all aspects of human resource management including compensation, recruitment, development and placement. In this regards there is an important piece of legislation related to human resource management that is found to have its impact on all of the functional areas of human resource management.
That legislation is the title VII of the Civil Rights Act that was passed in the year 1964. The act was subsequently amended and all the amended versions too have a great influence on the functional areas under human resource management. According to this act the employers cannot discriminate against employees or those who would be recruited on the basis of sex, age, color, race or national origin. According to this act, it is required that the employers should document fairness practices that are related to pay, benefits, hiring, training and all other activities of HRM. Equal employment Opportunity Commission was established by the act of 1964 to enhance the act, and for the provision of civil penalties in the event of discrimination. The result of this act is that the business should design and document different procedure so as to ensure compliance with the acts or face penalties that are potentially significant.
Another important legislation for complimenting the civil rights act is the Equal Pay Act that was established in 1973. Under this act, discrimination based on gender is forbidden in matters of paying salary or wage. However, there are few exceptions under this act (INC).
Occupational Health and Safety Act established in 1970- This act was designed so that the employers are forced to provide a working environment to the people that are safe and healthy. This was also designed so that the organizations are made liable for the safety of the workforce (INC).
Family and Medical Leave Act (1993) - Under this act the employees who qualify are provided with 12 weeks of unpaid job protected leave in a 12-month period for medical and family related issues (INC). During this time it is required that the employer should continue with group health benefits as if the employees continued working instead of taking leave.
Fair Labor Standards Act (1938) - Under the law it is mandated that the employer must comply with restrictions related to minimum wages, child labor, safety at the workplace and provisions for overtime.
The job description is used for setting the overall purpose of a role and the main tasks that needs to be carried out. The performance specification that is associated with the job description details the skills and experience that are needed from the person so that he or she would be able to effectively perform the job. A job description and person specification that is well written assist in the process of attracting the right candidate for the job (University of Strathclyde, n.d.). This is because a well-written job description and person specification clearly spells out the accountabilities and enable to potential applicants to be able to match their experience and skills with those listed in the criteria for selection. The first purpose of the job description is to tell the necessity of a post and its fitness into the current structure. The human resources also use it for evaluating the post in terms of responsibility and complexity against the descriptors of job level and for determining the grade that is appropriate.
For example, the job description and person specification of a diamond desk coordinator at Hilton is presented below
The diamond desk coordinator is a person responsible for answering incoming telephone calls and is required to provide sales and service solution to meet the needs and requirements of diamond members of the hotel. For optimization of revenues, fostering of increased customer satisfaction and delivery of superior service, it is expected that such a person would make use of sales and engagement techniques that are effective (Hilton Worldwide, 2016). It is required that the diamond desk coordinator would assist the diamond members with all aspects of making, modifying or cancelling of room reservations. It is also expected that the coordinators would provide specialized services to assist the diamond members in managing their HHonors account. Other service or issues related with stay should also be documented and resolved by the diamond desk coordinator. It is required for such a person to meet the targets related to revenue, satisfaction of customers and productivity. It is also required that
There are different methods available for using to select the suitable candidate for a particular post. The various selection methods are:
It is noted that there are different categories of hotel who are rated based on the quality of service offered and availability of other features in the hotel. It is shown by data analysis that there is a statistically significant difference between the selection techniques that are used by hotels belonging to different categories. It was seen that the three star and the four star hotels were similar in the use of selection techniques. The prevailing techniques used for selection by these categories of hotel were “one-on-one interviews” and “knowledge and background questions”. However, it was found that the five star hotels were distinct in their choice of selection methods from the other two categories of hotels. The five star categories differed from the other two categories of hotels in terms of number of selection choices in used and the frequency with which these selection choices appeared. The selection techniques that are used by different hotel rating categories are listed below in the following figure.
Figure 1 Selection techniques used by different rating hotel categories (Teodora, Lazar and Borivoje, 2015)
It is generally seen that the service companies employ recruitment methods such as referrals, temporary staffing, job portals, advertisement in newspapers, head hunting and advertisements on company websites. It is also seen that the selection methods that are generally used by the service companies for selecting the right candidate are written tests and tests on specific skills (Kundu, Rattan, Sheera and Gahlawat, 2015).
It is seen through the course of above discussion that human resource management with all its functionalities plays a major role in different aspects of managing the human resource in a service-oriented company. The human resource department is required to plan for the human resource requirements, study the impact of different laws on human resource functions and advertise for a position. The job description and person specification that needs to be described for selecting the right candidate is also discussed. This is followed by a discussion of different selection techniques that are used in the hotel industry and hospitality industry for selecting the right candidate.