Recruitment & Selection

Braidwood offers our client hotels assistance with recruiting a hotel General Manager and other senior members of the hotel’s management team.

Braidwood does not advocate nor encourage the “warm body” theory of recruitment and selection i.e. any “body” is better than nobody. However, recruiting the best available talent can be a frustrating process for Owners of small and medium sized hotels given that there are compensation limits attached to recruiting talent that has both the maturity and experience to produce the expected results.

People buy people! Hotels are merely bricks and mortar; it is the people or the staff within each hotel that make the difference. It is the hospitality service they provide, their attention to detail and their determination to improve the overall guest experience that set hotels apart. They are what make great hotels – great!

When working with Owners under a management agreement Braidwood assumes the management of and responsibility for the hotel Human Resources functions; recruiting senior management that are accountable to us for the day-to-day operation of the owner’s assets and profitability of their hotel.

Human Resources

Braidwood assists our client hotels with strategic human resource planning and is experienced in recruiting and selecting the senior management and department head positions needed to operate a successful hotel.

We also understand the process of recruiting and hiring hotel employees is critical considering the alternative will result in expensive and repetitive errors. Recruiting, training and retention of qualified staff are an expensive proposition for any business but hiring the wrong staff resulting in constant turn-over and low employee moral is even more expensive.

Braidwood can help to develop your pro-active hotel human resource strategy in advance of critical need ensuring the smooth operation of your hotel and reducing the potential for costly errors in judgement.

We are familiar with the critical steps involved in the process of human resource planning. We know what skills are required that help identify potential employees applying for available positions. We can help with writing relevant hotel job descriptions, identifying lines of reporting, the setting of competitive hotel wage scales and the introduction of ongoing training and development programs knowing that identifying these and other steps will leave nothing to chance.

Recruiting and retention is influenced by many factors. The location and seasonality of the hotel, availability of human resources matching identified skill sets, the financial resources of the organization and language skills all can affect the hotel’s ability to recruit qualified employees.

Front Desk Agent

Braidwood recognizes that the majority of revenue within small and medium sized hotels is generated through room sales therefore, the roll of hotel Front Desk Agents is important in that they can influence the financial performance of the hotel. We offer training to front desk agents, teaching them how to uncover customer needs and how to sell to those needs in the precious few minutes available during the check-in process. Agents must have outstanding product knowledge of every room type, possess the ability to communicate the benefits of each and know how to paint word pictures in the mind of the customer.

Improving guestroom revenue can be as simple as increasing rates or selling more rooms. Successful hoteliers understand this process actually starts with recruiting and selection of front desk agents that posses superior communication & people skills; training them in product knowledge, empowering them to make their own decisions instilling in them a sense of pride and ownership while acknowledging and rewarding their performance in meaningful ways.

At Braidwood we call this the rule of “human? economics and work with our clients to improve the selling skills of agents using a technique known as the Net Additional Sale (NAS) which is selling the customer more than they intended to buy when they walked through the door. We recognize that, whereas there is a fixed cost attached to selling a room; success lays in up-selling the customer at the front desk or on the phone and that every dollar generated above the original price of the room flows to the bottom line as profit!

Housekeeping Operations

Braidwood assists our clients with the recruitment and selection of senior hotel management and executive positions.

The Executive Housekeeper is typically a senior department head reporting to the Front Office Manager, Director of Operations or General Manager. The ultimate goal of both housekeeping and front office is a happy guest as a happy guest is a repeat guest. In most hotels the housekeeping department is part of the rooms division and works closely with the front office. A front desk agent cannot sell a room until it has been cleaned; inspected and released by the housekeeping department therefore two-way communication between these departments is important.

The Executive Housekeeper uses a number of key hotel management reports. The Daily Occupancy Report, prepared by night audit indicates which rooms are scheduled for departure and which rooms are staying over. This is usually the first document reviewed each day. A rolling forecast, prepared by the Front Office Manager will advise the housekeeping department of arrivals over the next 3 to 10 days allowing them to schedule staff. The Status Report is prepared by housekeeping for the front office indicating which rooms are clean and ready to be sold.

Another important report prepared by housekeeping is the Discrepancy Report. This indicates variances between what the PMS is telling the agent and reality. In some cases a guest will be checked-out in error or will stay over without letting the front desk know. It is important that these discrepancies are cleared up as it affects the ability of the front desk to sell rooms. Maintenance Reports are prepared by individual housekeepers when cleaning each room. Any maintenance issues are communicated to the maintenance department and if necessary, the room is placed out of order until these issues are resolved.

Food & Beverage Operations

Braidwood has extensive experience and knowledge of Food & Beverage operations working with our clients to develop standards of operational excellence.

As with all areas of hotel operations; developing standards and levels of expected performance as well as internal controls in the areas of purchasing, pricing, and food cost for example are important factors to consider. Some hotels will establish controls for the overall F&B department whereas others will view each outlet as an individual operation and profit centre. The latter is perhaps the best approach as it gives the hotel the opportunity to view the contribution of each outlet or department to the overall operation.

The development of Hotel Food and Beverage operating standards starts with menu planning and design and must fit within the hotel’s overall marketing plan as it relates to F&B operations. An understanding of menu engineering is important so that menus can be adjusted; eliminating items that under perform.

Hospitality Food & Beverage operations vary greatly from full-service operations that include restaurants, bars, room service and catering to providing a simple continental breakfast in the lobby for in-house guests. It is also common for hotels to lease out their internal food & beverage operations or simply encourage their guests to use restaurants and bars within walking distance from the hotel.

Front Desk Operations

Braidwood Hospitality Management is experienced in all areas of Front Desk operations and provides these services to our clients on request. We recognize that the majority of revenue derived by small and medium sized hotels comes from room sales therefore it is important that all functions and activities of the Hotel Front Desk are geared towards supporting guest transactions and services which means that accurate planning and monitoring of front office transactions is paramount as many guests view the front desk as the hotel.

The Front Office Manager (FOM) must be skilled in the areas of leadership, guest service, training, PMS (Property Management Systems), rate setting, market segment tracking, yield management, budgeting and GDS/website maintenance ensuring that the later is positioned within the Global Distribution System on 3rd party websites such as Expedia or Orbitz.

Typically, the guest cycle or flow of business in the front office can be broken down into four stages: Pre-arrival, Arrival, Occupancy and Departure.

The Pre-Arrival stage is typically where the guest will conduct their research and make a reservation. This selection process can be affected by factors such as previous experience, company travel policy, travel agents, hotel website, location or company travel policy to name a few.

In the Arrival Stage the guest will register and establish credit with the hotel usually with a pre-determined rate and room type.

The Occupancy Stage is where the guest will use hotel services and where charges will start to appear on the guest folio.

The Departure Stage is where the guest will check out and settle their account and the information on each guest is transferred to hotel guest history in the hotel’s PMS.