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Selecting hotel staff: why best practice doesn't always work

Lockyer, C.J. and Scholarios, D.M. (2004) Selecting hotel staff: why best practice doesn't always work. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 16 (2). pp. 125-135.

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This paper considers the nature of "best practice" recruitment and selection in the hotel sector. Data from a sample of Scottish hotels indicate a reliance on informal methods, particularly in smaller hotels. In larger and chain hotels, structured procedures, including references, application forms and panel interviews, are evident, but, here too, these methods seem inadequate for dealing with recruitment and quality problems, especially in meeting temporary staffing needs. Case study evidence contrasts two alternative strategies: a successful holistic strategy based on management of social processes important for selection, and a more conventional bureaucratic strategy. Each strategy depends on a complex interrelationship between business and labour market considerations, the ownership and management structure of the hotel, and the tenure and experience of those responsible for selection. This evidence indicates that, for the hotel industry, the holistic strategy is an alternative to conventional notions.