Asked by D'Ambrosio whether or not the recruiting and hiring practices in the travel and tourism industry are right for the current [tight] labour market, Houran comments "Good customer service equates to effective people skills, which itself reflects the combination of emotional intelligence, service orientation and the ability to take the initiative to set priorities and problem-solve." Houran continues, noting that "together, these abilities are what many people call the hospitality “X Factor.” It’s a competency that goes far beyond technical expertise or domain knowledge, and it can be especially difficult to assess when companies evaluate candidates primarily through resumes or Linkedin profiles. Strong expertise is exactly what colleges, universities and technical programs provide. But the X Factor tends to be learned the hard way and honed through street smarts, so competency in this area is more elusive."
Probing for any advice that Houran might have for hiring or recruiting managers, D'Ambrosio learns that "[to] pepare 'opportunity profiles' versus 'job descriptions' is what makes the difference." Houran elaborates "job descriptions explain what the work is, while an opportunity profile tells candidates about how that work is achieved in your organization, what success looks like, and how one’s career trajectory can be propelled. Opportunity profiles can outline the technical expertise needed to perform the 'manual' aspects of a role, but it speaks further about the elements of 'purpose, principles and platform'. Make certain that you are describing your company’s culture, its core values and the team dynamics. High performers – A players – strive for a sense of ownership, accountability and a cultural fit rather than the chance to punch the clock."
To read the full interview, click here.