Don’t recruit a Duplo thrower

“It’s in his genes”, my wife said with a distinct air of resignation. Our three-year-old, Jimmy, had just smashed his Duplo model on the floor in a fit of rage. She may be right.

Before I go any further and just in case anyone read my last blog and is interested in my treehouse planning saga there is good news. Planning has been granted, the tree house is still standing and peace has broken out on our street. Great to see common sense has prevailed.

Jimmy is a good guy, a typical three-year-old. He’s fun, energetic but my gosh he has a short fuse. His mum, my wife, is a great woman but she can be pretty intolerant at times. His Pappy is a good man but he has been known on occasions to not suffer fools gladly. I have to admit, I’m not perfect – I can throw a strop. Perhaps she’s right – maybe it is in his genes. The nature / nurture debate will outlive all of us. Based on the fact Darwin struggled to sort it out, it’s highly unlikely that I’m going to sort it while sitting here drinking a coffee and writing my latest blog.

I am however very clear on a few things to do with recruitment and the nature/nurture argument. Let me give you a few simple pointers when recruiting in the hospitality industry.

  1. Run a great organisation –talent attracts talent. While I appreciate that in certain markets there can be a shortage of great candidates I don’t believe it has to be a problem. Run a great business with strong leadership and high energy and you will never be short of great applicants.
  2. Don’t kid yourself. If the candidate turns up late or unprepared chances are they will always struggle with the clock.
  3. Don’t kid yourself. If the greeting isn’t warm, friendly and enthusiastic why would they fit the hospitality industry.
  4. If the conversation flows and the candidate engages well you might be in business. If not – think again. Why would somebody suddenly become communicative once employed.
  5. If presentation is ropey then be aware it might always be an issue. If a candidate can’t scrub up for an interview, I suspect they never will.
  6. Don’t be an old fart. If the applicant wants to work on the front desk in a top hotel but cannot tie a Double Windsor it’s probably not the end of the world. Remember times have changed. Even the odd tattoo shouldn’t be a problem.
  7. Always remember – great organisations will always develop enthusiasts but you will never fundamentally change people.

If you have gotten this far and are thinking – well done Brian, thanks for stating the obvious it may be worth asking yourself a simple question. If it is that obvious then why do so many struggle to deliver great service consistently? You might just be letting the wrong genes into the mix – nobody wants a Duplo thrower on reception.

It might be that this article is not for you but perhaps it is for some of your less experienced managers who may at this moment be about to take the easy option.