Hospitality Industry Training the Hospitality Industry Requires Term Paper

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Hospitality Industry Training

The hospitality industry requires a steady stream of employees and often faces a situation of high turnover. What is really desired is a well-trained workforce that will stay with a job for a period of time, for longer term employment also means familiarity with the given facility and its environs and with the clientele, producing benefits for all.

Rettig (1998) reports from Indianapolis and suggests that a good economy contributes to a rise in consumers willing and able to spend money on a night on the town or on a weekend excursion, but at the same time, a strong economy also means a shortage of minimum-wage workers to serve these consumers. This shortage extends to a wide variety of facilities -- for instance, the local zoo needs to increase is labor force, with most of the jobs in the area of food service. Many of the jobs are seasonal because of an increase in need in the summer months. There are also a number of new facilities that have opened in the region, and the need for workers at these facilities has led to a sort of price war for employees having few skills and yet being offered high wages. Finding and keeping workers willing to work in entry-level, minimum-wage jobs is a major concern in the industry, and hospitality industry professionals state that in many cases they are having to pay more for labor than their peers in major markets, such as New York, Chicago and San Francisco. The situation is not expected to improve anytime soon. Another problem cited is possible over-building in the hotel industry, or the inability of the industry to keep up with technologies that change faster than they can master them or finance them.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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Lucas (1996) notes that the running joke among hotel employees used to be that it was the industry for misfits who could not clearly define a career path for themselves. The prediction today is that hotel growth will continue. Recent reports show that hotel stocks outperform other hot market areas, such as casinos and precious metals, making it clear that the industry is not comprised of the misguided, but rather a savvy group of individuals dedicated to growing their industry. PKF Consulting says the projected occupancy rate for Memphis in 1996 was 73%, nearly two points above the projected national average. According to the Tennessee Hotel and Motel Association, the hotel industry employs nearly 140,000 across the state. In Memphis, more than 1,000 hotel rooms were being added, so the city was preparing for a tourist boom that would create new jobs. The hospitality industry attracts many individuals from a variety of non-hospitality backgrounds. The author cites the case of Sylvia Cerrato, general manager of the Court Square Sleep Inn in Memphis, who started with a career in medicine. She has been in the hotel business for twenty years and says that, like medicine, it is a 24-hour a day business. She also says it offers many opportunities because it is a growth industry. In addition, it is not uncommon for an individual to enter at an entry and move up over time to a managerial position.

According to a report by Faircloth (1998), the Hotel Ezra Cornell serves as a classroom for one weekend each year when students from Cornell University's hotel-management school. This 150-room hotel hosts some 320 industry leaders from across the country each year to debate the finer points of the service trade. Nearly 600 students participate, and the associate dean of students says that most of them believe they will be running their own companies someday. This event offers them a preview of real-world responsibility. Any errors made by the students have real-world implications, including the fact that potential employers are watching the students' every move. At one event, Richard Cotter, Cornell alum and manager of Beverly Hills' Bel-Air Hotel, was scouting the event to fill two assistant-manager slots, and other talent hunters included Ed Evans, vice president for human resources at Aramark, and John Sharpe, president of Four Seasons hotels. Travel and tourism account for 11% of world GDP. Last year's graduating class received an average of 3.3 job offers each, and 99% were hired (nationally only 74% of college graduates found a job within a year of graduation). Cornell University's hotel-management school reports that its biggest challenge is keeping up with the industry because the demands for managerial talent has been tremendous. Students are getting good offers in the job market, and the number of job offers is now at up to four jobs per student graduating from Cornell, about 200 a year graduating at the under graduate level and 60 at the graduate level. There are also tremendous increases in salaries. Student applications have been increasing in a range of 15% a year.

Gainey (2002) notes how many organizations have been outsourcing the training function, though he also finds that few insights have been offered by researchers to guide training professionals in their use of outside suppliers. The researcher questioned 323 training managers and directors throughout the United States about their outsourcing practices and found that responding organizations outsourced about 30% of their training. Most respondents indicated that outsourcing resulted in increased performance in the training area and improvements in the design and delivery of training. This might also suggest that most organizations have not given sufficient though to in-house training or to what is really needed in th training function. At the same4 time, though, only about 29% experienced a reduction in training costs as a result of outsourcing. Outcomes associated with outsourcing were higher when there was more frequent vendor-client interaction, when contractual agreements were more explicit, when there was greater trust in the vendor, and when client firms' primary motivation for outsourcing was quality improvement.

Outsourcing has been changing the way HR departments operate as firms that traditionally performed all HR activities in-house are increasingly relying on outside vendors. In fact, about 93% of all HR departments recently reported outsourcing at least some of their work (Greer et al., 1999). Kapp (2000) states that much disagreement regarding the outsourcing of training is seen as this is a function more closely tied to the core competencies of a firm. Bassi and Van Buren (1999) state that training plays an important role in the success of many organizations, and that many corporations are successful precisely because of their commitment to employee growth and development. In spite of this, as Buckley (1996) states, firms are increasingly outsourcing training and development activities.

Moncure (1991) notes one program of training that was videotaped for transmission by satellite to some 200 colleges across the country. This progam was sponsored by the University of Delaware's Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management (HRIM) Program and the Marriott Foundation. The videotape was called "Valuing Diversity" and was a first for education in the hospitality field and is a public service for other college-based hospitality programs in the country and for the industry. The program consisted of five vignettes, enacted by members of the University's Professional Theatre Training Program and filmed in the television production studio in East Hall. They were based on typical minority-related employment challenges of entering and succeeding in the hospitality industry.

In the hotel industry today, certain trends can be noted, such as increased globalization and the adoption of new technology. The use of the latter has not been found not to achieve the increase in productivity often sought. Instead, information technology in hotels is used to improve the guest experience. Many hoteliers say that they are adopting new technologies to achieve higher productivity, though they are finding that this is not the benefit they can cite most. They may also find it difficult to define what productivity really means in the hotel industry. In any case, the push for more technology has to be seen as requiring more training, which means higher training costs. They also find that one result is that in the short run, workers will not be as efficient with the new technology as they were without it.

Watkins (2006) notes another effect of more technology, however, citing lower training costs because of the possibilities of the Internet. Watkins notes that the easiest and cheapest investment a hotel or hotel company can make is in training. He also notes that failure to offer sufficient training and even leaving it to others (such as company headquarters, franchisor, or association, or other forms of outsourcing) is a poor business decision. It is widely noted that it is more efficient to keep the employees a company has rather than constantly looking for new ones.

Fro the point-of-view of the workers, though, it has been found that 36% of those queried say they're unhappy with the amount of trainng opportunities available to help them grow professionally, and about one third of workers are leaving, perhaps for this very reason.

Roberts (1998) notes the value of web-based training in terms of lower costs for… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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