Hotel Management, as an educational option has become a popular choice among students today. Almost every major university in the country has hotel management as a regular program and a large number of students graduate out of these colleges every year. However, the demand for employable work force persists to be one of the main issues faced in the hotel industry today. While there are many students graduating each year, the number of hotels opening up is equally vast in number. Somehow, the demand and supply equation is just not adding up yet.
Hotel management schools across the country follow a typical time scale wherein students graduate at a particular time of the year. Due to this, hotels often have to forecast their requirements a year prior to their campus recruitment dates. The demand however exists throughout the year and supply is available only at one specific time. This creates serious problems in attracting the right kind of talent. Some schools predominantly follow a business model. Considering the fact that hotel management has become an attractive course, institutes have become focused on admitting a large volume of students while compromising on the profile and aptitude for hoteliering. Consequently, the hotel companies do not select the student, adding to the shortage of talent.
The hotel industry is typically a 24 X 7 job and can be quite demanding, often with long working hours. As students graduate from hotel management programs, they realize that perhaps there is too much work to put in before they can reap their rewards. As there are other options readily available, students often choose to move away and make quick short-term gains for themselves. They have ITES, Airlines and the BPO industry as major attractions as the initial pay is better and the promise of a better quality of life.
Freshers in the tourism and hotel industry typically look for quick gains. With many opportunities before them, they seem to be in a big hurry to climb the ladder of success. Most of them are looking for promotions even before they have gained sufficient skills, knowledge and attitude of the previous position. Often they are willing to give up a relationship with an organization for a few perquisites or a paltry increase in salary.
Shape your Career
Organizations today come with typical flat hierarchical structures. This model calls for a higher level of engagement, responsibility and accountability for the individual. Student's often feel that having done a hotel management course prepares them for a manager's role in the hotel. However, this is far from the truth, since the art of management no matter how thoroughly studied, unless applied and practiced is of very little significance. Hence, hotel management institutions need to make it amply clear to the students about what a typical career path can look like in the industry. This would also ensure that none of the unrealistic expectations are set before the students.
In addition, when students intern at hotels, they should be briefed about the procedure for growth in the organization. They should be given pointers on how to prepare themselves for a successful career in the industry. Students must be made to realize that the academic curriculum taught in colleges does not prepare them for supervisory or managerial positions instantly.
Hotel management is perhaps one of the few professional courses, which allows students to intern in hotels and learn from the industry they will be working in, first hand before returning to the institute to choose their specializations. The idea is to give a firsthand exposure into the running of operations in the establishment. Interns often feel the pressure as they come in unprepared and the organization does not do much to hand hold them. As part of our employee branding philosophy, we at Leela Palaces, hotels and resorts are careful in understanding our responsibilities towards prospective employees and helping young people shape their careers in the industry.
The people who are looking for placement in the hospitality and tourism sector must realize that this is a service industry. Hence, they must prepare themselves to deliver efficient quality service in a pleasing manner. Communication, attitude and knowledge are the key aspects in setting up a good platform. One must remember that hoteliering is a lifestyle and if one has to be successful here, he/she has to understand the lifestyle and become a part of it.
The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, owned and operated by Hotel Leelaventure Ltd. headquartered in Mumbai. The group has marketing alliances with Germany-based Kempinski, US-based Preferred Hotels & Resorts and is a member of Global Hotel Alliance based in Switzerland.