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The beginning of the 21st century was referred as the most difficult phase in the history of tourism industry. This sector was affected negatively because of terrorism, war and global health problems The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2005. However, it was in 2005 that the sector started to open out and in 2004 international arrivals increased at a rate of 8.6% compared to 2003 (The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2005). Economist Intelligence Unit (2005) states that there are many reasons for this kind of relief. The relative stable geopolitical conditions, development of key sectors, such as China, the supply- driven expansion of carriers at low cost, which are currently building inroads in Asia and the Middle East, at long with the conventional markets of North America and Europe, constant pressure on the prices of many of the industries, pent – up demand of former years, covering the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). Even though the climate of the UK is not favourable, the country still attracts many visitors thanks to its natural beauties like lakes, rivers, rugged mountains, coastline and other factors that cover high standard of services, natural attractions and transport services (Youell, 2001).
Recently the world is witnessing the significant change in the economy. Indeed, Stavrou-Costea (2005) stated that national economies are changing and “as we move progressively away from a world in which national economies were relatively isolated from one another into an interdependent global economic system, we are witnessing the rapid appreciation for and development of all aspects associated with and affected by human resource management”. In fact, Stavrou-Costea (2005) also stated that “while the emerging international economy creates opportunities it also presents challenges and threats with which yesterday’s business managers did not have to deal”. In this perspective regardless of industry and the size of the companies (Ulrich, 1997) managing human resources has become vitally important for the companies in achieving the goals of the organisation (Stavrou-Costea, 2005). Similarly, Dessler (2000) stated that human resources need to be collaborator in developing a company’s strategy in order to be successful in organisational goals. “Human resource management can help the company reach organizational effectiveness and thereby have a determining effect on whether or not the company is good enough, fast enough, and competitive enough not only to survive but also to thrive” (Schuler and Jackson, 2000; Stavrou-Costea, 2005). Schuler and Jackson (2000) and Stavrou-Costea (2005) commonly stated the difficulty of achieving and sustaining organisational effectiveness without the efficient practises of human resources management.
Tourism and hotel industry are supposed to be parts of hospitality industry. Hospitality industry has becoming a very large of source of employment. The rate of employees in hospitality industry is increasing and employees are undergoing certain problems. Some factors contribute to selection and recruitment of staff in hotel industry and HRM is facing to solve selection and recruitment problem in hospitality industry like retraining performance ,high-labour turnover, low morale ,retraining performers .In an analysis of 5000 jobs advertisements across a number of different occupations and sector in the UK,Jackson et al.(2005) found that the skills stated as necessary by employers are ‘social skills’ and ‘personal characteristic’ only 26 per cent of organizations mentioned the need for educational recruitments. Personal services this rate is less than 10 per cent.
As a highly labour-intensive industry, tourism and hospitality organisations are often hard to talk of how their people are “their greatest asset”. However even cursory understanding of the nature of work’ employment and people management in tourism and hospitality points to many paradoxes and contradictions that are apparent in studying human resource management (HRM) in the sector.
Many academics, industrialists and policy-makers have attempted to define the nature of the tourism industry-and the place of the hospitality sub-sector within this border conceptualization-yet there is still no commonly accepted definition. Hence, there are inherent problems seeking define what is large and diverse sector which means many of the activities may overlap and could be described as encompassing tourism and hospitality. For example Lucas(2004)in her recent work on employment relations in hospitality and tourism industries chose to talk in broad terms about the Hotel, Catering and Tourism sector.
In some geographical areas and sub-sector areas, tourism provides an attractive ,high-status working environment with competitive pay and conditions, which is in high demand in the labour force and benefits from low staff turnover. On the other hand, it brings low pay, problems in recruiting skills in number of key areas, a high level of labour drawn socially disadvantaged groups, poor status and virtual absence of professionalism.
More is known about employment in certain sub-sectors than other .For example, the commercial hospitality industry encompassing hotels, restaurants and pubs, bars and nightclubs is the largest sub-sector with around 70 per cent of employees in the UK(people 1st,2006).Unsurprisingly, then, the commercial hospitality industry is well served with extensive research on the nature of employment and HRM strategies(D’Annunzio-Green et all.,2002:Lucas,2004).
In terms is the predominance of small-and medium sized enterprises is a further issue to consider is the manner. People 1st(2006) note that within the UK hospitality, leisure travel and tourism sector & per cent of establishments employ fewer than 10 people and 50 per cent fewer than five. Heterogeneity is also seen in relation to the way that organisations adopt differing routes to competitive advantage. For instance, full service carriers in the airline industry are likely to have very different approaches to HRM compared to low-cost airlines(Eaton,2001:Spiess and Warning,2005)The same is true for the hospitality sector, which may range from first class and luxury hotels providing extravagant, full 24-hour service to the more homely comforts of a bed and breakfast establishment; from fast food restaurants to Michelin starred restaurants .In turn, the jobs provided by these various organizations demand a variety of skills and attributes from those employees interacting with customers, which again will impact on HR strategies such as recruitment, selection and training.
Commonly selecting and recruiting and people to fill new or existing positions are a crucial element of human resource activity in all tourism and hospitality organisations, irrespective of size, activity and structure. It has been noted how the importance of service quality has increased the pressure on organisations for select right selection.(jameson,2000) pointed this may be especially true in smaller organisations that may not have well developed HRM functions or recruitment and selection systems and may recruit irregularly with heavy reliance on informal system and methods. Certainly, within the context of the hospitality sector, Price(1994) set up that 241 hotels sampled in her research a third never used job descriptions or person specifications. Lockyer and Sholarious (2005) surveyed over 80 hotels and again found a general lack of systematic procedures for recruitment and selection.
The ultimate objective of this study is to explore: What recruitment strategies applied in the UK’s 5 star hotel industry? An exploratory study in London Hotels. .The research objectives can be listed as follows
.To review HRM and hotel industry theories
.To explore what recruitment strategies in the U.K hotel industry
.To evaluate importance of HRM department in the U.K hotel industry
.To identify what is the recruitment and selection problems in the U.K 5 star hotel industry
.To identify if there are any weaknesses of recruitment strategies applied by the UK’s 5 star hotel industry
Therefore research questions for this study are;
What is recruitment?
What are recruitment processes?
What is the importance of recruitment in achieving strategic HRM?
In what way the recruitment is important for the service sector players?
What is the role of recruitment in the 5 star hotel industries overall business strategy?
What recruitment strategies are followed by the 5 star hotel industries?
Are there any weaknesses of recruitment strategies applied by the 5 star hotel industries?
Design of the Study
In order to fulfil the objective of the study, paper is organised as follows:
Chapter Two consist of a review of the literature on the subject. In chapter two; HRM theories and diffusion of recruitment and selection strategies, service encounter tasks, definition of 5 star hotel industries are given.
Chapter Three includes methodology of this research and consists of research design, sampling methods, data collection methods, data analysis, ethical issues involved in research process and limitations of this study.
In Chapter Four, data analysis provided. This chapter divided into two parts; secondary data analysis and primary data analysis. In the secondary data analysis; U.K tourism industry, recruitment and selection strategies in tourism industry are analysed. In the primary data analysis, interviews that are conducted with the management of the UK hotels are analysed.
Chapter Five is the conclusion part of the study and includes some directions for the future researches.
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