Key things to consider for a person specification

The recruitment process can seem daunting for many businesses. Roles need to be filled and you want to find the best person for the job, but it can be hard to pinpoint the exact requirements.

3 mins read
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almost 2 years ago

​The first step is to advertise the role with clear and accurate information about the position available. Something that works alongside the job description is the ‘person specification'.

The person specification is an important part of the recruiter’s toolbox. It allows you to communicate the traits you find desirable in an ideal candidate, such as education, previous work experience, and any extra traits that are needed to succeed in the role.

"Many companies rely solely on a job spec, focussing on the job and not the person. With talent more sought-after than ever, the more people-focussed businesses are doing just that - focussing on the people."

Chris Adcock, Managing Director, Reed Technology

The five purposes of a person specification:

  1. It makes the interviewing process more refined and streamlined from the start

  2. Jobseekers are able to assess themselves before applying and understand how they will fit in with the role and your business. This allows them to match themselves according to suitability and not just skills

  3. It clarifies the two types of personal qualifications important to the employer, essential and desirable. This enables the employer to be explicit in what they want and how the candidate matches these criteria

  4. It helps to communicate equal opportunities policies within the recruitment culture of a business. The law is very clear about discrimination. A person specification ensures you are assessing a candidate on their abilities related to the role

  5. It means you test all of your candidates against the same list of priorities set out in advance. This helps remove bias, prejudice, and personal interest, all of which can be problematic for recruiting successfully

What to include in a person specification

Below are just a few examples of the types of information about candidates. It’s important to know what is and isn’t appropriate for the vacancy you’re looking to fill. For example, some roles have a legal requirement for the candidate to have a set level of training and qualifications. For specialist advice on your industry, get in contact with one of our consultants here. It can be a sensitive document if approached incorrectly, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

  1. Attainments - e.g. qualifications, experience, positions held

  2. Soft skills - e.g. relationship building, public speaking, time management

  3. Job-specific capabilities - e.g. use of different software or programs, or team management

  4. Personality traits - e.g. proactive, patient, motivated, attention to detail

  5. Physical attributes - e.g. height, eyesight (note - these must be a justified requisite to complete the tasks within a role, not a preference)

"While the employee and the employer have similar goals, ethics and job satisfaction, the employee will continue to work hard and give loyalty."

Claire Harvey, Managing Director, Reed

Top tips when writing

  • Be realistic: It's incredibly rare that any candidate will tick all the boxes. Ensure you know your must-haves from your nice-to-haves before starting

  • Identify existing skill-gaps: The most successful teams are those that are made up of individuals that bring something different to the department. Consider where your weak spots are and seek those out in the desired skills section

  • Consider how you might assess the criteria: Can the candidate be tested or demonstrate the desired attributes in an interview situation when asked? If you can't think of an example, it may be unfair to expect them to.

  • Check your tone of voice: It's a good idea to have one or two people read over the document to check all points are conveyed in an appropriate manner and cannot cause offense.

Easing the onboarding process

Once a candidate has been chosen, the person specification makes integration and training much more organised because you will already be aware of what the candidate is able to do. For example, if your specification required someone with excellent computer skills as being essential to the role, then you would only need to give a brief induction to the computer systems of your business. It can also assist with creation of learning and development plans where they perhaps didn’t have certain desirable skills (yet)!

Recruitment agencies are experts in creating person specifications. Get in touch with one of our specialists for more advice on finding the best person to help reach your business goals

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How to become a hotel manager
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How to become a hotel manager

​When it comes to the hospitality industry, the role of a hotel manager is crucial in ensuring the smooth operation of a hotel. From overseeing day-to-day operations to managing staff and ensuring guest satisfaction, hotel managers play a key role in the success of a hotel. If you are considering a career in hotel management, it's important to understand what the role entails and whether it is the right fit for you.

What does a Hotel Manager do?

A hotel manager is responsible for overseeing the overall operations of a hotel, including managing staff, ensuring guest satisfaction, and maximizing revenue. They are typically in charge of setting and achieving financial goals, developing and implementing policies and procedures, and maintaining high standards of customer service. Hotel managers also handle issues such as staffing, budgeting, marketing, and public relations to ensure the hotel runs smoothly and efficiently.

Is a career as a Hotel Manager right for me?

A career as a hotel manager can be both rewarding and challenging. If you have a passion for hospitality, strong leadership skills, and a knack for problem-solving, a career in hotel management may be a good fit for you. It's important to be able to work well under pressure, communicate effectively with staff and guests, and adapt to changing situations in a fast-paced environment. Additionally, a willingness to work long hours, including nights and weekends, is often required in this role.

Key responsibilities of a Hotel Manager

Some key responsibilities of a hotel manager include:

  • Overseeing day-to-day operations of the hotel

  • Managing staff and ensuring they are properly trained and motivated

  • Ensuring guest satisfaction and responding to guest feedback

  • Developing and implementing strategic plans to achieve financial goals

  • Managing budgets and controlling costs

  • Marketing and promoting the hotel to attract guests

  • Maintaining high standards of cleanliness and safety

  • Handling any issues or complaints that arise

Career progression

For those interested in a career in hotel management, there are opportunities for career progression. Many hotel managers start out in entry-level positions and work their way up through the ranks. With experience and dedication, it is possible to advance to higher-level management roles such as general manager or regional manager. Continuing education and professional development can also help hotel managers advance their careers and stay current in the industry.

A career as a hotel manager can be a fulfilling and challenging path for those with a passion for hospitality and leadership. By understanding the role, responsibilities, and potential for career progression, you can determine if a career in hotel management is the right fit for you.

Search for our latest hospitality jobs.

Employee tenure: long-term relationship or short-term fling?
5 mins read

Employee tenure: long-term relationship or short-term fling?

​We all want committed employees but is length of service a true indicator of engagement? Does simply staying around in an employment relationship mean you’re all in? Of course, there are no simple answers to these questions – each situation is as individual as the parties involved – but it is worth thinking about what benefits both short and long tenure bring – and not rushing to build assumptions (or recruitment practices) on one or the other. 

So, what is employee tenure? It is generally defined as the length of time an individual spends with the same organisation or working for the same employer. According to the CIPD, the most common length of service is between two and five years (22.4%) but employees with over five years’ service make up nearly 50% of the workforce (Jan-Dec 2022).  

Is a long-term relationship better? You can certainly be forgiven for thinking so, as our corporate landscape often places value on long service and actively engages with strategies to lengthen or reward employee tenure. But why? Here are some key benefits of both short- and long-term tenures:

Long-term employee tenure

Increased productivity

Tenured employees tend to have a clear understanding of their roles and company goals due to their experience and time with the organisation. This familiarity with processes and procedures can allow them to work efficiently and contribute positively to productivity, as they are able to navigate the idiosyncrasies inherent in all companies. Quite often, they will have developed practices that enable the most efficient use of time to achieve objectives and outputs; and are then able to influence wider practices to spread the word. 

Stability and commitment 

Tenured employees will often feel more secure in their positions and so, can demonstrate greater commitment to the company. Their loyalty contributes to a stable work environment, which can positively impact team dynamics and overall organisational success. My current HR team has an average tenure of around 10 years, and this contributes to a very supportive and effective working environment – although how they’ve put up with me over the years is still a mystery! 

Skill set and knowledge base

Over time, tenured employees accumulate valuable knowledge and skills specific to their roles. This expertise can not only be passed down to new hires, benefitting the organisation as a whole, but also help with integrating new technologies and processes, ensuring they work for the business. We all have a ‘go-to’ person in our companies who is the fount of all knowledge and can help give a perspective gained from years of experience and insight. 

Company ambassadors

A company that retains its workforce builds a reputation for employee satisfaction. In a world where Employee Value Proposition (EVP) plays an important role in both retention and attraction, having employees who are aligned with the company ethos and happy to talk about why they’ve stayed so long, is a real asset. Plus, they are able to share this insight with new hires, acting as mentors and imparting knowledge and enthusiasm for the company. 

Short-term employee tenure

So, if long tenured employees are the utopia, why does an interim market exist, I hear you ask? What about those contractors who enjoy short-term assignments or project-based roles? Well, as I mentioned earlier, there are benefits to both forms of tenure and while the above benefits can be true of long-term relationships, there is also a lot to be said for a short-term fling (from an employment perspective, I hasten to add): 

Career experience 

Demonstrating experience in diverse roles can make employees more attractive to potential employers, not only for permanent positions but also where a specific skill set or experience is needed. Working in various short-terms roles can help to provide this and organisations then benefit from someone who can bring real-life examples from different workplaces. 

Versatility

Working across different organisations and/or industries means employees will have experience of adapting to new environments or taking on responsibilities they haven't had before. This can encourage a mindset that is open to new ideas, as well as sharing them, and so means organisations benefit from having a versatile employee who excels in new environments. 

Openness

By accepting that an individual is not planning on bedding down within the organisation, employers may find a level of openness and challenge that is not there in others. The short-termer will be happy to challenge the status quo and focus on meeting the objectives in hand, even if that means coming up with new ways of working or unsettling the cart. While this might not be comfortable for all involved, it will foster an environment where ‘this is how it’s always been done’ is no longer a mantra. 

Ambition and drive 

Employees who are prepared to leave a company to seek new challenges or career development that is not available to them if they stay, show a level of ambition that is likely to have benefitted the company during their employment. In addition, they could well be the individuals who return to the organisation as future leaders, and so allowing them the opportunity to gain new experiences, while leaving on good terms, is a no brainer. 

Final thoughts 

With benefits of both types of tenure, where does this leave you? Should you be looking for a serial monogamist or a more open relationship? Well, as with most things in life, there isn’t a simple answer. It’s primarily about striking the right balance within your workforce and accepting that people have different preferences and needs.

Of course, you should be looking to encourage retention and reward those who show loyalty to the company, but you should also embrace those who leave sooner than hoped as they may one day wish to return. Many people, having gained certain skills and experience elsewhere, will fondly remember their experience at an organisation and consider rejoining. Therefore, the main thing to remember is how all employees are treated and valued during their time with you. Who knows, you may rekindle a relationship with an old flame further down the line! 

Looking for your next great hire in the HR space, or looking for pastures new? Contact our specialist consultants to start the journey.

Hospitality resume template
2 mins read

Hospitality resume template

​Build the perfect hospitality resume with our free template

[Full Name]
[Home address]
[Contact Number] • [Email Address]

Personal Statement

Stick to no more than four sentences in this section of your CV.

“I am a professionally qualified chef with over 15 years’ experience. During this time I have worked in fine dining restaurants up to a 2 rosette standard and spent two years working for high society event caterers across Europe. I hold an up to date Level 3 Certificate in Food Hygiene, and am now looking for my first Head Chef role.”

Education

This is your chance to talk about your qualifications, academic and vocational. This is a particularly important section for those with little experience. You should give detail about what you studied, where and when, and list them in chronological order.

If you have many of one qualification, such as GCSEs or professional qualification e.g. HND in Hotel Management/NVQ Level 3 Professional Cookery etc. you might find it useful to group them together.

[University Name]
[Date M/Y– Date M/Y]

[Degree Class]
[Degree Name]

[College/School Name]
[Date M/Y– Date M/Y]

A-levels:

  • [Subject] – [Grade]

  • [Subject] – [Grade]

  • [Subject] – [Grade]

GCSEs:

  • [Number] GCSEs, grades [range], including Maths and English

Work Experience

Try not to repeat yourself when you are bullet pointing each job. Mix it up, and try to think of different skills/styles of environment you’ve worked in. This should be brief and, as a general rule of thumb, focus on the last five years of your career, or last three roles, in chronological order with the most recent at the top. You should highlight your key achievements and use bullet points rather than lengthy descriptions.

October 2010 – Present

Senior Sous Chef, REED Restaurant, London, 3 rosettes

  • Brief overview: [state any promotions you’ve had and your responsibilities e.g. staff training, recruitment, stock/cost control P&L, marketing strategy, managing suppliers etc.]

  • Environment worked within: I worked in a [size of brigade/team] to produce [style of food] in a [establishment e.g. hotel/bar/restaurant] with [status e.g. Rosette, Michelin etc.]. Or I worked on [event/contract catering/food retail/production/New Product Development] with [result].

  • Worked/managed [different sections/departments/teams e.g. F&B, events, reception, general/kitchen, corporate or leisure sales, revenue management etc.]

  • Received a [include achievements e.g. Bib Gourmand/Rosette/Michelin/Trip Advisor score, increase in revenue etc.] for [reason]

Hobbies and Interests

If you are a chef, clients would expect to see that at least one of your hobbies relates to cooking or eating out.

If you work front of house it would be advised to include interests in different styles of restaurants or bars, give examples of your knowledge.

“I have a keen interest in craft beer and whisky, and have recently discovered The East London Liquor Company.”

Make it relevant.

References

References are available upon request.