Best Practices and up to the minute news on Customer Experience Management and Service Excellence

Could Accor’s Hiring Risk Pay Off?

custom quote

The hotel chain is hiring staff with no experience. Is it desperation or innovation?

Accor is among several European hotel brands that have tweaked their hiring practices amid a set of new circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In lieu of looking for workers in the usual places, Accor personnel are now hiring employees who do not have any previous hospitality experience – a noted departure from hiring practices of old.

The company is doing so because the usual methods are not yielding the number of workers they would have in years past, both in the United States and other countries abroad including Spain and Portugal. This strategy could help or hurt the company given a bevy of factors.

Where this could be a great idea

It may be easier to train on the job. Every employee has to address bad habits, and those who do not have hospitality experience may not bring in preconceived notions about their job or their place in the industry.

They may bring a new perspective. Those from outside the industry may have a different and welcome perspective on issues within their employer and in the hospitality industry more broadly.

Motivation may come easier. Someone entering a new industry may not yet be jaded about people who work in and utilize hotels and other options. They may actually find themselves wanting to learn even more so they can better perform in their new stead.

Or a total flop

Personality types may not fit the job immediately. Many hospitality jobs are guest-facing and guest-oriented, obviously, and they many times attract a certain set of personality types that fit a given position. Bringing people in from outside the industry may mean bringing people in who aren’t as gregarious in their dealing with customers day in and day out. They can learn how to maneuver in their new environment, perhaps, but there may be an adjustment period.

Lack of institutional knowledge.  There are certain issues in the hospitality industry that happen across certain contexts, and people with experience working therein may be able to draw on that experience even if it doesn’t neatly match a given problem at their current workplace. Those outsides of the hospitality industry do not have those experiences, and they may have blind spots simply from being green.

Workers may look for greener pastures. In a hot job market like this, a hire could very quickly find some other position that pays more or is more accommodating, and once they do, those new hires could leave as quickly as they arrived. Those who associate their long-term goals in the industry because they would like to stay in it may be better equipped to weather job-related malaise or frustration because they find particular value in the work they do, and new hires from other sectors may not have the same allegiance.