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Middle East Hospitality






Our decade Salary Survey reaffirms Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity. This theory dictates that all freely moving objects move at the same speed. In the Middle East hospitality Industry, the same law applies when business is bad, everyone suffers and when it improves, everyone improves. The ME and Africa road to profitability in this decade is open to all hotels / Resorts, no matter which locations they are in.


We measure growth by demand. The demand for staff usually follows a few months after the demand for rooms. The last decision made by hoteliers and owners is to hire more staff, and it is only done when there are no other internal resources available.



There are certain areas in the Region where the demand is always there, especially in locations where almost the entire work force is comprised of expatriates, such as Dubai, or where new construction has been planned, and is committed to even before business hits a low. In other location, such as the Egypt, demand made a stark recovery in this decade, creating an almost vertical curve. The demand for staff does not always equal profitability, and the increase in recruitment is only a small sign of revenue improvement.


The demand for staff in this decade is not only a result of continued improvement in business; it also highlights the poor human capital development that our Region's Industry has followed for the last decade.


When times are bad, no one hires and trains. Fewer enter or graduate from hotel schools, and even fewer stay in the hospitality field, deciding that there are better opportunities in general industries!.


Depleted management availability shows up two or three years after the problem occurs, and is reflected when the industry finds out that there is no one they can transfer or promote. The current need for staff is the result of these major issues:


1. Improvement of business.


2. Previous neglect or lack of staff planning as a result of financial restraints


3. The industry does not make itself attractive to graduating hospitality students; entry-level positions are not fashionable enough to entice people at the low salaries offered.


For these and other reasons, many companies must go outside their own organization for very important positions, i.e. in the past few months Four Seasons Hotels advertised for a Purchasing Manager for the company. There is absolutely no company currently in our industry that can say it has enough staff for its growth or to fill its needs.


So, as Albert Einstein said there is no one exempt from the need for free moving individuals. Roemer's Law of Consistency of 1676 means, in our industry's terms, that you have to consistently recruit, train and transfer key individuals in order to develop a constant flow of good management staff and new ideas.


All companies seek a competitive advantage to raise the bar far above the heads of their competitors and of course keep themselves in business!


Human Recourses departments must now think of unique ways to entice people to enter the Middle East hospitality industry. The leaders of the industry have to begin considering employees as human assets in a business framework, not as employees or team members. This would mean the introduction of better remuneration, training and career options to produce the desired outcome. A focus must be placed on the attraction and maintenance of more talent in your company, which of course, increases your company's value.


Companies must move quickly to identify and attract human assets, and they should introduce fine-tuned incentive programs to attract the best and brightest. These companies can easily carve out a large and enduring competitive edge over their next-door neighbors, who can only brag about their innovative rooms and new mattresses.


Competitors cannot copy human resources assets, but can move quickly to mimic their rival's new properties by merely upgrading their rooms. However, new mattresses cannot substitute for a creative set of Human Resources practices and policies to compete for human assets.


Good places to start when attracting human assets is to do some research on the tactics other industries use to attract their management staff. Their tactics must fit the hospitality industry and provide you with a good retune on investment for the start-up outlay. Another question to ask when reviewing other industries actions is: how long will it take before results show?


A system process can change management thinking and help to attract new talent. With this information, your company can begin to determine specific new ideas and assess the key results, including the total productivity of these new human assets.


We have discussed Einstein and Roemer, innovative scientists of the past, and it is time to use principals of modern systemic thought to create a new science for hospitality human asset management. Assess the facts and focus on value:? do not continue to copy what others are doing. No single human resources strategy will fit all organizations.


No one size fits all!




In the fall of 2009, we did a study on Who is running the Hospitality Industry in the Middle East the study showed that 62 % of the movers and shakers of the hospitality industry, that is, Resident Managers, General Managers, corporate and overall senior management staff, is over 45 years old ? 20 % over 55 years old this is a staggering statistic.

The fact that our industry is statically run by those who are over 45 years old is not a condemnation of hiring mature professionals. On the contrary, more and more owners and management companies are finding success with more mature managers who are not concerned about moving quickly to more senior jobs. This age group has a lower likelihood of family issues and as one client in Dubai slated: I hired him because I believe I am putting my assets in safe hands, Meaning that he felt comfortable that the General Manager's ethics and experience were best suited to protect his assets.

Interesting enough, this was not for an established conservative hotel, but for a young lifestyle hotel. The GM was 60 years old. 




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