FOM -- Hire and Fire

Nancy Anderson
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The task of Front Office Manager in a hotel has to be one of the most diversified and, therefore, demanding in the hotel industry. The FOM has direct contact with the guests and, except in exceptional issues, is the final authority in settling issues and disputes. At the same time, the FOM has supervisory responsibility over the second most number of employees (housekeeping usually being first) within the hotel. It is in this supervisory role that the FOM has several issues to face, two of the most challenging being hiring and firing. (While the FOM may not have the final authority for either, certainly their input to human resources and/or the GM carries quite a bit of weight.) And in our litigious society, it is important that every step and action be documented.

Your individual hotel will no doubt have its own hiring process, but keep these points in mind:

· Applications: Make certain that applications are completely filled out, especially those areas speaking to citizenship and right to work.

· Background Check: Has the applicant signed the form granting permission for a background check?

· Interview: It is best to enter the interview process with a standard form and set of questions to be asked. Make certain that all interview questions are compliant with the EOC laws.

Dismissing an employee is never fun, but there are times when one of your front-desk people just doesn’t mesh with the job at hand. How do you handle it?

· Make Sure Of The Job Description: Employee performance needs to be evaluated on the basis of the job description set forth in the employee’s handbook.

· Establish Escalating Steps Of Discipline: Some infractions are fire-able on the first offense (e.g. drug use, violence, theft). For the rest make the steps to be taken clear: verbal warning, written warning, suspension, termination, and the like.

· Start with Correction: Every employee should be given the opportunity to make right their weaknesses. It might be totally on their part – as in a change of attitude or tardiness – or it might require additional training. But give them the chance!

· Keep a File: Again, establish a standardized form listing date, infraction, and actions taken. You might also want to list any other personnel who witnessed the offense. When verbal warnings are given, make sure the employee in question signs-off that they understood why the reprimand was being given and were clear as to the appropriate actions to be taken.

Standard procedures for hiring and firing will make these tasks easier; and they will help defend the hotel if necessary.

For more information on hospitality jobs, check out:
By: Joe Fairchild

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