7 Tips for Hiring a Hotel General Manager for Your Hotel

If you’ve ever demanded to see the hotel manager on vacation, you’ll know first-hand how important these people are to your business.

A good manager can smooth over any problem. An exceptional manager will stop those problems from appearing in the first place. That’s why hiring well for this most senior position is crucial.

Read on for seven top tips on how to hire the best hotel general manager.

1. Consider Your Hotel’s Unique Needs

Not all hotels are the same or demand a particular type of manager. So before hiring, reflect on your hotel and what you need from your senior staff. Here are some factors that will be relevant to your hiring process:

  • The size of your hotel and the number of employees
  • Your location (city, countryside, beach)
  • Facilities like restaurants and gyms
  • Your target customer

So why is this relevant? Your hotel profile will determine what experience you need from a hotel manager.

Suppose you have a small boutique hotel with limited facilities. In that case, you want a friendly, customer-facing manager with excellent attention to detail.

In contrast, a big resort hotel with several restaurants, a pool, and a gym will need someone with more operational management experience. So you need someone who is the right fit. 

2. Prioritize Experience When Hiring 

A hotel manager isn’t an entry-level job. It’s demanding and requires plenty of experience and leadership skills, so always hire with that in mind.

When writing your job ad, include background hospitality experience as one of the mandatory requirements. Candidates should be familiar with the fast-paced life of running a hotel.

You should also stipulate past management or team leadership experience.

Hotel managers have lots of staff, and you want someone who knows how to delegate and get the best from their team.

When interviewing candidates, get them to give examples of when they have achieved notable success when leading a team.

Ask follow-up questions about their challenges, how they communicated with their team, and how they prioritized the work.

3. Look for Financial Skills

Financial acumen is vital for any managerial position. You need to ensure that you have someone in charge of your hotel who can control costs and keep track of spending and profit. 

Look for evidence during candidate screening for budgeting and forecasting. When the candidate reaches the interview stage, find out the types of budgets they’ve managed and their approach to controlling costs and setting targets.

It’s also essential to pick a hotel manager who understands the importance of finances and profits. They should be proactive, spotting areas where savings can be made.

You also want someone with the talent to spot potential revenue opportunities when running a hotel. 

4. Look for Evidence of a Commitment to Customer Excellence

Every guest who stays in your hotel should have an exceptional experience. They should walk away ready to recommend your hotel online or to their friends.

A boutique hotel management team plays an integral part in making that happen.

They are there to ensure the details are perfect and resolve situations if something goes wrong. That requires somebody with excellent problem-solving skills and a commitment to customer service.

It’s a quality to examine in detail during the interview stage.

Get candidates to talk about ways they would improve customer service in your hotel. Walk through scenarios your manager might face, such as a guest with the wrong booking or an unhappy customer.

Seeing how candidates handle these situations will be a helpful insight into their customer service approach. 

5. Check That Candidates Are Tech-savvy

Modern hotel management relies heavily on technology.

You have online booking systems, swipe cards for rooms, and modern check-in facilities. So you need to ensure you look for someone who is up to speed with the latest technology or can learn it quickly.

It’s worth checking technical proficiency during the hiring process. You can run an online or in-personal technical assessment to check these skills.

Look for specific keywords on resumes that give clues about their experience with technology, such as different booking systems they’ve used in the past.

Ensure you are clear from the outset what technical skills you expect as part of the job. For example, in some smaller hotels, managers may be responsible for connecting with followers on social media.

6. Find a Leadership Style That Fits

Hotels are distinct cultures; your team works as one because they all fit into that unique style. Find a manager who can embrace your hotel’s style, culture, and values.

It will create a more positive atmosphere, and the team will be more receptive to the leadership approach of the new manager.

Write down your values as a business and use this as a marker to measure candidates. How closely do they align with your teamwork and communication approach?

Can they resolve conflicts in a way that best reflects your ethos as a hotel?

Will hotel staff enjoy working with them, and will you likely have high employee satisfaction? All these questions will help you find someone who will stick with your hotel long-term.

7. Plan a Multi-Stage Interview Process

You need a comprehensive interview approach to find the perfect candidate. Choose informal and structured interviews. Depending on the size of your hotel, a panel interview could also be handy.

Assessment days are another valuable addition. You can use these to test the candidates in life-like scenarios, such as handling complaints or working with a team during a stressful hotel event like a wedding.

If you have other senior staff central to your operations, like a head chef, get them involved in the interview process. Their opinion will be invaluable since they must work closely with the hotel manager. 

Finding the Right Hotel General Manager

A hotel general manager is the linchpin of any successful hotel. They are there to plan things to perfection, save the day, and get the best from a team. So, it pays to be thorough with your candidate screening.

For more hiring and recruitment tips, check out our recent articles. 

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