The number of employees a hotel can have depends on various factors. It depends on the size of the hotel, the number of rooms, hotel policies, etc. A hotel with 10 to 40 rooms can have 10 to 15 employees. While a hotel with 50 to 120 rooms can have 30 to 40 employees and a hotel with more than 120 rooms can have 50-60 employees.
Staffing is important for the hotel industry as the staff must provide exceptional service to the customer and if guests are satisfied and they feel welcomed, then they will recommend the hotel to their relatives and friends. Moreover, good staffing will also lead to positive reviews from the guests which will increase the goodwill and reputation of the hotel. Employee retention is also a main key to good staffing. High turnover rates can negatively impact the guest experience.
To determine how many employees should a hotel have, we will look into a variety of topics like the key roles and responsibilities of each position in the hotel, the impact of hotel size on staffing needs, the industry standards, and guidelines for determining the appropriate number of employees in a hotel, challenges faced by hotels in finding the skilled employees and retaining them, strategies in employee training and guest needs.
Key roles and responsibilities of employee in hotels
Some of the common positions that can be found in hotels and the description of each employee position are:
- Housekeeping services where housekeeps are responsible for maintaining a clean environment in the hotel. They will ensure that all the guest rooms are properly cleaned and public areas are well-maintained.
- The front desk agent will welcome the guests, help them in checking in and out, and provide all the necessary information regarding the hotel and the services provided by the hotel.
- The food and beverages team is responsible for serving food and drinks to the guests and ensuring that all their needs are fulfilled.
- The Sales and Marketing team will promote the hotel and attract new customers.
- The accounting team will handle the hotel’s financial transactions, such as accounts payable and receivable, etc.
- The concierge will assist the guest in booking the restaurants, transportation facilities will also be provided to them. Moreover, they will provide information regarding local restaurants, events, transportation, and attractions.
Impact of hotel size on Employees needs:
Factors affecting hotel Employee largely depend on the hotel size. The larger the size of the hotel, the more employees are required. The following are the reasons:
- If the size of the hotel is large, then it is likely that there will be enough rooms, So to keep all the rooms clean, housekeepers will be required and if there are many rooms, then the number of housekeepers will also increase.
- Hotels that offer more facilities, such as restaurants, pools, bars, and balconies will require more staff to operate these facilities.
- Larger hotels will increase guest capacity which means they require more staff to operate check-in and check-out of guests, providing all the help they need.
The hotel employee needs of a small hotel differ from that of a large hotel because of the size of the property, and the number of guests. If the size of a hotel is small, rooms will be fewer which directly leads to fewer guests. In other words, fewer employees will be required. There will be less maintenance needed in the case of a small hotel. One or two employee will be enough for that hotel. A small hotel will only require one or two managers to oversee the operation while a large hotel provides a variety of services like restaurants, pools, and bar facilities which will require more employees to carry out these facilities smoothly.
Industry standards and guidelines for Employee
To decide how many employees should a hotel have, there are certain industry standards and guidelines for staffing:
- As per the American Hotel and Lodging Association(AH&LA), they deliver a variety of resources for hotel employees. One of them is “AH&LA Staffing guidelines” which focuses on providing staffing recommendations to hotels that are in search of staff as per the size of the hotel and the amenities and services they provide.
- The hotel and Catering International Management Association(HCIMA) is a UK-based organization whose purpose is to provide hospitality services. In other words, if any hotel wants specific hospitality staff, then they recommend them.
- The uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry goal provides a common language for financial reporting. The industry provides guidelines for staffing ratios based on the availability of rooms.
Adhering to the hotel industry standards for employee will ensure that the hotel is efficiently staffed which will also reduce labor costs as the hotel will avoid overstaffing of employees. In contrast, if the hotel complies with the industry standards it can also avoid understaffing which will lead to overworked employees and less productivity.
Balancing customer service and cost management
Following are the tips to ensure that hotels are adequately staffed while managing costs:
- The hotel should follow industry guidelines as a starting point. By following the guidelines, hotels can decide on appropriate staffing levels which will help to reduce overstaffing and labor costs.
- Employees should be cross-trained. In other words, they should be trained for other work also. In case any employee is absent, they should be trained to handle their work. For example, if a front-desk agent is on leave, then they should handle minor maintenance issues.
- They should frequently conduct labor reviews to keep an eye on their budget if the labor cost is high. This will help them to understand the area where they can cut-off labor costs.
To attract guests, receive positive responses, and build reputation hotels should provide excellent customer service. Guests will feel welcomed and cared for and they will recommend it to others. Furthermore, if the hotel provides excellent service, they will spend more money on bars, and restaurants which will ultimately increase the revenue of the hotel.
Location and surrounding community
The location of the hotel and the surrounding community can affect the hotel employee needs:
- If the hotels are located in seasonal destinations, then it might fluctuate demand for the hotel. Suppose, during the seasonal period the hotel might require additional staff to control the overdemand of guests. During the non-seasonal period, the hotel will have to reduce the staff to avoid labor costs.
- Where there are any cultural or language differences, hotels need to train their staff or hire staff who can communicate with the guests smoothly. These will increase the training costs and labor costs.
- If the hotels are situated in a place where crime rates are high, then they will have to appoint additional staff for the safety of the guests.
Location-based staffing needs differ in busy urban areas from those in rural areas. Some of the examples are:
- Higher demand for hotels is more in busy urban areas as compared to rural areas. Hotels have to hire more staff to handle the guests. In rural areas, demand for hotels will be less which may lead to fewer staff and guests.
- Urban hotels provide many facilities like spas, gyms, bars, and meeting rooms which require additional staff to manage. In rural hotels, these facilities will not be provided which results in lower staffing needs.
Impact of hotel type on how many employee needs
How many employees should a hotel have also depends on the hotel type- luxury, boutique, or budget. Let’s have a look at all the hotel types:
- Luxury Hotels: Luxury hotels provide a variety of amenities such as bars, restaurants, pubs, spas, meeting rooms, etc which require additional staff. Guests expect high-level attention for all the personalized service.
- Budget hotels: These types of hotels focus on their budget. Guests do not expect a high level of attention for personalized services. As a result, budget hotels require less staff as compared to luxury hotels.
- Boutique hotels: Boutique hotels are well-known for their distinctive designs and personalized services. They cannot provide amenities and facilities like luxury hotels but still, they need enough staff to serve the guests personally.
Examples of how many employee needs of a luxury hotel differ from budget hotels are:
- Luxury hotels provide more housekeeping services which will increase staffing needs while budget hotels cannot afford the same housekeeping services.
- Luxury hotels provide spas and well-known facilities which require a large staff to manage. On the other hand, Budget hotels cannot provide these services which will result in lower staff.
- Luxury hotels have large areas for weddings and events. To provide these services, they need additional staff. Budget hotels do not have that much space so they cannot conduct weddings and events which reduces staff.
Seasonality and staffing
The seasonality of a hotel’s business largely impacts staffing needs. For example, if the hotel is located near a beach area, then the demand for the hotel will increase during summer as compared to winter as guests will increase. So, to manage the guests the hotel will have to add more staff. Due to fluctuations in demand, the hotels hire seasonal workers who are hired for a specific season. Those workers can be college students or a retiree.
To manage seasonal hotel staffing requirements during peak and off-peak seasons, the following strategies can be adopted:
- Offering incentives to the staff like bonuses or compensation during the peak season will encourage the employees to work hard and they will provide their best service.
- During peak season, if the hotel partners with staffing agencies then the agencies can provide them with additional staff with low labor costs.
- Some of the workers are available only on non-peak periods, you can offer them part-time jobs as this will help you fill the gap in your staffing needs without incurring the cost of hiring full-time employees.
Challenges in finding and retaining skilled employees
Some of the challenges in hotel recruitment and retaining are:
- The hotels have intense competition with each other. So, to compete they need to hire and retain skilled employees.
- To retain skilled employees, hotels have to focus on training and development resources. Smaller hotels face this type of challenge as they do not have enough resources for employee training.
- Due to less population or lack of hospitality programs, a limited pool of talent will be available for hotels which can be challenging for them.
Strategies that the hotels can follow to address these challenges are:
- To attract and retain skilled employees, hotels can create a positive and loving environment for employees.
- Hotels can offer competitive compensation packages.
- Hotels can also provide opportunities for professional growth and development.
- Hotels can develop partnerships with educational institutions by sponsoring internships, and participating in career fairs.
Technology and staffing optimization
Hotels can use technology to optimize staffing levels and improve efficiency:
- Cell phones can be allotted to the staff so that communication between staff members becomes easy and will also avoid misunderstanding.
- Automated scheduling software can help to understand the optimal staffing requirements for each day which will reduce overstaffing or understaffing.
- Guest-facing technology will decrease the burden on staff members. For example, in-room tablets will help guests to order room service without calling the front desk.
- Smart room management systems should be designed in the hotel. These systems can keep an eye on the check-in and check-out of guests. These systems will automatically schedule the housekeeping services. They can be used to control room temperature and save energy consumption.
Strategies for employee training and guest needs
To ensure that the hotel employees are properly trained and equipped to handle a variety of guest needs, the following are the training strategies for hotel staff:
- Cross-training opportunities can help hotel employees to understand the different needs of guests. They should be able to carry out all the work irrespective of their comfort zone.
- Hotels should focus on encouraging a culture of continuous improvement like employee feedback, and rewarding them with bonuses or compensation. Appointing them to a higher post if their work is satisfactory.
- Managers should provide regular feedback to the employees as per their performance and if they need any guidance managers must assist them.
Some examples of effective training programs are:
- Onboarding training will make new hires comfortable and welcome. This type of training is especially for new hires to understand the work culture, policies, and procedures that hotels follow.
- The customer training service’s goal is to provide excellent customer service to the guests. This type of training includes solving all the queries or difficulties faced by the guests during their stay.
- Leadership training is designed for managers to effectively lead a team. For example- communication training, decision-making, delegation, etc.
It is not easy to find skilled employees and retain them. How many employees should a hotel have largely depends on the type of hotel, whether it is luxury, budget, or boutique. Moreover, if the hotel is situated in a seasonal area, employee needs will vary as during the season, more staff will be required and demand will be very high as compared to the non-seasonal period. Hotels have to follow certain industry standards and guidelines to retain skilled employees.
Proper staffing is very important for the success of the hotel. Having skilled employees will reduce labor costs, generate revenue, and increase productivity and efficiency. The size, location, and technology all affect how many employee needs. Hotels should invest in employee training and development so that employees are well-trained to meet the requirements of the guests. Lastly, if the employee is skilled, it will be a competitive advantage for the company as it will build goodwill and a reputation for the hotel.