5 Benefits of Working in a Small Hotel
Sprawling full-service hotels such as destination resorts and convention properties offer unparalleled professional experiences. But the same can also be said of small hotels, whether independent or part of a brand. These properties should not be dismissed as potential career-enriching opportunities based on their room counts, but rather considered for the unique employment advantages that more intimately sized hotels can offer their staff.
Here are five reasons why you should look at job openings at small hotels:
More direct contact with guests
Small hotels tend to have a smaller staff and even those with back-of-house positions are likely to interact with guests at some point during their week (if only because of the proximity of their work space to guest areas). So there’s more chance of guest interaction at these hotels and that, in turn, means greater opportunity to expand your customer service skills. Plus, the smaller staffing level means fewer layers of hierarchy to approve guest requests, which translates into empowered employees.
A different approach to doing business
At the heart of every hotel is a mission to deliver great service to guests, but how small hotels carry that out compared to their larger counterparts can be quite different. For example, purchasing volumes are comparatively smaller, as are marketing budgets and the array of services and amenities available to guests. For example, with fewer rooms, it may not make financial sense for these hotels to offer a food and beverage outlet or spa. Instead, these properties may have strong partnerships with local businesses who offer such services to the hotel’s guests at discounted rates. Fewer marketing dollars will also dictate different tactics for promoting the hotel and that could also mean greater reliance on OTAs because of the international reach they can deliver a hotel that does not have a global sales staff. Regardless of the particulars, these varying business strategies can only deepen your professional knowledge base.
Career advancement opportunities
Again, with smaller staffing levels there’s less middle management at these hotels. For employees, that’s more time working side-by-side with senior management and likely the owner too. So you can learn directly from the hotel’s decision makers while also enjoying greater visibility for your hard work and achievements among senior management. You may also benefit from mentoring or other collaborations with the hotel’s brass, which would be harder to find in big hotels. There are also fewer rungs on the professional ladder to climb in order to reach a senior level position.
Less red tape
Change is likely to be affected with increased rapidity at a smaller hotel since a concentrated management structure will result in decisions requiring fewer levels of approval. For employees, this could mean a job well done rewarded with a special perk such as an extra day off or the ability to implement new projects with relative immediacy. In short, these hotels can operate with more agility than their larger competitors and, precisely because they are smaller and so are their chain of commands, it’s easier to implement new innovation – whether new guest services or new back-of-house technology.
More hands-on experience
Smaller staffing levels mean fewer people in a given department and thus, a greater chance of responsibilities that, in a larger hotel, might be delegated to someone in a more senior position – and those duties could provide you with a competitive edge when seeking future positions. With fewer employees there’s also the possibility of learning different aspects of the business and gaining more practical skills. You will likely have a 360-degree view of the hotel’s overall operations where you can diversify your skills and hopefully, learn which aspects of hospitality inspire you the most.