ASSET-H&C’s Third Online Get-Together: Selecting the best-fit students
June 20, 2023

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In light of the 2nd Get-TogetherRecruiting new students,’ the discussion continued in the direction of ‘Recruiting the best-fit students.’ The important task of finding the right people who, not only, will finish the programme, but who also want to pursue a career in Hospitality/Tourism.
 

We were happy to have Jon Amiss from Sanon, Myanmar, and Francois Schnoebelen from EHT Paul Dubrule, Cambodia, sharing with us their knowledge and experience and practices in finding and selecting the right candidates which lead us into our discussion topics.  

This issue is so important in our sector because to make an impact, organisations must make the most out of their limited resources. Therefore, selected candidates should be youth who can benefit from the training and will continue to benefit long into their career. 

 

Don Bosco’s Front-of-House and Back-of-House Students 

 

Principles of interviewing 

One discussion focused on principles of interviewing. The key takeaways were: 

  • Motivation alone is not enough; ability must be demonstrated. 
  • Interviews get scored up to guarantee the correct fit for the programme. 
  • Trainers conduct interviews with knowledge of personality types and student needs. 
  • Organisations aim to interview universally though there are government requirements too. 
  • Seeing results gives students the motivation and desire to join the programmes.  

EHT Paul Dubrule uses situational questions to query reactions to potential industry scenarios. Cognitive abilities are also checked. A minimum education grade is required. Although some people who did not pass the grade show the required cognitive ability and some people who passed the grade do not.

Schools have similar interviewing processes. In some applications, students are already asked for their motivation. Most interviews begin with an industry introduction. The interview provides the opportunity to learn about an applicant’s character, motivation, and abilities. Motivation is important but not enough to recruit by. Hence, schools have minimum education or competency requirements.

Personality types also need to be considered, while finding and selecting the best-fit students for the training program. Certain personality types are best suited for certain jobs. Extroverts interact with customers and introverts prefer back-of-house positions. If someone has a personality counter to their job, they might not be successful; they might not be happy. The happiness of students is priority. Hence, it is important to understand personalities and true motivations before accepting them onto programmes.  

 

Tools exist for defining personalities but are cross-culturally limited. The Big-5 (OCEAN – Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism) personality models built upon western psychologies are not always relevant in Southeast Asia. The tools used to conduct this kind of assessment do not correspond to every language. However, the principles and ideas behind the Big-5 can be used during the interviewing process. 

Interviews are scored and applicants can get feedback. A shortlist is created of potential candidates. Though schools often have inclusivity targets (women and vulnerable youth), candidates must still meet the education criteria. Schools aim to offer the same recruitment process for everybody. 

 

Monitoring Motivation 

What kind of motivation and how do we test for it; For successful school entries? Here are the key takeaways from our other group discussion. 

  • Selecting candidates with a desire to join the programme rather than compulsion.  
  • Abstract and situational questioning can help build a personality profile. 
  • Making sure students personality matches the job they are applying for. 
  • Empathy is useful for turning motivation into inspiration.  

We must accept that this industry is not for everybody. Successful students are motivated students. Nobody wants to close opportunities but only those who understand and who want this career, will succeed, was a sentiment shared amongst participants of this Get Together. Applicants may have no prior knowledge of hospitality and tourism, but can be inspired by the interviewers. It was also reported that applicants not initially eligible have returned after gaining industry experience and the drive needed.  

Meanwhile, it is insightful to know young people can say anything to pass the interview, due to external factors like family pressure. If they graduate, they will, sadly, stay in a career they hate. Selecting the best-fitting candidates can mitigate any negative outcome that could otherwise happen. 

 

Takeaways

Our members conduct similar interview processes. On top of motivation, some schools also seek out cognitive ability, linguistic ability, and personality type in potential recruits. Get-Together shows members operate along the similar lines, to achieve our goal. Effects of the pandemic are still visible. Many alumni left Hospitality and Tourism due to COVID-19, but many are now returning to the field because they miss it. 

Alumni coming back to hospitality because they miss it
Alumni of SPOONS Cambodia joined the re-training course to after pandemic

Our next online Get-Together will take place on the 19th of July. This time, the discussions are dedicated to: ‘Onboarding new students, the process & activities’. If you would like to get involved or read more about what we do here at ASSET-H&C, check out our website, head to our Facebook page or get in touch by email through: asset@iecd.org.

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