There is a Constant Demand for Entry-Level Positions: Rajesh Sukumaran, Managing Director,

'Our model is very simple - Employer advertises their vacancies based on a very reasonable subscription fee. Our subscription packages are custom designed as per the employer and their requirement so that we can also serve to small standalone restaurants. Those vacancies are sent to all Jobseekers', Rajesh Sukumaran, Managing Director,

WITH HOSPITALITY sector growing rapidly, there is a sudden surge in the hospitality employment. From people applying for the jobs in the industry, having a dedicated recruitment portal is a need of an hour. To fill the gap, Rajesh Sukumaran launched which is customised to serve specifically to the hospitality industry. BW Hotelier spoke to Sukumaran, who told us about the job portal and the recent trends he is witnessing in the process of recruitment. Excerpts:

Brief us about the model? And how did you plan to start up this job portal?

Using a generic job website to source talents in India is like 'Fishing in a vast ocean'. With the growing hospitality employment sector, we believe it is high time to have specialised portal for this industry which can serve in a customised way to the specific needs of the industry. So we launched specifically for hotel jobs in India, hotel jobs in UAE, Qatar, Maldives etc.

Our model is very simple - Employer advertises their vacancies based on a very reasonable subscription fee. Our subscription packages are custom designed as per the employer and their requirement so that we can also serve to small standalone restaurants. Those vacancies are sent to all Jobseekers. Our team does social media marketing campaign for these vacancies. When interested jobseeker applies for those vacancies, employers directly communicate with the jobseekers. For jobseekers, they can apply for free.

We have a new special paid feature for Jobseekers, FEATURED TALENT, which would help them to enhance their personal brand and also to 'Stand out from the crowd'. They can prepare a special profile with Extra Images and a short Video. They can use this video to showcase their communication skills, personal presentation, Cooking skills, Bartending skills, Towel art etc. We have a PROMO going on with just Rs 495.

Which are the hotels to which you are providing placements?

Almost 250 companies have posted their vacancies in our site. Some of the popular brands like Sarovar, Choice Hotels, OYO brands are working with us. We have some of the hotels from UAE also advertising their vacancies in our platform. Some of the restaurant brands across have started using our platform. We are not only focusing on upscale hotels. We would like to have all hospitality entities small size restaurants, catering companies, Cafe to 5-star hotel chains all over India.

What are the responses you are getting so far? On an average how many placements you are providing on a yearly basis?

As of date, we reach out to approximately 1 lakh hospitality professionals per week through different social media platforms. We have close to 19K registered Jobseekers and its growing. Many professionals are just engaging with us waiting for the right job opportunity and then register. Our database includes all levels in hotel hierarchy, starting from Waiter to General Manager and all departments like Food & Beverage, Front office, Accounts, Engineering etc. As the employers do not update the portal about the final placement, we do not have those statistics. After receiving the application, then the employer/recruiter start to direct communication with the Jobseeker

What are the recent trends you are witnessing in the recruitment process of the hospitality industry?

Demand for the right talent always exists. However, we have found that there is a constant demand for the entry-level positions in different departments and also experienced quality Chefs. Dependency of Social media has increased for hiring right candidates and Social media started to consume HR's man-hours. Some HR team is able to cope up in Social media but most of HR Team are struggling to do this consistently. So, they end up choosing placement agencies for their hiring which increases their recruitment cost.

Unfortunately, some hotels do not pay Placement charges to minimise their recruitment cost. The agent charges the candidates for their placement. So, here we have a new employee joining a hotel with some amount of negative impression about the hotel which will end up reflecting in his work attitude involuntarily.

What are the key factors a student should keep in mind in the whole recruitment process?

Majority of students are not clear or have chosen their specialisation without any passion or interest. Not everybody gets to identify their passion at an early age. However, after chosen specialisation just to get a job or extra tips, I suggest, students to give more focus to enhance their knowledge and skills in that chosen area. Without depending just on their college, find other resources to learn and find real workplace to put in a few hours of work during free weekends/ holidays. He/she will find their real interest on their way. No need to wait for 3 years college education to finish to do this. These efforts will imbibe key factors - real job knowledge, communication skills, teamwork, confidence to showcase their skill etc. HR Managers would be able to easily see that difference during interviews. I have seen such students grow very fast in their career comparatively.

From the side of hoteliers, what are the skill sets that they are looking for the most?

Hotel HR Managers or the management look for the following from the students/freshers:

* Communication skill (for Front of the House)

* Ready to work with less training

* Passion or Real interest in the chosen field

* Ability to see the bigger picture (for management trainees)

* Willingness to put in extra efforts

Besides from the above, they look for the following from the experienced candidates:

* Real time work experience matching their current vacancy requirement

* Team work - ability to work & collaborate with others effectively

* Integrity - whether words and actions are matching

* Ability to work well under pressure

* Could he/she be able to take more responsibilities & grow in future?

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