06 December, 2018

Future Proofing Hospitality Staff

Imagine a world where you employ hotel staff and they arrive educated, experienced and fit for purpose? A new pilot CSR initiative by Guestline is making its presence in the industry by future proofing the talent of tomorrow…. now!

Attracting, training and retaining talent in the hospitality industry is a trending ‘headache’ for many hotels across the globe. Whilst numerous graduates start out their careers educated but with a degree of certain skills shortage, how much more beneficial would it be for them to arrive trained, with practical experience, knowledge and understanding of the hotel’s property management system and have already emulated real-life hotel experiences?

Guestline, who are a global leader in hotel cloud-based property management systems, distribution and digital marketing technologies, is changing the future of the hospitality talent industry with the introduction of a new and unique cloud-based teaching tool, enabling students to experience real-time hotel training at university level.

Guestline have a reputation for offering award-winning solutions to hotels across the world and are industry leaders in the global hospitality technology market. With a very strong and successful presence in Ireland, Guestline were approached by Shannon College of Hotel Management, a College of NUI Galway that offers degrees in Hotel Management, noting that educational institutes across Ireland were in a predicament, looking for a solution, a practical tool and strategy to teach their students real-life hotel experiences. Similarly, with hotels, these institutes were also experiencing difficulties attracting talent and they wanted and ‘needed’ students to obtain the most relevant experience and training for when they graduated and began their hotel careers.

Responding to this industry gap, Guestline created a unique offering to enable teachers to have access to a mock 100-bedroom property management system (PMS) to use for teaching whilst also introducing the hotelier of tomorrow to the best technology and best practice, training and experiences needed upon entry into the hospitality workplace. Bringing some of Ireland’s top technology institutes together, Guestline worked with them to provide, Rezlynx, the latest cloud-based PMS on the market by customising a tailored tech savvy, flexible, multi-functional teaching tool based on a real standard Irish hotel database with 100 bedrooms.

By integrating Rezlynx PMS as an integral part of the teaching curriculum, the students receive exposure to additional features they didn’t have access to before (i.e. Conference and Banqueting modules, revenue and rate management) and with Rezlynx PMS, there is more to explore to broaden their abilities. The students can easily make changes within the systems and adapt them to reflect ‘real-life’ situations, which helps widen their knowledge and gives them experience of multiple scenarios.

Six Irish technology institutes are now benefiting immensely from Guestline’s unique cloud-based teaching tool and are engaging in Guestline’s comprehensive training dates to ensure best use of the products. These include the first to adapt the installation; Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Athlone IT and Dundalk IT, followed by Limerick IT, Tralee IT and Shannon College. Having a cloud-based teaching tool was very important to these institutions. With funding limitations, they knew hardware expenses were non-negotiable and the chosen platform needed to be easy to use for both teachers and students, and, above all, it had to be accessible (i.e. not hindered by individual licences). Plus, with Guestline, the training and support offered was comprehensive and thorough, ensuring lecturers felt confident and supported when training students on the systems.

‘We needed a system that was widely recognised in Ireland and highly regarded so our students learnt on the most effective platform. With its exhaustive functionality, which is easily adaptable to our training demonstrations, the students have the best induction and preparation for their hotel career.’

Tracy Hegarty, a lecturer at Letterkenny IT, has adopted Guestline’s PMS tool as an integral part of her overall teaching curriculum

Being workplace ready is ultimately the end goal for students graduating from such institutions. And, given Rezlynx is a widely used PMS by hotels, students will likely use this when they are on workplace placements, immediately putting their training into practice, cementing their knowledge and giving them even more standing when starting their hotel career. Most students go abroad on placements, so it is imperative that they be trained on a system that is familiar and recognised in different market places too.

At Shannon College, the students find it intuitive to use and easy to learn. In the first lesson, the pupils were making reservations and checking in guests after only 2 hours of training. Niamh Kemmy, a 2nd year student at Shannon College, said such practical experience gave her a broader understanding of the hotel workplace and put her at an advantage at recruitment stage;

‘‘Having experience using Guestline’s Rezlynx PMS was a huge advantage to me when I started a new job in Front Office as normally being trained to use the PMS takes a significant amount of time. My college classes in Rezlynx meant that I did not have to be trained as much as other applicants giving me an immediate advantage when I applied for the job and a head start in terms of responsibility. Studying Rezlynx also provided me with a broader understanding of managing reservations and offered an interesting insight into topics such as overbooking, upgrading and upselling”

Combining this innovative teaching tool with comprehensive training and local hotel work experience placements, upon graduation, students are prepped to arrive into the workplace fit and ready for purpose. Plus, the rollout of such in-dept teaching practices through this unique teaching tool assists these institutions in their bids to attract the best talent available, leveraging themselves as leaders in hospitality training and education.

By future proofing Ireland’s hospitality talent industry, Guestline are meeting the market’s demands for skill-full, talented, experienced, entry level staff, propelling our technology institutes to new educational heights and cementing their own position as leaders in the PMS market.

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