As part of our series of content about building a career in your chosen industry, we interviewed Natalie Crofts, Human Resources Manager for the Manor Collection.
In this article we focus on her role and advice for others looking to get into human resources, within the hospitality industry.

What career progression path have you followed to date in your career in hospitality?
I started my career as an HR Administrator learning all the basics of HR. The next step in my progression was moving into an HR Officer role, where I got a bit more involved in employee relations, recruitment of supervisory roles, dealing with employee engagement and also learning & development.
From that role I was promoted to HR Manager looking after a team of three. That role progressed into looking after budgets for the HR team, preparing reports to analyse headcount, turnover, absences etc.

What specific qualifications do you need for your role in hospitality?
I studied Hotel Supervision and Catering and also completed CIPD Personnel Practice.
I would say for a role in HR it is useful to complete the CIPD courses. For other roles in hospitality training can be provided on the job and many people have gone on to have successful careers within Hospitality having not had any specific training.

Is there any additional training that has helped you to progress in your chosen career?
Learning is an ongoing thing and to keep up to date in my area I always read up on any employment law changes and updates. CIPD is very good at keeping the HR community’s knowledge fresh and current.
At Manor Collection, we are always looking to improve the skills of our teams and offer training in house. We also work with an NVQ provider and offer this to all teams.
Working in hospitality means we have to make sure we are compliant with Food Safety and Health & Safety, and so ensure that our teams are trained in these areas too.

What are the main interpersonal skills needed for a career in hospitality?
Warmth, kindness, openness and a willingness to help people. Hospitality is a people industry and welcoming people into our hotels is what we do so well at Manor Collection.
The teams in all our properties are customer service focused and are always willing to go the extra mile to ensure our guests enjoy their stays, whether it is their wedding day, conference, party night or just visiting our hotels.
What are the things you love most about working in the hospitality industry?
The things I love about hospitality are the people that work in the industry and in our hotels in particular. They all work extremely hard to ensure that events take place without a hitch and to ensure that we have made that lasting impression on our guests.
It may sound cliché, but when you work in hospitality you do become a family and support each other. Everything we do ends up in front of the guests.

What advice would you give to others trying to get into the hospitality industry?
Hospitality is a great industry and sometimes it does not always get a good reputation. However, working in the industry and developing your skills here could see someone travel the world and explore the industry in different areas. To be successful in the hospitality industry, you must be committed to ensuring customer satisfaction, have great communication skills and be enthusiastic.

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