Big Chain Versus Boutique Hotel: Does Size Matter When You're Looking for a New Job?
Job seekers poised for a position in the hotel industry need to answer an important question that could affect their entire career path: choose a small boutique hotel or a large national branded hotel? Some job seekers perform better in one or the other environment, while others can easily make the switch from one type of hotel to another. The answer to the question of whether size matters depends on your personality as well as your ambitions.
Big Versus Boutique Hotels
At different ages in your career, you're looking for different things. Your goal should be to align your own personal expectations and desires with the type of employer you're seeking out.
The typical big hotel experience usually offers:
- Greater resources providing support to help you do your job.
- Assignment to one function.
- Generous compensation, benefits, or rewards
- Set hours of employment.
- Greater opportunity for career advancement and relocation.
- More exposure to off-site training and skills upgrading (professional development activities).
- A corporate environment with a more traditional corporate hierarchy.
- Consistent service and experience attached to the brand.
The boutique hotel experience usually offers:
- Personal expression more appreciated. Room for personality, uniqueness, less conformity to the consistent brand message. The "quirkiness" becomes the hotel's brand.
- Potential to handle a variety and multitude of tasks, from check-in to food and beverage operations to helping out with engineering.
- More on-the-job training.
- Greater personal, first-name exposure to the guests.
- Ability to affect change more quickly.
- More readily recognized for accomplishments.
- A "family" atmosphere where you feel valued and heard.
- Closer contact with management because of a smaller organizational chart.
How do you Decide?
Your first choice is always to talk to someone who's doing the hotel job you're interested in. Your second choice is to talk to someone teaching about it. Attending job fairs and taking coop placements are also helpful in making your decision. Your third choice is to talk to someone who's hiring people to do the hotel job that interests you and "interview" them. But, don't go to the information interview and expect to walk away with a job offer -- that's not the purpose of this type of meeting. Go with resume in hand, expecting to learn as much as you can about the business and the career path you're interested in.