"It takes years of slow work creating a team that are consistent in their values, believe in the philosophy and are prepared to do their work while following the ethical behavior the philosophy implies: Do the right thing, making sure that you don't compromise on the principle in how you treat everybody – your vendors, your customers, your partners, your tradespeople who work there."
– Isadore Sharp, Founder, Four Seasons
One of the key positions in a successful hotel is your Hotel Front Desk Manager (also called a Front Office Manager). They will be the one who can make or break your guests' hotel experience.
Not only are they responsible for the day-to-day operations of the front desk and reception area, but they are also a key element in creating the culture of your front-line employees. A good Front Desk Manager can be vital to the happiness, health, and engagement of your front-line employees. Therefore, it’s a role that needs careful consideration and thoughtful process in the hiring stages.
Hotel Front Desk Manager: Job Description
The Front Desk Manager or Officer position is a strong leadership role. They must have strong communication skills, management skills and a real ability to inspire and motivate their team. Front Desk Managers work to ensure that the hotel guest experience is exceptional the moment the guest steps foot on the property.
The Front Desk Manager is not only making sure there is excellent customer service, but they are responsible for supervising the front desk staff, all guest services staff, reservations and Night Audit staff. They are involved in the interacting with guests during check in and will be involved in any guest complaints and queriers throughout their stay.
A strong candidate should have quick problem-solving skills, ability to multitask, Additional tasks may also include occupancy reports and financial reports.
Hotel Front Desk Manager Responsibilities & Duties
To make it simple, here is a list of common responsibilities that most Front Desk Manager would have.
- Train all front desk agents and Assistant Front Office Managers.
- Participates in the selection and interview process of all hotel front office staff and other supervisory roles.
- Create schedules for Front Desk Agents
- Supervises the workload during employees shifts
- Regularly evaluate the job performance of all Front Desk Agents and guest service employees.
- Maintains working relationships and clear communications with all departments throughout the hotel, including the General Manager.
- Keep accurate information on status of rooms and that it is properly communicated to appropriate team members and updated in the inventory management system
- Resolves all guest problems quickly, and efficiently, ensuring guest satisfaction.
- Updates any group booking information and requirements. Relays information to appropriate personnel.
- Keeps accurate account of Credit Room report.
- Receives information from the previous shift mangers (Front Desk supervisors, Assistant front office managers) and reports accurate information to the next shift manager.
- Checks the float and balances of all in and out transactions and verifies the deposits at the end of each shift.
- Maintains all cash-handling, check-cashing, and credit policies and that they are being adhered to.
- Conducts regularly scheduled meetings for all front office staff.
- Upholds the Hotel Operations commitments and standards to guests.
- Prepare performance reviews and reports for all of the front office department, and reporting to Human Resources as needed
- Maximize room revenue and occupancy rates by daily reviewing status reports. Analyse rate variances and keep close watch of occupancy reports.
- Monitor guests with high balances and take appropriate action when needed.
- Ensures that all hotel policies and standards are being met with front office staff, and all the front office operations.
- Can understand and operate all aspects of Front Office operations including their hotel computer systems (such as front desk software, guest communication software, and maintenance management systems) and can generate reports and analyses when needed.
- Prepare forecasting reports for rates and occupancy
- Ensure that employees are always attentive, friendly, helpful, and courteous to all guests, managers, and other employees.
- Maintain all VIP guest requests in a timely manner.
- Maintain front desk and guest services stations are properly equipped with the supplies they need.
- Review daily front office reports that are created by the Night Audit.
- Review Guest feedback forms daily.
- Maintain an organized filing system for all employee and guest documentation and reports.
- Perform other duties as requested by General Manager.
Hiring Process For a Hotel Front Desk Manager
The hospitality industry is largely a personable industry. When you are looking for the right candidate, the interview stage will be your most important part. You want to get to know the candidate before moving forward with the hiring process. It’s also quite common to bring the candidate back for a few interviews before making the final decision.
They may have a super impressive resume, but can they communicate well? Do they enjoy making others feel welcome and comfortable? Do they have a positive attitude? Can they motivate a team of employees? These are a few of the things you can find out during the face to face interviews.
When finding a Front Desk Manager, you want to look for someone who is not only professional and experienced, but someone who is approachable, enthusiastic, and empathetic towards the guests needs.
Questions to Ask in a Hotel Front Desk Manager Interview
When interviewing a candidate, ask them open ended questions. This will help the candidate open up in the interview and it give you a better sense of who they are.
Here are some common questions that are often asked to Front Desk Manager candidates.
- Why do you want to work for ______hotel?
- What do you know about this hotel? –This is a great question to see how much homework they did, and how badly they want the job. If a candidate doesn’t really know much about the hotel it shows that they haven’t really done any research, and your hotel is no different to them than the hotel next door. You want a candidate that really sees the value in working with your hotel.
- Explain what Hospitality means to you
- Explain a time you overcame a challenge in your job.
- What are your strengths as a manager?
- Describe a time you had to deal with an angry guest.
- How would you manage a situation where you were unable to solve a guest issue?
- Describe a time when you delivered exceptional service to a guest.
- What strategies would you use to instill a strong sense of comradery among your staff? – This is an important question. You want a strong, healthy, and happy work environment, it’s important to know how the candidate would foster that.
- When are you available to start? – This can reveal a lot about a candidate. If they are currently working for a hotel, it will say a lot about them if they want to give their current employer a respectable amount of time. Likewise, if they are working for a hotel and they don’t give that hotel adequate notice, that might be a flag on their honestly or about how they may treat your hotel in the future.
- Do you have any planned vacation already? – might be helpful to know if the candidate has a 4 month trip to Bali planned.
Clear Hiring Process
Make sure that the hiring process is clear. You want to make the most of your time by scheduling multiple interviews in one day, especially If other managers want to interview the candidate as well, you don’t want this to drag on for weeks and weeks. You also want to consider how much time they need to give their current employer when they resign.
If your property performs background checks, you want to get them going immediately after the interview process.
When it comes to a Salary a lot of factors are in play. How large is the property? How much education and experience does the applicant have? Is the property located in a city or beach town? It also depends on the budget the hotel has set as well. Currently the average Salary for Front Desk Manager is between $55,000- $60,000 USD.
Just like people, not all managers will be created equally. The Front Desk Manager position is an essential position to your hotel, and they are a major part of the culture and the success.
So, take thoughtful consideration when hiring and recruiting for this position. If you can’t find the perfect candidate, is the candidate you found teachable? Is your candidate enthusiastic about the position and working for your property? Do you feel that the candidate can execute and keep the values and the vision of the hotel? These are all questions you should consider when making your final decisions.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this! Do you have any key interview questions that have helped you flag whether a candidate was the right fit or not?