Talent Management ‘Talent Management in Hospitality and Tourism’, a new book edited by Susan Horner, addresses a vital subject for educators and organisations in the hospitality sector, and is contributed to by major experts who have multi-national experience of hospitality education provide new and interesting perspectives on the topic of talent management.

Staff retention, training and morale is key in any industry, none more so that in the service sector where career perceptions can be negative and staff retention is notoriously high. Recruiting and retaining happy and well trained staff is key to the success of all customer-facing businesses. This book is the first to explore on this important topic from an individual and personal perspective rather than a company perspective. It will enable future managers to understand the key principles to maintaining a happy and talented workforce, as well as understanding how to successfully manage their own career path. 

Talent Management In Hospitality and Tourism‘ uses case studies from major international companies as well as SMEs such as The Taj Hotel Group, India, Red Carnation Hotel Group, The Rick Stein group and La’Aubier in Neuchatel, Switzerland to illustrate successful talent management strategies and how they can be implemented. The text has a complete pedagogic structure, including learning points and activities at the end of each chapter to assist with class room delivery and design assessments. 

What prompted to you write this book?

The topic of talent management is an emerging issue for both academics and industry practitioners across the world. Many of the large hotel groups, for example are changing their human resource management departments to talent management departments, and it is a big issue for small to medium enterprises in the sector. There has also been an increasing interest in the academic world, with course being offered on the topic at a variety of levels. I helped to supervise a PhD thesis on the topic which also made me realise the lack of published material on the topic in the hospitality field.

In a nutshell, how would you describe the difference between ‘talent management’ and ‘human resource management’?

I think that human resource management is about how you recruit, develop and retain that you want to recruit and employ. It uses well-established management techniques. Talent management is much more about a focus on the recruitment of individual talents and providing them with individually focused career plans. It is about matching the talented individual’s requirements with an appropriate company response.  

Is there any one essential part of efficient talent management that ALL managers need to be on top of?

There is a debate about inclusive and exclusive approaches to talent management which managers should consider and make decisions about. Another critical issue is the importance of individual mentoring programs from members of staff.

High turnover is prevalent across the industry – how can the adoption of good talent management practices slow this down?

An increased focus on the talent management process as a whole will result in a happier workforce that will want to stay with their employer because they will trust the organisation with their future career development.

If you had one piece of advice for all hospitality managers, what would it be?

Think about the difference between education and training and decide on individually-focused development plans for all staff at every level. This will make everybody feel valued and recognised.

About the Editor

Susan HornerSusan Horner is Associate Professor in Hospitality, Tourism and Events Management at Plymouth University, UK. Susan wrote her first book Marketing for Hospitality in 1996 and has gone on to write further books with collaborators including Professor John Swarbrooke and Professor Stephen Ball. Susan’s books include key texts such as Consumer Behaviour in Tourism, International Cases in Tourism Management, Business Travel and Tourism and Leisure Marketing. These books are used internationally and have been translated into a variety of languages including Chinese. Among her other skills Susan has an interest in the learning styles of hospitality students, and relationship marketing and management issues for hospitality. She has also developed an international reputation as a marketing specialist and been responsible for the academic content of hospitality courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level that have been delivered both locally and internationally. During her academic career she has encouraged both undergraduate and postgraduate students to publish their research at various academic conferences.