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How it feels to work among…the Stars?

by Aias Katsaros, HR Account Manager – Recruiter & Makayla Roth, HR Intern | Workathlon

When looking into hotels, one of the first things that you check is their star rating. But to what extent do these stars correlate with how it will be to work there?

It seems that depending on where you look, the ‘stars’ criteria can change. Even a single hotel can have different ratings from different websites! These star ratings may not be the most accurate, but they can be used as indicators of what to expect from each hotel.

But that begs the question – what do stars even mean in terms of the services / facilities offered to guests? After checking out various rating systems, we forward you the most consistent answer:

One star:

This hotel offers only small, simple rooms and only covers the necessities. Reception is open during specific hours. There are self-serving vending machines but there are no restaurants onsite.

Two stars:

This hotel may have slightly larger rooms, maybe a private bath. The reception here is open 24 hours, with a small bar or restaurant that is mostly used for breakfast.

Three stars:

This rating is given when the basic amenities are offered along with a few other little advantages like a pool and a bar. The latter usually serves as a restaurant for lunch / dinner.

Four stars:

Speaking of ‘nice’ hotels, being a 4 – star goes above the essentials and offers extra services such as F&B Outlets (usually a bar and a restaurant), a pool, possibly a SPA and a more elegant and stylish design of rooms and public areas. It should have a wider range of room choices for guests such as premium rooms and suites.

Five stars:

Luxury is all you think of when you talk about a 5-star hotel. This is where the hotel will be focused on exceeding expectations in customer care. The dining experience will be exceptional, and all the staff will be focused on making sure you are well-cared at all times.

Another aspect about a hotel that star rating can reveal to you is what kind of work experience you can expect when you are employed there.

Working in 1 or 2 – star hotels means working in general positions with low specialization. Career prospects are limited since there are so few services. Working there is suitable for people who wish to work part-time or have no previous professional specialization. If you are searching for career growth and competitive salary, these hotel categories might not be the most ideal option.

Competitive salary and career development may wait for you in 3, 4 and 5-star hotels. However, these hotel categories differ from each other in two main areas; Customer Service and Organizational Procedures.

Customer Service

5-star Hotels

To the people who work in a 5-star hotel, the service industry is not just a job. It is a passion. Those who do well in a 5-star hotel are those who love helping people and making them feel at home. This is most definitely expressed in the way they serve guests. Managers expect their employees to continuously go above and beyond expectations and promote exceptional service that is personalized to each guest. Finally, 5-star hotels are required to include a beauty saloon, and a swimming pool – this fact alone means more professionals both in quantity and specialization are required for optimal operation.

4-star Hotels

4-star hotels exist somewhere between 5 & 3-star. In a manner like 3-star hotels, they expect a high standard of customer service for everything the hotel provides without going into the extremes that a 5-star might require. A key difference is that they offer less exclusive and personalized services than 5-star hotels. Also, their pool area along with their extra services while still elegant, will have a much less focus on luxury than their 5-star counterparts. This fact alone affects both the staff training and the guest categories that the hotel welcomes.

3-star Hotels

3-star hotels expect somewhat less compared to 4 or 5-star units. While the mangers still expect you to have great customer service, they will not demand the passion that a 5-star resort will. However, working at a 3-star hotel does not mean that the Managers expect employees to be any less professional, polite and punctual in their duties than at any other hotel.

Organizational Procedures

5-star Hotels

In 5-star hotels, a huge amount of attention is placed on luxury, therefore it is essential to make sure everything is set up so that all employees are constantly on the same page. In this way, their organization is impeccable. They have standardized procedures for almost everything. This type of workplace has both positive and negative aspects.

A positive aspect is that, an a profeesional, you are very well trained, and you don’t get lost. However, trying to follow the rigorous procedures to the letter, can result in limited flexibility and adaptability. It depends on how you look at it, this fact could be either too great or too restricting.

4-star Hotels

This type of hotel has a similar organization as their 5-star counterparts. However, they have a lighter approach of the specialization. Although they do work in a similar clockwork manner, their procedures and operations are usually more versatile. Also, they although they do take training and coaching seriously, in most cases they do not have access to e-learning platforms and other than season start do not have rigorous planned training sessions throughout the season.

3-star Hotels

A 3-star hotel is on the other side of the spectrum. While many of them are pretty organized, it is more likely that some situations are up to employees’ judgement. They won’t have nearly as many procedures and policies because their organization is a lot less thorough. More thinking on your feet is expected!

Someone can easily understand that star – rating systems are in no way standardized. There are so many parameters, so star ratings can be used simply as an indicator to get a general idea of a hotel’s culture. In no way it should be your only guide to it!

So are you thinking about working in a hotel? Try to research the specific hotel and see what others tell about it instead of just using the star system. Read relevant articles in magazines or newspapers, and of course search for any corporate videos, as former employees’ opinion is the most accurate of all. Workathlon has taken care of you, as it has already interviewed employees from the best Greek hotels. Find all of them here!

To sum up, if you combine all of the above, you will definitely have a much more detailed and accurate picture of the experience you will have if you choose to work with them!

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