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Hotel industry of georgetown in penang island malaysia tourism essay

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Human resources management seems like to become an important issue in all the industry nowadays. Human resources management has been various defined by the scholar. “ Effort that taken to make sure that the policies, procedure, and system of attracting, selecting, developing, and retaining the best employees are consistence with the firm business strategies and account for the dynamic condition within the firm’s competitive markets to support strategic and functional alignment” (cf. Wright & Snell, 1998; Way, 2006; Way & Johnson, 2005) Human resources management in hospitality industry is different with the human resources practices that practices by the other industry. Human resources management in hospitality and tourism industry stresses more on “ The Diamond Services Model” (Tesone 2005, 14).

The Diamond Services Model states that four aspect need to be taken into consideration in the management of human resources which include the fiscal responsibilities of the organization, the services excellent offered to all the stakeholders, the social responsibilities of the stakeholders particularly to the customers and employees and finally the employee relations in the organization (Shariff, 2007).

Overview of hotel industry in Georgetown, Penang Island

In recent year, the hotel industry is growing greatly in the global and this phenomenon consists in Malaysia. This industry is providing services to tourist and customers who come for stay or holiday; it’s also providing employment opportunities to people. The following shows hotel rating at years of 2007 and 2010 in Malaysia.

According to the Table 1 and 2, it shows the years of 2007 and 2010 which are the total number hotel in Malaysia. The total number hotel in Table 1 is 624 hotels and the total number shown in Table 2 is 801 hotels. It has shown increasing to 177 hotels after 3 years. This means that hotel industry is increasing rapidly in 3 years. In Penang area also increases rapidly after 3 years. Table 1 show the total number of hotel in Penang is 45 hotels in year 2007 and 55 hotels in year 2010. It has shown increased 10 hotels after 3 years.

“ The Pearl of Orient” has many attract destination for tourists. The most famous destination of the state is Georgetown which is located at the northeastern tip of the island is the seat of administration and is also the commercial hub of the state. This city is listed as heritage site by UNESCO in these few years. Moreover, it also is hub of commercial. This bustling metropolitan city combines the old buildings and heritage and affected by different foreign influences into colorful its history. Its multiracial population contributes also to a wealth of cultural attractions and festive celebrations for visitors to witness and enjoy. These factors are affecting the growth of hotel industry in Georgetown. The most famous hotels in Georgetown, Penang include G Hotel, Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Sunway Hotel Georgetown Penang, and Dorsett Penang Hotel. Those are four stars above hotels.

Best hotel operation with provide best services and quality facilities for customers, employees are playing the important role in the hotel operation. Kasavana and Brooks (2001), the function of each hotel department can be summarized as front office, housekeeping, food and beverage, sales and marketing, accounting division, engineering and maintenance, security, and human resource. Many responsibilities and play in important role of each department in a hotel, so the best methods of recruitment and selection practices are essentials to hire the best employees. The task of human resources department in hotel to deals matters of employees especially in recruitment and selection practices to employment. Differ abilities are needed for differ task in hotel. Hence, the practices not only used, but the skills, knowledge, and experiences are also needed in emergency situation.

Problem statement

The problem of this study is limited literature on Malaysia hotel industry recruitment and selection practices. It is lack of attach importance to recruitment and selection practices. Different hotel industry has different type of recruitment and selection of employment. Variation in hotel size, location, and ownership makes the prescription of a “ best practice” selection model problematic (Medlik, 1989). Therefore, this is a problem of this study in the hotel industry and it is lack of information about the practices in the industry. Limited literature on recruitment and selection of employment caused by diversity job position and job characteristic of variety hotel in Malaysia so couldn’t specify process of recruitment and selection decision making in the hotel industry. Moreover, with less literature on recruitment and selection practices, most of hotel industry in Malaysia to recruit candidate for vacancy job, majority of hotels are base on skills, experience, and knowledge about hotel industry and to select best employee and suitability of job vacancy position, but not adopt the practices only.

Research question

This study of recruitment and selection practices in hotel industry of Penang.

The role of research question in study is gained more information and details to assist in research.

First research question in this study is how do Penang hotels recruit their employees? The recruitment methods include internal search, external search, and outsourced search. What is the meaning of the internal search, external search, and outsourced search? According of the methods, selectors should find out the best and qualitative method to recruitment and suitability candidates and seek talents for the job vacancy. The recruitment method has adopted in hotel industry of Penang to recruit their employees and what is common method of recruitment in the hotel.

Next is how do Penang hotels select their employees after recruitment? After selectors recruit the qualified candidates, selection practice is needed to select potential applicants they wish to hire. With the selection activities in differ position job vacancy, the differ selection activities should be utilize. There are applications, interviews, pre-employment testing, background checks, and references. The major activities to undertaken when screening employees for possibility selection and easier to choose talent to suitability position. The selection activities should utilize in differ job vacancy in Georgetown and choose the common activity for being select employees.


The purpose of this study is importance of develop efficiency method of recruitment and selection for seek qualified employees. Based on this purpose, the factors must considered by selectors prior to planning and recruiting their hotel’s employees recruitment. The method of practices will bring good or bad aftereffect and it must be related to the jobs after choose the employees. Therefore, the selectors cannot just use sole method in recruitment and selection practices. Multiple methods could seek a potential employee or talent to competence of the position.

Differences of recruitment and selection practices depend on different size and type of each hotel. All hotels are a reliance on either formal or informal methods to select with the candidate qualities identified as desirable. This is because every method may become a chosen for selectors or employers in order to make a right decision of employment. To manage a hotel with strategy in hotel management and may be linked to other factors which directly shape practice. The study identifies different between ownership, situation and department in the hotel and management structures and explains recruitment and selection process. Impacts occurring from adopt of idealized models of recruitment and selection, such as impacts of hotel industry and overall of country.


The main variable in this study is different methods in recruitment such as internal search, external search, and outsourced search. In addition, the variable in this study is the different recruitment methods which are choose will bring different affect in some aspect such time and cost consume. Besides that, variety of selection staff such walk-in interview, application, testing and so on. This is also includes in the variables. These selection methods are different characteristic for each one. Therefore, selectors may obtained more detail and information of the applicants through those methods.

Definition of terms

Definition of hotel

Hotel is place of take rest for travels and living along the travel routes in a room (lodging) and meals (food and beverage) offered. Hotel is a place of paid to offer lodging on short-term period and provides basic facilities and services such as beds, pillows, private bathroom, air conditioner, housekeeping, and cleanliness room service, and additional facilities that restaurant, swimming pool, and meeting room. In general, hotel is a place of establish commercial with providing lodging, meals, facilities, and services, and addition.

Definition of recruitment

Recruitment, usually known as organization is offer a job vacancy and hiring people for job vacancy or a process of generating a pool of qualified candidates for a position. It is also a process of inducing people to apply a job and decide move people who have interest in position offered to organization.

There are three types of recruitment methods to recruit employees. Those are internal, external, and outsourced searches that are needed before hire suitability employees. Job requirement is considered important for the organization to have a preparation beforehand.

Method of Recruitment

Internal search

Internal search is a process of a promotion-from-within approach that is utilized when seeking best employees for job vacancy. It is also known as the ‘ in-house’ recruitment in an organization. The internal search undertaken when organization believes that the best candidates for upper-level positions such as seeking front-office manager for front-office department will be found among those currently employees internal the hotel.

This type of recruitment is less costly from organization since transfer employees from inside organization. Additional, this can motivate the staff to work in effort and build-up them to career prospects but excellent candidates outside the organization unavailable to apply and also cause infighting among the workforce. Internal search is mostly for tourism and hospitality organization because the internal employees are very familiar about the task and environment of this kind organization.

External search

With an approach to seeking the best applicants for the job vacancy that major focus on those candidates who are not currently employees in the organization. In general, it is also defines to the recruitment taking from outside of organization. External search may occur of informal or formal methods.

The organization is seeking external candidates with rely on various strategies such advertisements, public and private employment assistance agencies, educational institutions (college or university), and unsolicited applications and so on.

For hotel industry, external search may create new ideas, knowledge and experience from outside candidates for the organization. On the other hand, this could lower the effort of internal candidates and also may take longer period for new employees such offer training program to them.

Outsourced search

This search is organizations seeking for job candidates that are performed by a professional company such executive search firm specializing in employees’ searches. The executive search firm is which is kind of finding the potential candidates for the job in organizations. The organization can use to find the qualification that they are looking for through this method.

Mostly, the executive search firms will identify potential candidates for the position needed from their list and advise their clients about best candidates available that they are looking for. The following steps are contact them to do preliminary step.

These firms are usually help the organization to seeking out the potential candidates with proper skills and the candidates can fit well with the position in organization such seek out a candidate is fully experience and knowledge in food and beverage for position of F&B manager.

Definition of selection

The selection practice in hire a new employees is a crucial decision. It is a chosen of crucial after selectors have assembled a pool of qualified candidates and they must make a decision to select the best candidates who they want to hire. The below are major activities to utilized when choosing suitable employees.


Application is usually used as a guide for the applicant to know what are needed by the organization. It consists of name, address, work experience, and related information about the applicant. Generally, get information about the questions asked on them should focus exclusively on job qualifications. It is clarity and introduces of applicants and need not to be complex. Organization using this method to provide the opportunity as “ ice-breaking” with the applicant produces interview.


Interview is a process selection and it interact the selectors or employers with the applicant possibility. The application or resume is submitted, some applicants would be selected for the interview section. It is involves interview with many candidates and second or next interview will be coming. The organization may easier and clarify to get information of the applicants which has not listed in the application or resume.

To illustrate, the common information could get in interview section those are past experience, education background, qualifications, current position and employment, expectation of future, and reason to seeking new job and make chosen to the organization and so on.

Pre-employment Testing

It is a common way to improve qualification of recruitment process. The meaning is all the applicants who would like to selected and gain the job in the organization; they should get the testing pass. The organization using the test results to measure the relative strength of applicants. Skills tests, psychological test, and drug screening tests are usually related in hospitality industry.

The skills tests may include typing tests, computer testing, and food production tasks. Those are common skills required in some department of hospitality industry. Psychological testing can include personality tests, performance predictor tests or mentality test. For both of tests is importance to testing abilities of applicants.

Drug screening test is allowance in most states. A drug-free environment can attract best qualification applicants and bring a higher-quality workplace. In the hotel industry, drug-free environment could ensure safety of customers and attract more business opportunity.

Background Checks

Background checks should be specifically on individual background to obtain information that relates directly to individual for employment. Recently, hospitality employers are utilizing background checks before employment in selected position. This method most commonly used such criminal history, credit reports, driving records, academic credentials and licenses.

Criminal records of applicants should be checked before hiring. There is a possibility that the person could create significant safety or security risks for each one. Credit reports include financial information such payment history, amounts owed, liens and so on. Driving records is regarding available of motor vehicle records and information about traffic violations and license status. Academic credentials such schools attended, degree awarded, and transcript those should be verified a level education is necessary for particular job. Licenses such current status and expiration dates, should be obtained if it is required for position.

Background checks are used as a screening device does involve some responsibilities by employers but also some responsibilities. Employers or selectors are only search information that has a directly behavior on the position for candidates.


Reference is sought information or comments from past employers about the employee’s previous work performance. The benefits are being truthful about previous employees is widely thought to be heavily outweighed by the potential liability associated with such honesty and sincerity. This method is very popular tool to use but it is more difficult to obtain on nowadays.


The delimitations of this study are time and place. In the study, the delimitation of time is year of 2011 and the place is Georgetown in Penang. The delimitation of time is year 2011 because the industry hotel is growing soon at the time. The delimitation of place is Georgetown Penang; the reason is this city is a lot of history attraction and high commerce combined in the place and it is a venue of prosperity and harmony so this is one of the choice tourists to visit, thus it is also brought many benefits into the hotel industry.

Signification of study

The advantages will be bringing from best employees in the hotel industry. The importance role of this study:

Penang is a famous place in Malaysia, especially is George Town, it is listing as heritage site by UNESCO. According to Lee, Lim, and Aini (2008), Penang has submitted a joint application with Melaka to be listed on the UNESCO World Heritage City List in 2005. Therefore, famous hotel of good quality service and facilities provided to improve good image of Malaysia. From this way, most tourist need stay in hotel during they travel in this city so the best employees in hotel are role in crucial and they should provide good service, facility, and environment to foreign that would be increase good image to them and gain much positive respond to Malaysia.

Offer recruitment of job vacancy which can reduce unemployment and crime rate in Malaysia. The hotel industry is increasing in recently and job vacancy offered and potential employees needed to recruit. Accordingly, the job vacancy is a good opportunity to jobless people and the crimes such rob and illegal business would be decreasing at the same time.

Recruitment can seek talents and train them to be professional in hotel industry either internal or external search. Seek and train talents to be professional of hotel can brought the benefits for each department and add more business opportunity and challenge in hotel industry.

Quality selection of staff is increasing foreign exchange and attracts more foreign investment in hotel industry to improve Malaysia’s economic. Government and private enterprise should cooperate together to give fully support for hotel industry in order to attract more foreign investment in Georgetown and whole of Malaysia. Not only increase investment and economic for our country, also obtain opportunities of cooperation and increase more relationship with foreign country through hotel industry development.

Recruitment and selection can get more information about wellbeing of employees to reduce turnover and fulfill satisfaction them in hotel. Turnover is common issue faced by hotel industry. High turnover rate became by many factors and some factors are regarding salary, environment, and welfare provided. In selection process such in applications and interview section, employer could obtain more details of applicants such salary and work place expectation. These will be fulfilling applicant in work place prior to employment. In hotel industry, these methods can satisfy all employees of each department prior to start working and easier to appease employees feeling by employers or managers in each department. Employees also may understand more regulation and rules of hotel through these methods.

The hotel industry also should base on staff skill, experience, and knowledge to choosing qualified employees. Selectors could hire good employees through recruitment and selection process but they incomprehension of employees’ skill and performance during working. Therefore, the selectors also need to base on scope of employees’ capabilities and adopt process of employment-test. The employment test is pen and paper test to evaluate knowledge of task such as calculation for cashiering skills. Practical test in the task, technical skill of chef’s and housekeeping experience, it is also importance.

Literature review


From the literature it is proven that the human resource development found within hotel industry are not unique and sole opinions from each one researcher.

Hotel operates in the industry within different classification. Stutts and Wortman (2006), the hotel industry is so complex and diverse and can be classified based on quality of facilities and services provided, target market and type of services delivered to the guests. Therefore, hotel is operation depends on its star rating, size, facilities provided, target market, and location.

Yusof, Razak, Radha, and Hamid (2010) identified, Malaysia Association of Hotels (MAH) operates on 1 March 1974 and it was established by a group of concerned and dedicated operators of hotels to bring about more information of hospitality industry. The main purpose of MAH is to provide information for human resource development provider. Additional, MAH to upgrade the skills and knowledge of employees in the hotel industry in Malaysia.

Human resource department is played an importance role in each hotel. Human resource department needs to responsibility for developing good service to customer and the interaction between employee and customer. The service encounter in tourism and hospitality organization involves an interpersonal transaction which takes place between customers in a complex human delivery system (Shariff, 2007). Furthermore, the management is also interaction between employers and employees. Johnson (1998) identified the management of the relationship between the employer and employee. The human resource department is focused on all departments in hotel and responsibility to hire employees. Goldsmith et. al., 1997, 2 determined a source of potential instability as far as the process of employee relations is concerned.

A research of Goldsmith et al., 1997; Schneider and Bowen, 1995 determined the effectiveness of service organizations is often linked with the individual qualities of their employees. That is mean of quality service provided, not just focus on high star rating of hotel but the attitude and performance of employees also need to focus.

Training process is crucial after hire the employees to increase the employees’ service quality but the recruitment and selection process are importance prior to start working. Research paper 2004 established by Lockyer and Scholarios (2004) indicated in their research that a best practices approach to human resource recruitment and selection might not always work in an optimal fashion within the hotel sector. In their paper they discuss how standard human resource procedures for the recruitment and selection processes are not always adequate when dealing with seasonal staffing challenges.

The behavior of employees also need to paid attention during the practices is going on. Researchers Raub and Streit (2006) propose that, based upon their findings, recruiters need to be open, honest, and “ realistic” in their recruitment efforts. This is ensuring safety of guest when the employees are serving them and reputation of hotel.

Magd (2003) identifies that hospitality industry managers need to give serious consideration to employing older workers. Older workers represent a mature, pragmatic, and capable labor pool. They can project a positive image, are strong communicators, have good time flexibility; tend to be more employer loyal and are more likely to show up for work as required. The older workers had having more knowledge and experience than new employees. Therefore, new employees should cooperate with older workers to learn more experience and skill from them.

The selection literature recommends the development of job and person specifications and the use of reliable and valid methods based on detailed job analysis, even for small businesses (Hunter and Schmidt, 1982). Therefore, the selection practice also is importance in the produces. Hayes and Ninemeier (2008) identified of importance of applications, interviews, testing, background checks, and references that human resource managers undertake when screening employees for possible selection. The selection literature recommends the development of job and person specifications and the use of reliable and valid methods based on detailed job analysis, even for small businesses (Hunter and Schmidt, 1982). These are show after assembled a pool of qualified candidates and comprehension in deeply to select the applicant wish to hire. Ineson and Brown, 1992; Law and Wong, 1997 determined it, in the hotel industry; however, there is little evidence of systematic selection practice to identify quality service characteristics. Some evidence exists for the systematic use of structured interviews and biographical data in larger and chain hotels.

The selection practice cannot be ignoring, but the recruitment process should be utilized beforehand. Shariff (2007) identified recruitment is the process of searching for and identifying job candidates in sufficient quantity and quality to meet the organization’s human resource needs. Hayes and Ninemeier (2008) discuss differentiate between the actions human resource managers take when selecting to conduct internal, external, or outsourced searches for qualified employees.

Conceptual framework





Pre-employment testing

Background checks

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