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An Interview with the Director of HR at the Sheraton Syracuse University

I invited the Director of Human Resources (HR) at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel and Conference Center to speak with us in my HR class this Tuesday. He shared with us what he does in a full-service hotel, which was an important component of my interview with him and had contributed to a great learning experience for students. I, however, believe that many professionals should have known what a Director of HR does in a company. Accordingly, I would rather share with you some career advice suggested by the guest speaker.  

First of all, a good HR manager requires certain level of maturity. Because a HR person deals with many secrets on the job, from employee’s salary information, birthday, marriage status, to things like going through a rehabilitation program, s/he must be able to keep secrets while dealing with a variety of employee issues.

Second, being flexible becomes even more important during the recession. If a job candidate is flexible in regards to location and work, s/he would have a much better chance of getting a job offer.

Third, job candidates must know how to market themselves. When a company receives hundreds of applications for one position, having a strong personal brand will help a candidate stand out from the crowd.

Last, traditional recruiting methods like classified ads on newspaper continue to be the most effective way of finding candidates for the frontline positions. I also heard that hotels and restaurants in New York City often use Craigslist to find job candidates. Accordingly, if a job seeker is looking for a job in Manhattan, s/he should try the Craigslist while practicing the online job search tactics we discussed before.

The students and I very much appreciate our guest speaker’s informative discussion. Based on your experience, do you agree on what I share above? If you happened to be sitting in the class, what are your takeaways from this interview?

Comments

  1. This guest speaker session with Mr. Bregande was very informational. I took away many of his points about professionalism and how you carry yourself at work. I thought his points on self-branding and marketing were very interesting as well. Today's work environment is very competitive and people must do anything possible for their interviewers to remember them. This plays into the self-branding aspect that Mr. Bregande was talking about. When you go into an interview, you might have done research about the company before hand, but could freeze up and forget some of the little facts. However, the one thing you are an expert in is yourself. He told us to be ourselves and be confident and professional in the interview process. Beyond being professional in the interview process, Mr. Bregande spoke to us about the importance of maintaining professionalism in the workplace. This holds true in all departments but especially in the HR department. HR is the place where people go when they need advice or need to vent. HR directors and managers therefore get to know a lot of information about the employees, and most of it is probably information that they do not want to be spread around the hotel. However, if the managers are professional they are also seen as trust worthy and employees know their information will be kept confidential. I always enjoy hearing about topics I am learning about from people that are working in those exact fields, and found this guest speaker session be keep that statement true.
    Rachel Braun

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  2. I agree with the takeaways you mentioned after speaking with the Director of HR of Sheraton Syracuse University. I enjoyed this guest speaker because I thought it was cool to have someone from a hotel I am very familiar with speak to us. Most guest speakers I have heard were from large companies that I either never heard of or was not very familiar with. The main thing I took away after this class was the importance of maturity when you have a position such as Director of HR. I never realized how many people might come to you with problems and how many confidential files HR managers come across every day. I think that probably makes their job interesting and I agree that it is important to be mature when handling such private information. I also was interested in the fact that hotels and restaurants use Craigslist to find future employees. I would never think to look on Craigslist for job postings and think it is interesting that this is an effective way to find job candidates. Overall, I enjoyed this interview a lot.
    Jamie Greer

    ReplyDelete
  3. I also really enjoyed listening to this guest speaker. As you mentioned above, I learned a lot about what it takes to be a successful HR manager. The HR manager has a very independent role and they need to stay aware on what is happening in all departments. I also agree with the fact that a good HR manager has to have a high level of maturity. You are dealing with different employees with different personalities and feelings everyday and you definitely have to have a sense of balance for these characteristics. Another point that the guest speaker mentioned that I believe is really important is if you want your customers satisfied, you have to satisfy you employees. This is a very important point because the way that you interact with your employees is ultimately going to be that way that they interact with your customers.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This was the second time I have met Mr. Bregande, the first was in Dr. Kwoks Hotel and Resort Operations course. In that course, Mr. Bregande discussed more about the Sheraton itself and the different positions in the hotel. The second meeting with Mr. Bregande was strictly HR based and I found it much more informative coming from a man who has worked HR for over 30 years. From meeting him twice, I can tell he is a great guy who is easy to talk to and feel comfortable talking to. These are traits that an HR professional needs to have, as they talk to many employees everyday. I found it interesting when Mr. Bregande was discussing secrecy and how many secret and personal information an HR has on every employee. I believe from this, it takes a very professional attitude, a trustworthy person, and a mature person to be a director of HR.
    I agree with you Dr. Kwok when you write about "flexibility." In this day and age, it is important to be flexible as it will give you that extra push when it comes to find a job in such a competetive job market.

    Ben Weber
    HPM-314

    ReplyDelete

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