Seeking Excellent Recruits for Hotel Management Training: an Intercultural Comparative Study



This comparative study determines the degree of commonality between key success criteria, hence the employability profiles, of hotel management graduate trainees in Bulgaria and Romania. The opinions of 146 Bulgarian and Romanian hotel managers were solicited; the rated attributes ranged across the following: education and ability; work experience; interpersonal skills and competencies; intrapersonal qualities; prerequisite qualifications; work experience; and reasons for choosing this job. Key recruitment criteria and ‘ideal’ candidate profiles for each country are identified. Passion for customer service and passion for work are amongst the key indicators of excellence. Although substantial commonality emerged, a number of statistically significant national differences are apparent. The implications for applicants, educators, recruiters and trainers are discussed.

Key Words: Recruitment, Hotel management, Bulgaria, Romania, Employability; Training.


It is well documented that, over the last two decades, former Communist Eastern European countries have had to make rapid changes from centralised “command” economies to “market” economies (Hoffenberg et al., 1994). In the hotel sector, such transitions have had both positive and negative impacts. The former are exemplified in a growth in visitor numbers, improved transport links, relaxed border access and extensive international investment in the accommodation sector whilst the latter include mergers, takeovers, closures and redundancies due to overstaffing, especially at operative level, and the import of expatriate labour at managerial level. The number of accommodation facilities, including hotels, doubled in Bulgaria between 2005 and 2007 (National Statistical Institute, 2007) to accommodate the anticipated influx of tourists and business visitors following European Union (EU)...