If you want to know one of the keys to a successful hotel, ask the people who make up the perfect room for customers – housekeeping. It’s a good place to get a career in the industry underway and you can earn and learn from the day you start.
Haylee Keepa-Gordon hadn’t planned to go into the hospitality industry. Two years ago, she was a school leaver looking for work when her father noticed an advertisement for a housekeeping role at Ibis Hotel. She applied, got the job and it’s turned out to be an ideal way to gain valuable skills, knowledge and kick-start a career.
“It was an awesome opportunity that you wouldn’t want to pass up,” says Haylee of her experience training on-the-job at the Novotel.
So far, she’s managed to save for a holiday in Australia, and even better, gained a National Certificate in Hospitality (Accommodation) Level 2.
“It looks great on my CV,” says Haylee of the qualification she achieved with ServiceIQ and Accor Building Futures. “It’s a really good learning experience and I don’t have a student loan, which I’m really happy about.”
Housekeeping is “the spine of the hospitality business”, says Novotel HR manager Riti Sharma.
As a room attendant, it’s Haylee’s responsibility to make sure each room looks spectacular when guests walk in. She also needs to get the details just right, such as making sure regular guests’ rooms are stocked with everything they need, including their favourite tea.
Haylee says: “It’s not just a job for us. Our culture at Accor strives to create a memorable experience for guests as well as staff.”
“I clean the rooms, dust, make up the beds, and make sure every surface and detail is very clean and tidy. I’m also a self-checker so I have to assess my rooms and ensure everything is perfect. Sometimes when I go into a room and see the big mess I have to clean it can be stressful. We do have hard days but I’m more used to it now.”
Haylee gets pleasure and job satisfaction from great reviews and working with her team.
“The best thing about the job is when guests surprise me by appreciating what I do,” she says. “One of our regular guests thinks I’m an expert at bed making. She once made her own bed and got me to check that she’d done it properly.”
“I also work with a great group of people. Everyone is like family here – staff and guests. It’s a fun atmosphere, it’s really happy and we get on well. We have a lot of laughs. Our manager encourages us to give feedback and suggest ideas and improvements. It’s a great culture”.
Her next step in the hospitality industry is to cross-train on-job for a qualification and a role in front-of-house reception.
ServiceIQ offers the New Zealand Certificate in Hotel Reception Level 4 as well as qualifications for many other departments of the hotel business.