The Job Descriptions for The Commercial Team need an update

11 December 2020
After downscaling and cost-cutting, there are fewer resources available for commercial activities. An updated version of the old job description will help the commercial team to become more agile and productive in capturing the growing demand for accommodation in 2021. The starting point to work smarter in the new normal is a shared view on expectations.

The job description is more than 100 years old and was originally created in the industrial era when tasks needed to be very specific, and it served as an instruction to do the work right. The employee was not expected to think but only to perform the tasks that were listed in the job description. Times have changed, and now more than ever, we need people in the hospitality industry who can think for themselves and develop creative solutions for getting their jobs done.

A modern and innovative job description

There is a need for a new type of job description. It has to be more of a description of the area of responsibility, but it still needs to be a guideline to what to prioritize. When a job description is more open for interpretation, the manager needs to meet with the employee to onboard the employee to the job. Once there is a better understanding of the areas of responsibility, and what needs to be done, the job description can also serve as a base for training, setting goals, and performance reviews.

Creating a good enough job description is always a struggle for management, especially now when time is scarce. The way of working has changed for everyone during the pandemic, and this calls for an update of all job descriptions and especially for the commercial team members in a hotel. The commercial job to be done in a hotel is still the same. Bring in revenue. Because of lower demand due to the pandemic, hotels cannot afford as many people as before, so therefore fewer people are left to do the job. Therefore, it is even more important to be clear about what and how things need to be done.

There has not been much innovation in job descriptions for many years, so this is an attempt to bring the job description to a new level and make it a useful tool for managers and employees. The focus is on describing the areas of responsibility rather than specify tasks in detail. The intention is to create a more agile commercial team. Here are three roles that we think need an updated job description for 2021.

Commercial Manager

This is the leading role in the commercial team, so the focus is strategic and on leading the commercial team. The leader needs to understand the areas of responsibility of the team’s other roles to be able to coach them helpfully.

Sales Manager

B2B sales are more important than ever before now that business travel and corporate meetings will have evolved to something new during the pandemic. The focus is to build long-term relationships and to capture business that is starting to rebound.

Revenue Manager

Forecasting and pricing strategy is still an essential part of a hotel’s commercial strategy. Distribution strategy and correctly setting up the distribution connectivity is vital to capture the demand when it is low and slowly increasing. Finally, tracking pick-up helps to understand what actions are needed to maximize revenue.

The job description meeting

Every boss should have a one-to-one job description meeting with each employee. The idea of such a meeting is to agree on the content and especially the areas of responsibility. Once there is a mutual understanding of the job description, the chances are much higher that the job will be done faster and more accurately.

Both parties should be well prepared for the meeting. It is the boss’s job to put together a draft for a job description and share that with the employee before the meeting. Download these three job descriptions and use them as is or as a draft. That will save a lot of time. Both parties should be open to discuss and adjust all parts of the job description. Do not underestimate the power of this meeting. During the meeting, you will agree on realistic expectations of delivery and execution. After the meeting, you will share the same view on expectations, objectives, level, pace, tasks, etc. This meeting is probably one of the most important meetings between the boss and the employee for securing that the right things get done in the right way.

Work smarter - not harder

The work in hotels never stops. There is always something more that needs to be done.  The commercial team members could work 24/7 and still have unfinished items on the to-do-list. Most people are hired for a specific period of time, expressed as full-time, part-time, etc. The number of hours for a full-time job depends on the country’s labor laws and local agreements between employers and unions. Let’s make it easy and assume a 40-hour workweek. There are 52 weeks in the year, and from this, deduct public holidays, paid vacation, and sick leave. In Europe, most people work around 45 weeks, so in total 1800 hours per year. This means that a full-time commercial team member has 1800 hours to handle all areas of responsibility to deliver expected results. This calls for prioritization and the right resources (people and processes) to maximize productivity. The only way to succeed is to work smarter - not harder.

Demand Calendar helps you

All functions in Demand Calendar are there to support the commercial team and each individual role. With Demand Calendar each role will get their job done faster and more accurately. This will lead to higher total revenue and increased profits.