Meet Neil Shorthouse FIH, a passionate hospitality professional and Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, who boasts more than two decades of experience in creating industry-leading, revenue driving platforms for companies.
Tell us about what you are currently doing in your own career.
Currently I lead Shorthouse Hospitality International, a luxury management consultancy firm working with clients both within the UK and Internationally.
What’s been your biggest achievement since working in the industry?
Starting and developing my own company that enables me to share my knowledge and experience with individuals as well as giving back to local organisations both within the UK and overseas.
How can the industry recruit more people to work in hospitality and see it as an exciting career choice?
Hospitality is not just confined to hotels, bars and restaurants within the UK, it is an international / global industry. We need to share this and let people know that potentially the world is their oyster with some many companies having operations internationally.
If you could say just one selling point to attract someone to work in hospitality what would it be?
Hospitality is international and a potential way to travel and see the world whilst working and doing something that you enjoy. Basically in some ways if you work on a Cruise Ship you are paid to travel and see the world for free whilst working.
What’s been your most memorable day in your working life?
So many memorable days within my career, I guess being chosen to launch the very first cruise ship for Disney Cruise Line, and being given the opportunity to live in Orlando, Florida and Venice, Italy prior to launching the Disney Magic.
What’s been the biggest change to the industry you’ve seen over the last 10 years?
The industry has become so dependant on social media, and that students and those joining are forgetting the fundamental aspect of how to commutate effectively with each other and most importantly with our guests.
What advice would you give to someone considering a career in hospitality to make them stand out above other candidates?
Learn from the ground up, get stuck in, don’t be afraid to ask questions and get involved. Its about being passionate and having the right attitude over anything else.
Who has inspired you the most during your career so far?
My parents as they have always allowed me to do what I want and follow my career and goals. As well as my mentors who keep help guiding me through my career. Meg, Gen, Antony, Lynsey.
What role does social media play in recruitment and retention?
It now plays an integral part, although candidates should know how to use it, vs just saying to someone hiring ‘look at my profile’ that puts me off. I want to know about the person, that shows me no passion, drive or commitment. I’ll still take time to meet in person and find out about them vs social media.
Why did you join Institute of Hospitality and which elements of the membership do you use the most?
I joined when it was the HCIMA, back in my student days. I enjoy the social / networking aspect of the IOH. Most recently being a mentor in the mentor-me programme as this showed me that we have some great leaders coming through and that they need to be guided and supported at all times, so that we can leave a great legacy and be inspirational to those joining.