Job Credentials / Employee Portfolio
By Robert O'Halloran Professor & Director, Hospitality Management, East Carolina University | March 02, 2014
Hotels and restaurants, and hospitality businesses in general, strive to employ competent people in all management and staff positions. Organizations do so to assist in reaching their goals and objectives as framed in the organization's mission statement. For job applicants it is useful and necessary to present one's self as competent and with the proper credentials to do a job successfully. This can also mean evidence that "proves" one's ability to do a job and or illustrates one's expertise in a specific area. Evidence, one's credentials might be housed in a portfolio that the potential employee maintains throughout his or her career citing their accomplishments and expertise.
It is necessary in recruiting talent to examine, competence, effectiveness, and capacity to do a job including: education, related work experience, professional development, certifications, honors and awards, and or other demonstrated competencies and achievements that could contribute to business success (IPAR, 2012). Professional credentials are highly respected in the business world because these credentials represent a form of higher learning that demonstrates to an employer a professional's commitment to skills and knowledge advancement (Good, 2007).
For example, in a discussion of credentials, a restaurateur once complained that a newspaper's restaurant critic lacked the credentials to do his job (Fresne, 2007). In that instance the restaurant operator complained that the critic lacked food knowledge and experience, citing that the critic had not worked in the field professionally. The question is does one need to be a chef or hospitality professional to critique a meal and a restaurant? It is not difficult to further this discussion forward to ask how could a housewife become an internationally celebrated chef? Julia Child became an expert on food and cooking without "chef" credentials. She took classes for her own professional development, studied, worked with food, and co-authored a book to develop an in depth knowledge of the field. This experience and her more formal professional culinary courses development were her credential portfolio.
In another example, cited by Fresne (2007) sports writers and commentator's credentials were called into question if they were not formerly athletes. However, if we think of the many respected and in some cases beloved sports writers and reporters that developed a deep knowledge of the profession or game through long and astute observation and study; we know that being a former athlete might not be a needed credential for this job. The bottom line is that being able to do something yourself, is very different from being able to explain, describe, or interpret. Or in a hospitality professional job, be able to be make decisions that require a mesh of technical and perhaps managerial knowledge of the industry.