When people travel, they often need someone to handle basic tasks at the hotel at which they stay--securing transportation, moving luggage into and out of a hotel room, and the like. Porters are hospitality/tourism professionals who take on these responsibilities. Head porters have all the duties of a regular porter, but they take on more administrative and managerial responsibilities. They are important in making sure that all the other porters do their work properly.
Head porters have all the duties a regular porter has. According to StateUniversity.com, these duties include handling baggage and running errands for guests. Depending on the area of the hotel in which they are employed, they may have some housekeeping duties such as vacuuming and changing linens, or help take care of the hotel grounds. However, head porters are, first and foremost, supervisors. They assign calls to all the other porters and handle interviewing, hiring and training porters. They also keep records that report shift activity and verify work hours for each porter. A job description for a head porter from the Baglioni Hotel in London also shows that head porters may be expected to keep track of inventory, answer guest inquiries and provide information and participate in security measures such as key distribution.
According to StateUniversity.com, employers typically want porters to have a minimum of a high school diploma. New porters receive about 30 days of on-the-job instruction. Their performance in the position determines whether management will consider them for a head porter position.
According to StateUniversity.com, head porters must be able to get along with many types of people. This is because they have to be able to manage many employees, and because they must interact with large numbers of guests. The ability to communicate well is essential, since a head porter has to defuse conflicts between guests and management, as well as conflicts between the porters. A head porter should be able to delegate tasks and organize well to make sure that customer service ratings stay high.
Head porters, when performing regular porter duties, usually work just outside a hotel. They sometimes may have to travel outside of the hotel to carry out the wishes of the guests, however. They usually have eight-hour shifts, but they must be flexible in their scheduling because porter services are needed around the clock. The environment requires a lot of physical work and is usually fast-paced, especially during peak arrival and departure hours.
According to 2009 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, porters make a median hourly wage of only $9.65. StateUniversity.com places porter wages even lower at $8.69. However, head porters may receive some tips to offset this low salary.
- Photo Credit luggage in hotel room image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com
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