When hiring, KemperSports looks for candidates with strong communication skills, listening skills, problem solving skills and are team players.
Heather Margulis, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at KemperSports, is keenly aware of the importance of making the right hire.
“Hiring the right staffers is key to our business’ success,” Margulis said. When interviewing candidates, we are looking for the right culture fit and attitude and for staff who can live and walk our True Service Principles:
- Be genuine, helpful and friendly
- My attitude is my responsibility
- Customer happiness is everything
- To the customer everything matters
- Service is a team sport
“Staffers coming from industries and backgrounds in customer service or hospitality have great skillsets, which include strong communication skills, listening skills, problem solving skills and are team players,” Margulis added. “These skills help to deliver strong customer service experiences for our clients, customers and members. We want these types of individuals on our team to best service our clients, customers and members.”
Jody Graham, Vice President of Business Development at KemperSports, looks beyond the resume.
“I’ve visited hundreds of golf courses over the years to either acquire or discuss management options,” Graham said. “Once I meet with the GM, head pro or other leaders, I can immediately tell if the club has a culture of hospitality – and ultimately predict the property’s financial success without seeing a financial statement. That’s how important having a hospitality culture is in our industry; it absolutely reflects in the club’s financial performance.
“Because hospitality is so critical, I tend to dig deeper into resumes and ask about jobs before college and during high school – anything in the hospitality field,” he added. “Those skills are so valuable in life and, of course, in our industry. In golf, we can’t control the weather or the economy, but the one thing every GM, department head or anyone who’s in a hiring position can control is the culture and that starts by making sure the team they build has a hospitality focus.
“I always tell young people to get a job early at a golf club, a restaurant, a hotel – any environment gives you a chance to engage with others and provides experience in hospitality,” Graham continued. “The hospitality mindset can be developed as long as you put yourself in situations to develop it. For example, my 15 year-old son works at cookie and ice cream shop serving customers after school and on some weekends. He could easily have a job in non-customer contact environments and, as much as he may not like me pushing him into this, I know this will pay off for him. I have already seen the impact in the way he engages with others, especially with adults, and his confidence has increased greatly. It’s very rewarding to have this skill set because it stays with you forever and is a positive no matter what industry or profession you ultimately choose.”