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1.1               BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Human resources are easily recognized as the most important resources required for the production of goods and services, as well as the key to rapid socio-economic development and efficient service delivery.

According to (Barney, 1995:50), human resources include all the experience, skills, judgments, abilities, knowledge, contacts, risk taking and wisdom of individuals and associates within an organization. Without an adequate skilled and well motivated work force operating with a sound human resources management programme, there will be no development. Any organization that underrates the critical role and under plays the importance of people or human resources in goal achievement can neither be effective or efficient.

The realization of the value of human resource in any organization has in recent times led to a more human focused approach in managing organizations. Thus, human resources management has gained prominence in business management. Human resources management is a modern term for what has been traditionally referred to as personnel management. A strong tendency to adopt the term ‘human resources management’ as a substitute for ‘personnel management’ has developed and grown stronger (Ikeagwu, 1998:96). Human resources management embraces those activities designed to provide for and coordinate the human resources of an organization. It involves management decisions and practices that directly affect or influence the people who work in the organization (Ugbaja, 2007:78).

The burden of human resources management rests squarely with line and functional managers who as departmental heads, design and utilize the elements of human resource in their departments and units. Indeed every manager should be well acquainted with human resources management process and procedures should not only co-operate maximally with the director of human resources, as a specialist but also apply relevant elements and procedures of the process, in most effective manner, at various levels of organization. This is the only way the work force can be effectively engaged for the achievement of organizational goals (Eze, 2002:33). They are particularly keen to employing individuals who can operate flexibly and adapt to different tasks as opposed to keeping rigidly defining job demarcations. They must also be able to adapt to rapidly changing work arrangements.

Some of the human resources challenges that face most organizations are in recruitment, performance appraisal, training and development, motivation and compensation management, etc. Recruitment has become and important element in human resources management. The challenge does not end with recruiting the right people but hoe to ensure effective appraisal of employee’s performance. With respect to training and development, the challenge is developing and implementing suitable training programmes so that the employees are well equipped to handle challenges ahead (Nelson, 2005:2). Offering the best possible compensation package is in itself a challenge. But, the real challenge is how to incorporate all these elements in human resources management and use them in achieving the ultimate goal of the organization, which requires exceptional performance. Many hospitality industries have one or a few of these elements but very few operate the whole package. So completely developed human resources management remains an unusual management style. It is against this background that this study will emphasize on human resources management practices in the hospitality industry.


Protea Hotel (Nike Lake Resort) is a three star international party government owned hotel. The land on which the hotel is situated is owned by Nike people. The hotel was built during the regime of Governor Jim Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo, the first civilian governor of Enugu State who ruled from 1979 to 1983. At the onset, the original name of the hotel was not Protea Hotel but Nike Lake Resort.

Governor Jim Nwobodo took up the project immediately after visiting Italy where he signed the contract with an Italian firm. He received assistance from the former Anambra State Government. Governor Jim Nwobodo after laying the foundation could not continue as a result of the inability of the government of Nigeria in assisting him in doing the work, when his tenure was over, the contract was taken over by the next military Governor Akonobi and the project was commissioned by General Sani Abacha (the then president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1988).

The hotel was managed by the Enugu State government until later in year 2000, when a foreign consortium, Protea hotel took over the hotel. This body (Protea) practically contributed generously in making it possible to complete and bring the dreams of the state government to actualization.

The board of directors of Protea hotel (Nike Lake Resort) is made up of some politicians, businessmen and wealthy individuals. From the year 2000 when the management by Protea started, there arose a need for a white man to be the general manager of the hotel to reshape the hotel the way it will appeal to the guests and the management team now ranges from the general manager to other classes of staff. Protea hotel pays the state government dividends for the profit made. Today, Protea hotel continues to receive some assistance from the state government for its renovation programme but more often than not, the major funding comes from the hotel itself.

Furthermore, Protea hotel (Nike Lake Resort) as the name implies comprises both the hotel and the lake. The hotel is affiliated to Protea Hotels, South Africa. It has other brances in and outside Nigeria. Some of these are;

  • Obudu Protea Hotel Ranch Resort
  • Abuja Protea Hotel, Apo Apartments
  • Bauchi Protea Hotel, Bauchi V.I.P.
  • Port Harcourt Protea Hotel, Port Harcourt. Opening soon is Protea Hotel, Garden City, Port Harcourt.
  • Protea Hotel, Abuja.
  • Lagos Protea Hotel, Victoria Island. Opening soon is Protea Hotel, Kurama Waters.

Protea Hotel, Enugu is classified as a five-star nationally, but a three-star internationally. This classification was made after the quality of the services and facilities available within the hotel were graded. The lake side and other facilities constitute the interior of the hotel complex. The indices used for the above classification is that they offer good services and accommodation facilities for moderate guests and they cater for international travelers who cherish privacy.

Protea Hotel, Enugu is a quiet hospitality outfit located on the outskirt of Enugu town. It has a good number of room configurations that serve the interest of various categories of guests/ visitors. The decoration and luxury of the hotel are the first among equal in Enugu State. The hotel has remained one of the leading hotels in the State and has its facilities upgraded.


This study seeks to know the effectiveness of human resources management practices which are recruitment, selection, placement, training, performance appraisal, etc in the hospitality industry in Nigeria with Protea Hotel Enugu (Nike Lake Resort) as its focus.

However, it has become difficult to know the methods and policies affecting the recruitment, training, motivation, selection, appraisal, placement, compensation, deployment and utilization of human resources especially in the hospitality industry. Human resources management is concerned with obtaining the best possible staff for an organization and catering for their welfare so that they will stay and possibly give their best to their jobs. In other words, getting the right caliber of people by process of recruitment and selection to meet the organization’s need is not just enough. Certain conditions are to be created and also met or achieved which will make employees stay on the job and cope with the demands of the job. Some hospitality industry do not have employee training and development programmes but where they exist such are inadequate and ineffective. The compensation and rewards systems are very poor and inadequate in many hospitality industries, which result in inadequate motivation and low productivity. Management employee relations are not satisfactory which reflects in poor management and leadership styles. Also inadequate and ineffective social security schemes for employees reflecting compensation policies.


In view of the above, objectives of the study will include;

  • To examine the recruitment, selection and placement of employees in the industry.
  • To examine employee training and development programmes in the industry.
  • To examine management employee relations in the industry and to determine how it affects workers’ productivity.
  • To examine compensation, reward policy and social security schemes of the industry.
  • To suggest ways of improving the efficacy of human resources management in the hospitality industry.




The following questions will be addressed in this study;


  • Does the organization have policies on human resources management?
  • Are recruitment, selection, and placement policies effective in the industry?
  • How effective are the employee training and development programmes in the industry?
  • Does a management employee relation exist in the industry?
  • To what extent are compensation and reward systems effective in the industry?
  • How effective are the social security schemes in the industry?

1.5       HYPOTHESES

The following hypotheses are put forward for this study;

  1. H0: Human resource planning is effective in the industry.

H1: Human resource planning is not effective in the industry.

2. H0: Training and development programmes are effective in the industry.

H1: Training and development programmes are effective in the industry.

3. H0: Compensation policy is effective in the industry.

H1: Compensation policy is not effective in the industry.



This project is a study of the human resources management practices which are recruitment, selection, training, placement, performance appraisal, etc of a given hospitality industry namely Protea Hotel, Enugu (Nike Lake Resort). Data shall be collected from the employees of the industry to enable the researcher draw acceptable conclusions on the various questions raised in this research work.


The significance of this study can be viewed from two major standpoints – academic and practical.

For the academic significance, this kind of study will provide meaningful information to the existing staff and the entire members of the public especially the students who may likely wish to take up an appointment with the industry. It is intended to serve as an eye opener to the individual staff to equip themselves with proper educational qualification before taking up an appointment with the industry so that they can aspire to the highest post in the industry.

In the practical significance, the work has practical implications for hotel operators; human resource managers in the hospitality industry, workers in the hotel industry and employers of labour in general. This is necessary as this study will provide information on recruitment, selection and training of workers in these areas. It would also help to bring ideas which include flexibility, customer orientation, a focus on quality and a strog sense of employed commitment to the industry.

With regards to the nation, the research will show the proper benefits of human resources management practices in the hospitality industry to the economy of the nation.


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