Recruitment Lessons from My Favorite Hotels in the World

By Joyce Gioia CEO, Employer of Choice International, Inc. | October 02, 2011

General Managers worldwide face different challenges in recruitment. How they handle those challenges to provide the highest levels of service is a reflection of their leadership. And their strategies and tactics provide great insights for their peers.

Visit hotel schools

For a long time I have recommended to clients of all kinds that they go into the schools. Recently, I was pleased to discover that one of our favorite GMs, Fintan Odoherty from the Windsor Plaza Hotel in Saigon (now Ho Chi Min City), does just that.

Odoherty personally visits the 10 to 12 hotel schools in his city and "lectures" to interested students. His last topic was "the importance of communication in hotels". His presentation was preceded by his Human Resources Director delivering a talk on their property, and he finished the program with a look at "a typical day in the life of a Hotel Manager".

"The presentation generated so much interest that I had to bring the question and answer session to a halt after one and a half hours!", said Odoherty. These sessions and others conducted by his managers are so successful that they have quite a few students start with them part time, while they are still in college.

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.