We all know that making a strong first impression is crucial when entering into a new role. For candidates, this can come at the all-important interview stage, but for employers, once their choice has been made and candidates become employees, that first impression is of even greater importance.
Great employers want to create a confident, enthusiastic workforce. They also want their employees to remain with them for as long as possible, and in order to do so, creating a solid on-boarding programme is essential.
In the On-Boarding category for the 2018 Caterer.com People Awards, our judges were looking for entries that demonstrated a well thought out, representative on-boarding programme, programmes that allow new recruits to gain everything they need to thrive within the business. They wanted details of the approach, content, delivery and results gained. Our entrants didn’t disappoint.
• De Vere
• Hyatt UK
• PPHE Hotel Group
• St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, London
• Starhotels UK
Judging this category were another powerhouse panel, many of them award winners in their own right:
Andy Gilhooley, Head Of Recruitment, Soho House
Andy began his career working his way up through the ranks and managing sites across various branded restaurants. After 12 years working in operations, Andy joined Soho House & Co as Senior Recruitment Manager to build a bench of senior talent and support the international growth of the business.
After a successful eighteen months, Andy was promoted to Head of Recruitment, overseeing and supporting a team of internal recruiters to aide the continued expansion of the private members’ clubs, restaurants and hotels.
Charlotte Summers, Head of People & Development, Hallmark Hotels
Charlotte initially commenced her people career within Four Pillars hotels, supporting its growth from two to eight properties. Being involved in such fast-paced growth was hugely exciting, especially new builds. De Vere was the next chapter, supporting the businesses through acquisition and change.
In 2011, Charlotte took on the Head of People Role at Bespoke Hotels, again supporting the business through growth and developing the Gotham brand concept which later opened in Manchester in 2015. Charlotte was instrumental in winning the 2016 Caterer.com People Awards for Launch Campaign. Charlotte is now working to build the Hallmark Hotels brand and team.
Emmanuelle Jugon, Talent and Culture, Accor Hotels
Emmanuelle transferred from her role as General Manager to become the Talent and Culture Manager. Now responsible for engagement, compliance, supporting the Franchise network in terms of Attraction to Learning & Development, coordinating transversal projects related to the company’s Digital and Cultural transformations, her focus is on supporting all talents who are engaged and committed to the vision of AccorHotels.
Geraldine McCormick, Head of Audience Experience, National Theatre
Geraldine is HR Advisor for Commercial Operations at the National Theatre, however, for the last nine months she has taken on the role of Head of Audience Experience – maternity cover. She is responsible for the department’s HR Advisor and Systems Manager, Resources Manager and Administrators. Their main goals are consolidation, a higher level of staff engagement through effective recruitment and selection, amazing onboarding and active and realistic performance management. They also focus on KPI analysis and future development for the whole of Commercial Operations at the National Theatre.
Jon Dawson, HR Director, The Mandarin Oriental Group
He is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and a committee member of the UK’s HR in Hospitality organisation. Jon graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a degree in Hotel & Tourism Management and started his career in Florida, USA with the luxury hotel company Boca Resorts Inc before joining Marriott International in 2002 on Marriott’s graduate program and progressed within the company holding various roles within HR throughout the UK. Jon has held a variety of hotel human resources positions within the hotel sector and is the Director of Human Resources for the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London Hotel & Residences which is currently undertaking a multi-million renovation of the entire property.
Marco Reick, People Director, Leon
Marco joined LEON Restaurants at the end of 2016 as People Director, having spent three and a half years at the fledgling Bill’s Restaurants as part of the directors’ team taking Bill’s from newcomer to nationwide restaurant brand during its rapid expansion.
Prior to this, he spent more than six years at The Restaurant Group plc as Head of Recruitment whilst the group was going through a period of significant growth. LEON’s mission is to make it easier for everyone to live and eat well, and this is true for both customers and the LEON team. Marco is passionate about ensuring this mission and the LEON culture are well and truly alive as LEON grows internationally.
Simon Dallyn, Global Recruitment Manager, Zuma Restaurant group
At 22 Simon moved into recruitment consultancy in the supply chain industry where he remained for 3 years. Hospitality came calling again in 2012 when Firmdale Hotels offered him the role of Recruitment Manager; he jumped at the chance. In 2014, Simon was approached by Azumi Group to join as Recruitment Manager for London representing their three brands in Zuma, ROKA & Oblix. Simon’s passion, commitment & success in his role was recognised in 2015 and he was promoted to Global Recruitment Manager, representing and working with all of the global teams for the group.
Let’s take a look at that shortlist:
The renowned hotel group didn’t look at induction in isolation, they looked at the issue from a broader perspective. They went about creating a range of workshops and online content to upskill their people in the key areas of recruitment, selection and training.
Their new Induction On-boarding process follows three clear stages:
• De Vere Group Induction
• Hotel Induction
• Departmental Induction
Designed as the perfect welcome to a new team, Departmental Induction is designed to show new recruits all the detail they need to know to get on and do their job. It’s supported by coaching and mentoring from a talent trainer. Role speciﬁc training grids are designed for every role in the business and outline all of the key tasks and skills team members will need to learn and master through their ﬁrst 90 days. These are checked and supported at one, four and 12-week reviews.
From internal research, Starhotels found that there was a communication gap between the employees, the complex oﬃces and their Italian headquarters. To bridge this gap and to embed the company culture, all new employees are given a “Meet & Greet” tour through the company properties and oﬃces, to meet the people with whom they will liaise outside of their departments. The company has a history of being a bureaucratic organisation which is challenging for millennials, hence gamiﬁcation elements were added to the process to give instant feedback and gratiﬁcation to ensure engagement with the younger team members. To have a robust approach and to target this age group, Starhotels implemented a new on-boarding system to help starters to integrate to the company, inducting them into the company culture, service standards and regulation within in six months of joining.
After a formal induction day, new starters follow the Starhotels on-boarding roadmap with departmental induction introducing them to task training with fellow employees (a buddy system) and role play. Front desk and supervisory level employees go through cross-training with other departments lasting two to three days to achieve a more wholesome understanding of the operation. All team members do secondment for two weeks over the ﬁrst six months as per their personal development plan to support their professional career development.
The problem that Hyatt found themselves in was to ﬁnd start dates that would correspond with their own Area Orientation dates. The hotel group would normally plan to run their Orientation programme only once per month, as it was often not possible to start the on boarding programme with Orientation. In the past, the hotel group had a few new colleagues joining them in the middle of the month, which meant they had already missed the ﬁrst two modules of orientation. Those were then often signed up for the other modules which caused some confusion and a missed opportunity to create a great on-boarding experience as the company induction only followed on a month after their start date.
To change this, Hyatt came up with simple, but effective solutions. Whenever someone joins the company in the middle of the month they organised a ‘Mini Orientation’ with their Human Resources team, who then takes care of the on- boarding by covering the most important aspects and procedures on their ﬁrst day. This includes a range of hand-outs and leaﬂets being passed on to all new starters to provide them with additional information about the hotel and its facilities. After the meeting with HR, Hyatt departmental trainers will continue with a show round and their departmental orientation to create a smooth transition. The new starter is being accompanied by a ‘buddy’ and will receive the relevant training and support from day one.
St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel
Whilst the HR team at St Pancras has enhanced the attraction of talent through a number of strategic initiatives, they wanted to grow their on-boarding programme to drive retention and growth within the hotel. With numerous tools and programmes to lean on, the HR team was determined to operate in an independent manner that truly reﬂects the Renaissance brand, as well as capturing the attention of talent to engage and develop from day one.
As part of their new strategy, all guest-facing new hires at St. Pancras attend training that looks more deeply at guest’s expectations and how they must exceed at every opportunity. Time is spent in the public space, watching, listening and thinking as guests and reporting back. The spirit of hospitality is discussed, the messages we send, and experiences they create all build appreciation for what is expected of them at St Pancras. They experience a live ‘sequence-of-service’ activity hosted by their Operations leaders, they eat in the St. Pancras restaurant and visit competitor locations incognito to truly see hospitality as guests see it.
PPHE Hotel Group
PPHE Hotel Group wants to create a culture of quality amongst team members with a passionate and proactive approach and who care and connect with guests whilst delivering great service. They feel that people who connect are those who build positive relations with others by being truly interested in their roles. They want team members who can live up to the mission statement: Inspiring guests through individuality and passion.
As part of their Inspirational Service Programme, PPHE develops their best team members for business improvement, progression, reputation and achieving growth potential. To ensure that all team members are involved in driving the culture, the company have implemented a delivery structure to maximise resources and ensure key company messages are cascaded to all levels of the business. As “Personal Growth” is a key aspect of training. PPHE use the you:niversity framework to grow team members. As this level is predominantly in the 19 – 34 age groups, the company can harness Generation Y talent and enthusiasm as a delivery team to implement their diﬀerent cultural initiatives.
Who will win the On-Boarding category?
Be there at the 2018 Caterer.com People Awards at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge, October 1st to find out.
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