Hotel group seeks future leaders

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 February, 2008, 12:00am

To accommodate expansion in the fast-growing hotel industry, Regal Hotels International has a management training programme to develop newcomers with leadership potential. The group, which operates seven hotels in Hong Kong and Shanghai, with more than 4,000 rooms and 40 restaurants and bars, plans to hire 30 employees for the programme.

Brian Liu Ka-sing, group director of human resources, said a major recruitment drive was under way. 'To meet the group's needs, we've increased the number of trainees,' he said.

There are 10 management trainees in the programme, which has been in existence for 12 years. Candidates undergo training in departments from food and beverage to rooms division, sales, marketing and human resources.

'We've received 200 applications and shortlisted 60 candidates for the mass recruitment selection,' Mr Liu said.

Employees are trained at the hotels and the corporate office for 2? years before being offered positions from assistant manager upwards. To ensure the right manpower for the hotels, the selection process is divided into three parts - paper screening, mass recruitment selection and panel interview session - to evaluate the candidates thoroughly.

In the paper screening stage, qualified candidates are shortlisted through an assessment of their academic backgrounds and experience contained on their resumes. Shortlisted candidates will then go through the mass recruitment selection featuring written and aptitude tests. In the final stage of vetting, potential candidates are required to attend the panel interview session, a small-group interview in front of a representative from the human resources department and department heads in order to observe the quality and personality of candidates.

The group looks for candidates to display skills based on its own core values - passion and ownership, innovation, continuous improvement and teamwork.

Mr Liu said candidates should be well prepared for the interview and ensure they had a smart appearance and make the most of their communication skills.

'They should also think about how to show their quality in the interview and study the requirement of the position they are applying for,' said Mr Liu, adding that candidates should show their integrity and leadership skills.

While applicants were mainly graduates from universities in Hong Kong who had majored in hotel and tourism management, Mr Liu stressed that candidates with overseas exposure would have an advantage. 'The hotel industry is a global industry,' he said. 'We have to serve customers from different parts of the world. International experience will definitely benefit our work.'

Thomas Shum Man-lung, management trainee, food and beverage, thinks candidates should be passionate about the job and flexible at work.

Mr Shum, a graduate in hotel management at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, said the training equipped him with professional knowledge, skills about hotel operations and the chance to practise different management strategies.

Jessica Ng Wai-wah, management trainee in communications, found the training to be challenging because she was offered the chance to train in different departments. 'Your challenge is different every day,' she said.

'For the same nature of work, it will be different when you are dealing with different customers.'

She advised candidates to be open-minded because there were different challenges to handle and many things to learn.

Mr Liu said there were plenty of opportunities. 'The hotel industry has been pretty good [in] recent years. [The programme] provides opportunities for newcomers to join the industry.'