Life at Hyatt: The Importance of Family

By on November 11, 2011
Editor’s Note: The following piece was written by Peter Wade, Director of Recruitment, Asia Pacific.  Peter was heavily involved in the opening of Andaz Shanghai and reflects on the experience in the blog below.  A huge thank you to Peter!  Enjoy!

Our "guest blogger" Peter Wade.

Recently I travelled to the city I grew up in…Adelaide in Australia. The purpose of my visit was to see my family and some friends. It was a wonderful 10 days of being looked after by my Mother and Father, enjoying the beautiful weather and even doing a little bit of gardening…something I cannot do living in an apartment in Hong Kong on the 21stfloor.

Going “home” to visit my family got me thinking about what it is like to work within a company that considers its employees as family. At Hyatt we often talk about the Hyatt family; when we do so we are not talking about our “family” of brands, but of our people, the people who make up this company.  Some of you may be aware that we recently opened Andaz Shanghai, I served as Human Resources support for the hotel and was intimately involved in the project. Andaz Shanghai is our first Andaz property outside of North America and Europe and is our fourth hotel located in Shanghai.

The recruitment process generated a lot of buzz, both within the company and outside of it.  With any hotel opening, we look at our internal resources and invite existing employees to express interest in being considered for roles at the new hotel.  In the case of Andaz Shanghai, we sent out circulars to all of our existing hotels in the People’s Republic of China and as a result of these circulars, we received internal nominations for available roles. At Hyatt, we firmly believe that opportunities for growth should be promoted internally before we begin to look at external candidates. This gives our employees the opportunity to grow their careers within our company rather than seeking career opportunities elsewhere.  Examples of individual growth within the company abound and I am one of those people who have grown within the company over the past 10 years.

Once we had selected our internal candidates, it was time to
look outside of the company, which brings me back to the theme of family.  We set up a career fair to allow us to meet as many external candidates as possible. The candidates were invited to learn about Andaz Shanghai and our commitment to welcoming our guests and making them feel at home. We wanted the career fair to align with the guest experience of Andaz Shanghai. Candidates were welcomed by Hosts, invited to sit down with the Host who reviewed a short presentation on an iPad. The presentation illustrated the hotel, showed interior representations of the rooms and Andaz Lounge, our restaurant and bar.  The Host also reviewed with  the candidate the Andaz service philosophy.

Candidates were then invited to meet with a representative from their prospective department.  They began the interview process, and if successful, progressed to the next stages.  On the day of the career fair I met many candidates who had previously worked for one of our other Hyatt Hotels in Shanghai.  These candidates had left for various reasons, but all wanted to come back to Hyatt. Some had been gone from Hyatt for a few years and others for a few months. When I asked each candidate why they wanted to come back the majority stated “I miss my (Hyatt) family” or “I want to return to my (Hyatt) family”.

When we opened the doors to welcome our guests in mid-October,
our Andaz Shanghai family consisted of 416 employees. Of the 416 Andaz family members, 40 were internal transfers from other Hyatt Hotels and 77 were past Hyatt family members who returned “home”.  We welcomed all of them with open arms and for those who returned to Hyatt it was as if they had never been away.

Family is important to all of us and the concept of family is important within Hyatt. I am lucky to be a member of two families: my own and Hyatt’s.

Some of our Hyatt family members at the Andaz Shanghai career fair.

About Ronisha

One of Hyatt's Regional Talent Acquisition Managers, Ronisha recruits for Hyatt's College Programs and supports our full-service locations within the East Coast and Midwestern regions of the United States. A lover of all things "social", you can follow her on Twitter at @ronishagoodwin