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A spirit to serve

Published on Friday, 15 Nov 2013
Gary Siu, HR director at Renaissance Harbour View Hotel HK, says personality is of utmost importance.
Photo: Dickson Lee

Marriott Group seeks guest services officers as its Renaissance brand grows

In tandem with the plans of its parent group – hotel giant Marriott International – to double its size in Asia in the coming years, Renaissance Harbour View Hotel Hong Kong is currently recruiting.

Gary Siu, the hotel’s director of HR, says he is looking at universities and hotel schools for young hoteliers to fill positions for guest services officers. “Skill is not our primary focus – personal quality is more important. A guest services officer will have frequent contact with guests and must provide assistance at any time. Hence, the right candidate needs a passion to help, which is one of our core values – a ‘spirit to serve’,” he says.

“Being energetic, thoughtful and knowledgeable about the area are essential to create memories during engagement with our guests, and help them to discover the hidden gems in Hong Kong,” he adds.

Renaissance hotels encourage guests to “live life to discover”, so candidates who know the city are a plus. “We see our associates as ‘navigators’ who help guests discover something wonderful and new during their visit. The hospitality industry is a people business which involves lots of interaction, so you must be empathetic, patient and attentive to create a welcoming environment,” Siu says.

The hotel’s management believes that taking care of employees via a “people first” attitude will, in turn, inspire them to take care of customers. “As one of Fortune’s ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ for 16 consecutive years, Marriott International is widely recognised as a great place to work,” Siu says.

“We emphasise personal growth and career advancement to foster our talent pool. We have a special programme called ‘Human Capital Planning’, where evaluations and communications will be arranged to identify high-potential associates. We provide feedback and a tailor-made development plan,” he adds.

The hotel aims to facilitate personal growth and work-life balance to help create a happy workplace. “We are a five-day-work-week company and training will be provided to every associate,” Siu says.

Such training begins as soon as new recruits join. “All new associates will attend a two-day training session, where they will learn basic information about our company. Then junior associates will undergo around 50 hours of training to develop the skills required to perform their jobs, while 15 modules will be provided for supervisory associates to pave the way for their career advancement,” Siu says.

“Meanwhile, we identify potential managers and arrange a specific course, ‘In Motion’, to facilitate their development. An online platform is also available to provide a convenient training channel.”

The hotel always looks internally when it comes to filling senior positions. “This helps to boost morale and maintain a high level of performance, and enables junior associates to see their opportunities to grow,” Siu says.

Starting out as a guest service officer with Marriott International eight years ago, Cherry Tam was recently promoted to front desk manager at Renaissance Harbour View Hotel Hong Kong. “With rapid expansion, there are lots of internal transfer opportunities, allowing associates to develop their skills and expertise in various fields,” she says.

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