New concept. New tricks. Inspired by art, fashion, music and the millennial mindset, Radisson RED Brussels developed a revolutionary concept for hotel staff recruitment.
This year, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group opened its first ever Radisson RED hotel, in Brussels, Belgium. Radisson RED’s DNA sets itself apart from the traditional hospitality model, substantially by means of a more informal interaction between hotel staff and guests. RED’s people management model aims to be less hierarchic, letting people be themselves and connect more spontaneously. RED’s vision is also about breaking the routine: enable staff to vary between different front-of-house duties and free them from assigned areas where they were separated from guests by physical or invisible lines.
Being guest-centric means above all being people-centric, and for RED it meant moving away from the standard etiquette and approach to recruitment. In order to deliver such a unique experience, the Radisson RED Brussels opted for an innovative way to recruit the staff that would soon embody the Soul and Heart of the house. Together with Performance Solutions, the management team designed a RED Cast campaign based on new recruitment channels, new selection processes and new criteria.
A few months before the opening of the hotel, the recruitment team started to advertise the vacancies. They didn’t post the announcements on job boards though. With the help of Social Lab agency, an animated montage of photographs was spread via Facebook.
The message was addressing to people who would recognize themselves in the “portraits” of a bold urban crowd interested in art, music and fashion. It was more about people’s “potential” rather than their experience in the hospitality sector.
The advertisement was linked to a brief job description introducing the brand’s spirit and a presentation of the future roles. Unlike the habitual listing of responsibilities and tasks, the main objective was to attract and inspire people who could match with the brand’s culture.
Show us who you are in a creative way! The applicants were asked to send something visual to introduce themselves: pictures, videos or any other audio-visual presentation. From the beginning, the tone was set. Starting from the premise that there are things you can learn, the work experience was considered less important than personality, social skills, communicative enthusiasm and creative “expressivity”. It was a sort of “reversed” selection process where the resume was only secondary.
The team received hundreds of replies helping them to become familiar with the applicants before they even met in person. It was also a premiere for the management and a pleasant way of assessing candidates’ motivation. Only after reviewing the portraits, the team started looking at the CVs. 63 applicants were short-listed and invited to attend the next selection stage.
27th January 2016. There is a queue at the entrance of the H18 Art Gallery in trendy Brussels’ Ixelles neighborhood. No costume neither cocktail dress can be found in this crowd and the morning hour doesn’t really suggest an Art exhibition opening.
Today is Casting Day and the RED team has prepared some fun activities to get to know the applicants better and see if they will fit the RED culture. The day event is divided into workshops and breaks where everybody mingles with each other. Casters and candidates gather to the rhythm of various activities such as “Which RED are you?”, “Let’s dream away” or “Blind course”. The final act wraps up the day with a short improvisation played by each group in front of the whole assistance.
Late afternoon, it’s time to deliberate. The selective criteria focus on behavior and the candidates’ ability to communicate a feeling of ease, reliability, personal attention and emotional spark. Because RED is all about making the guests feel at ease, trustful, considered and positively surprised.
Looking at the pictures of the participants, the casters agreed upon the happy few who would become the very first RED “Creatives”. 26 applicants were invited to attend individual interviews.
The recruitment process ended with individual meetings. It was an opportunity to see if everyone was still interested in the job and answer to potential questions regarding the work or employment conditions. 19 candidates have been offered the job.
To be continued….
Of course, to build consistency with the new recruitment methods, the whole integration program was also shaped to be more interactive, fun and guest-focused. The newly formed hotel team followed one month of trainings and workshops to master the tools and techniques that will enable them to deliver a superior guest service. Since the Radisson RED Brussels opened April 18th 2016, guest surveys results demonstrate that satisfaction regarding staff exceeds 4.5/5. Even more, qualitative feedbacks reveal how much guests enjoy the Creatives’ friendliness and aptitude to deliver a seamless experience.
Source: Hospitality Awards