Two hundred staff will be need-ed
in early 2016 for Alberta’s first
full-service Hilton Hotel and
In Calgary’s tight job market,
where job seekers have a lot to
choose from, filling any position
– let alone finding staff for three
hotels and a conference centre –
is no small task. Statistics Canada
reports that in November 2013,
Calgary’s unemployment rate was
4.6 per cent, one of the lowest in
“The candidate pool is much
different in Calgary,” said
Hampton Inn hotel manager,
William MacCallum, whose 13-
year hospitality career has been
spent in Ontario.
“If I set up 10 interviews in
Ontario for a front desk role,
I would meet with 10 people.
When I set up 10 interviews here
in Calgary, five of them came in.
I had a really difficult time meet-ing
with candidates because there
were a lot of other opportunities.”
MacCallum says that Hilton’s
reputation as a premier brand
along with an excellent benefits
package helped secure the posi-tions
Hilton’s benefits package, which
includes life insurance, acciden-tal
death and dismemberment,
Hilton’s benefits package includes life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment,
long- and short-term disability and extended health, dental and medical coverage
long- and short-term disability
and extended health, dental and medical coverage, aims to not
only attract employees, but retain them – the hotel also offers an
RRSP matching program after one year of service.
MacCallum says that while many prominent companies now
offer benefits packages, Hilton’s sets them apart because it offers
100 per cent dental and health coverage.
Potential employees are informed of the benefits package dur-ing
the interview process and MacCallum says he believes it
makes a difference in employees’ decisions to work with Hilton
as opposed to with another hotel.
However, given the competitive market and need to hire for
multiple positions, it’s clear that a healthy benefits package alone
wouldn’t draw in employees; it was critical that MacCallum and
his team be strategic in their hiring approach to ensure they
hired a stellar staff.
“It’s important to look outside of the box and not keep a nar-row
vision on trying to find a front desk agent, for instance,” he
said. “As opposed to just hiring for that role, I always like to look
two or three steps ahead. I’m thinking about where that person
can go and how I can invest in them. I think that’s what HR pro-fessionals
should be looking for these days – not just to fill a
position but to see how you can grow and develop that person.”
Jenn Murray agrees. The 31-year-old Calgarian, with a diplo-ma
in Hospitality Management from SAIT Polytechnic, jumped
at the opportunity to get on board early.
“I’ve worked for prestigious hotels in the past and I saw that
the Hilton was coming to Calgary and I know that it’s a good,
reputable brand … I wanted to be part of that and part of the
growing team,” said Murray.
“I think it’s important for the employer to know what the em-ployee
wants to do and where they see themselves growing in the
company. The fact that there will be a lot of room for movement
and advancement within Hilton is another aspect that I was at-tracted
to. The role is really exciting – we’re coming together as a
group and building this hotel together.” ■
Photo by Stockbyte / Photos.com
40 ❚ MARCH/APRIL 2014 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL