August 09, 2018

Our associates are our strenghts

The 9.957 associates of HMSHost International are the real heroes behind the organisation’s success story. But how do you create a corporate culture in which everyone wants to excel, and how do you keep this up when you achieve a growth of 20% each and every year? CEO Walter Seib and Vice President HR Kimberly DeMello give their vision about the most important capital, ‘the human capital’.

Flexible organized

“Our associates are at the heart of our business. The more focus and care we can provide to them, the more attention will be placed on our guest and business associates”, explains Kimberly. “That is why we put considerable amounts of effort into what employee satisfaction and personal growth means for our employees. HMSHost International continues to celebrate rapid growth, which in turn has enabled us to widen the offerings to employees, from benefits to trainings to development.”

Walter agrees: “In spite of our growth, we are very flexibly organized so that we can evolve with changing trends and the diversity of guests. That is largely due to the fact we are a flat organization that provides our people with confidence and stimulates entrepreneurship. We put a great deal of effort in recognizing, training, and offering career opportunities.”

  • - 18 countries
  • - 42 airports
  • - 21 train stations
  • - 4 shopping malls
  • - 9.957 associates


From Store Manager to CEO

Climbing the ladder from the work floor to the boardroom is not merely a dream; it is a reality at HMSHost International. Walter symbolises the unlimited opportunities within the company; starting as Store Manager, he ultimately reached the position of CEO. “The attention for talent development is what makes HMSHost International such a unique company. The quality of our associates is our strength. I learn from their input and drive every day. We hire employees based on empathy and energy, more than on diplomas. With personal coaching and training, employees can further and develop their talents with us.”

Also Kimberley takes pride in a corporate culture that cherishes talent, rewards initiative and welcomes criticism. “I am always happy with input from my colleagues in the operation. Grateful for feedback that prompts me to think. If 98% of the associates are involved in the operational side of the business, their experience should form the guideline for our company. This is why their empowerment is so important to us. Without their talents, we would never be able to excel. This is why we help our associates develop in the direction of their choice. We can do this not only in practise, but also through the training programmes provided by our HMSHost Academy. These programmes encompass everything from practical training on the job to intermediary and even higher professional education at a university level. If you like speed, dynamics and initiative, the sky is the limit.”

New way of managing

“Today’s world demands a new way of managing”, is the opinion of Walter. “Today, the organisation, the employees and the guests indicate what is needed and partly determine what the desired direction is. As a management board, we must anticipate and move with the times. If you don’t listen to that, you will lose your right to exist as a company in the long term.” HMSHost International enables people to experiment and to make mistakes. “We don’t have a blame culture. Even more: if we as the executive leadership team don’t do something well, we deliberately share that with everyone. Then nobody has to make that mistake again. By providing transparency and creating a safe environment, people can show initiative. They dare to take action. And we have a strong capacity for self-correction as an organisation. We never stop exploring new ways of making a success of projects and initiatives that don’t succeed at first. That company culture will ensure that we will remain number one for many more years.”

Interested in working for HMSHost International? We are always looking for open and enthusiastic team players with ambition. Check out our recruitment website.