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Our associates are our most important assets

The more than 11,500 associates of HMSHost International are at the centre of our company. They made it possible for us to turn 500-plus F&B stores from simple food outlets into ‘places to be’. As an acknowledgement of the importance of good employees within our hospitality industry, HMSHost UK sponsored the 2019 People Awards, that took place in September. John Kahn, head of Human Resources for HMSHost UK, was interviewed at this occasion. He explains how HMSHost recognises and rewards the hard work and talent that gives life to our industry.


Associates turn food outlets into places to be

HMSHost International operates more than 500 stores in 19 countries, across 43 airports, 35 train stations and 7 shopping malls. These extensive operations entail the need for a lot of associates. “At this moment, over 11,500 associates work for us around the world”, explains John. “Each associate has been carefully selected, because we know that their expertise, enthusiasm and experience is the key to our success. We look at their skills in combination with the role and the team in which they will be working, but also at their natural ability to give special attention to our guests. By selecting carefully, we’ve turned our 500-plus F&B stores from simple food outlets into ‘places to be’, where it’s all about good impressions, genuine hospitality and eye for details.”

Providing a great candidate experience

At HMSHost we invest significantly in the personal development and training of our associates. That starts directly in the selection procedure. John says: “We aim to provide a great candidate experience. Right now we are trialling new group assessment based interviews. These are designed as fun-filled sessions that allow us to see the personality of candidates over their skill-set. Our chefs participate in a competitive cooking format, like those shown on television. For our front of house roles, we organise a talent show format where candidates can audition as a group or individually. Both of these formats encourage lots of laughter and teamwork.”

Recognising and rewarding hard work by giving Return on Attention

All of HMSHost’s associates are encouraged to pursue opportunities to develop their careers be it nationally or globally within the organisation. HMSHost could never be successful without good associates. “That’s why we are committed to be an employer of choice, and that begins with recognising and rewarding those who already work with us.”

“It is the same reason why we are globally rolling out our cultural change movement titled Return on Attention”, reveals John. “Attention is the guiding principle at HMSHost. It makes people smile, it breaks down barriers and it generates goodwill and indulgence. Attention is our secret ingredient that includes everyone. It inspires our associates, it generates partners that prefer to work with us and it turns hasty people on the move into appreciative guests that keep coming back.”

Return on Attention focusses on associates being the company’s most valuable assets, with a continual roll-out of initiatives to recognise and reward talent as well as showing appreciation. John shares: “It’s a welcome addition to our broad portfolio of employee benefits and programmes. For us in the UK these include a fast-track management program, apprenticeship scheme, assistance to EU Nationals with applying for Settled Status and recently an increase in pay rates to match the UK’s recommended Living Wage. We believe strongly in our values and we boost our company culture through a monthly corporate value promotion; every month an employee from each of our stores is nominated as most strongly demonstrating the month’s value, receiving a recognition pin, their name mentioned in our newsletter and an entry into our annual prize draw.”

As good employees are crucial to the success of HMSHost, we invest a lot in the recognition and the rewarding of talent and hard work. We’re always on the look-out for reliable people who are passionate, open, pay attention to details and know how to set the pace in a busy, time-challenged environment. Does this sound like you or like someone you hold dear? Discover more about working with HMSHost, or contact one of our Human Relations departments across the world.