Win 'a lure for key staff'

THE prestige of the Business Awards is not just for locally-based companies, but a powerful tool for multi-nationals with bases in Huntingdonshire. The Huntingdon Marriott Hotel has used its accolade in last year s Training and Development Award as an int

THE prestige of the Business Awards is not just for locally-based companies, but a powerful tool for multi-nationals with bases in Huntingdonshire.

The Huntingdon Marriott Hotel has used its accolade in last year's Training and Development Award as an international recruitment magnet and to lure key new managers after senior managers in place a year ago moved up to regional roles in the group.

"One of the key successes at the hotel has been the development of three individuals on the world renowned Marriott International "Voyage" graduate programme," said new general manager Assem Sweidan.

"A great example has been the career development of Richard Kidner to the next level in the last18 months through a combination of Marriott's core and "Passports to Success" training programmes. He began his training with the hotel on joining the Voyage programme in the restaurant and bars area where he trained on all the technical aspects of the department as well as the competency expectations required of a Marriott International associate.


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"His success led to the opportunity to develop further in the rooms division area, increasing his knowledge of front office operations including duty management of the hotel. Richard's determination and commitment to his career and to Marriott took him to the next level, when he successfully secured the position of assistant conference and banqueting manager, a key position in the food and beverage division of the hotel, ensuring we exceed the expectations of the many local, national and international businesses the hotel and area attracts."

Assem's arrival, together with that of HR director Jon Dawson, both whom bring a wealth of Marriott International overseas experience, were followed by the appointment of Calvin Forder as director of operations to boost the hotel's commitment to the development of its people.

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Already implemented is the extremely successful Essential Skills Course, one of Marriott International's supervisory programmes, in conjunction with the Northampton Marriott. This course sees potential up-and-coming managers and supervisors attend a day's session every month over a 12-month period enabling participants to put their learning immediately into practice.

The hotel is also further developing this year's two Voyage graduates - Lisa Cullen, whose aspiration will see her become an executive housekeeper in the next 12 months, and Abhijit Sawant, who is showing great promise within the food and beverage department, Mr Sweidan said.

"The biggest coup though for the Huntingdon Marriott this year could be the ability to attract their newest graduate for next year's intake of the Marriott International Voyage graduate programme from the Johnston and Wales Hospitality University in the US," he added.

"During a recent visit to Providence, Rhode Island in New England by Jon Dawson a talented individual was spotted, who has since successfully succeeded in being one of 80 students to secure a place on the Marriott graduate Voyage program from nearly 5,000 applicants.

"I am now looking to attract this individual to the Huntingdon Marriott Hotel and will be using the accolade of last year's award as leverage to attract such a quality new addition to the team.

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