Kempinski chief operations officer Duncan O?Rourke Kempinski chief operations officer Duncan O?Rourke

European luxury hotel group Kempinski is set to hold its first regional Careers Day tomorrow at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, with 500-plus job seekers expected to attend.


Twenty Kempinski general managers from hotels in India, Middle East, Africa and East Asia will be present and prepared to make job offers on the spot.

Kempinski chief operations officer Duncan O’Rourke, also in Abu Dhabi for the event, told Hotelier: "[Candidates] will be offered jobs on the spot – it is very important for them and for us. This is fundamentally different from what everyone else is doing. I think if you total up, we’re probably looking for around 300 people".

He added: "We’ve moved away from human resources doing this and being god in the hotel rather than the general manager and we insist that very single employee in the hotel is interviewed by the general manager, so it makes sense for them to come in now on these mass recruitments and be able to do that. If they’re successful they get offered a job immediately".


The group will welcome 50 internal transfer candidates from its hotels in MEA, all willing to transfer three to six months after the event, and 400 external candidates, pre-selected from Bayt.com’s database of more than 400,000 hospitality profiles.

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In addition, there will be 50 hotel school students in attendance, from the Emirates Academy of Hotel Management in Dubai, the European International College in Abu Dhabi and their affiliated hotel schools in Europe, Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne and Cèsar Ritz.


Twelve corporate and regional experts, including Bayt.com HR director Suha Mardelli — responsible for helping Kempinski shortlist the external candidates — will also attend the talent hunt.

Speaking to Hotelier Middle East ahead of the event, Mardelli said: "What is highly unique about the Kempinski approach is the fact that the key decision makers are there available and approachable.

"The GM is right there, he meets with you, he can decide right there and then whether you are the right person for his team. That in itself is something I haven’t seen before, so we're very proud to be associated with it," she added.


Kempinski will be hiring close to 2000 people for upcoming hotels in the Middle East within the next two-three years and up to another 5000 people for hotels in Africa.


The group has planned a second regional Careers Day event for China in 2013, as well as an annual worldwide Career Day to be held in Munich in March 2013.