Emirates Palace General Manager, Bugra Berberoglu, congratulates a new member of the Emirates Palace team after his contract signing Emirates Palace General Manager, Bugra Berberoglu, congratulates a new member of the Emirates Palace team after his contract signing

Hundreds of job offers were made on the spot at Kempinski Hotels’ first regional Career Day held at Emirates Palace on December 7.

Eighty-five percent of internal candidates and 46% of external candidates were given job offers by 20 Kempinski GMs from the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia and 12 corporate VPs and regional directors.

Ten per cent of the external candidates, who had been pre-selected to attend the event in partnership with Bayt.com, signed contracts at the event.

More than 300 entry level, middle and senior management positions were available with Kempinski in the region, and an additional 300 vacancies were on offer elsewhere.

Kempinski COO Duncan O’Rourke, also present at the Career Day, explained the initiative was part of a strategy to ensure general managers interview for all positions.

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O'Rourke said: “We’ve moved away from the human resources doing this and playing the God in the hotel, rather the general manager. And we insist that every single employee in our 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 this”.

The Career Day formed part of Kempinski’s ongoing recruitment programme ahead of ambitious targets to double its global hotel portfolio.

The group plans to expand its world-wide portfolio from 73 properties to 120 by 2015.

To meet the demands of this growth, Kempinski needs to fill 22,500 positions over the next two years.

Kempinski Hotels president and CEO Reto Wittwer said: “Our aim is to double our portfolio by 2015.

“Finding new talent, which will push us further in the future, is and will continue to be our utmost priority. We are looking for candidates who are interested in different cultures, speak various languages and are looking for a bit of an adventure abroad.”

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

O’Rourke said the company needed to identify talented staff in advance of the new openings.

“By 2015, we have Nairobi opening. We have Ghana opening. We have Egypt opening, the Royal Maxim which will redefine luxury in Cairo, it will be our second property in Cairo. We have Doha opening as well. Bahrain has just opened. We have two hotels in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia opening. We already have one in Al Khobar, but we will open Riyadh and Jeddah as well. There’s a lot on our plate and there’s the danger,” he warned.

“What is very dangerous is that you start to lose the DNA in the brand and the brand identity that has made us very special. If you are suddenly bringing in 5000 more people when you bring in a new hotel and a new destination and there are very few Kempinski employees in there it becomes extremely challenging.

“Hence we also take this opportunity to maybe hire people a year or a year and a half early and they also get immersed into what Kempinski’s DNA is,” explained O’Rourke.

Kempinski will hold its third Worldwide Career Day in Munich on March 2 2013, with all of its general managers in attendance offering global placements for internal and external candidates, and its second China Regional Career Day will be held on March 23, 2013.