Talent Development: Interview with Amanda Holmes, Director of Talent Management for FRHI Hotel & Resorts
The Young Hoteliers Summit Interview Series
a part of FRHI Hotels & Resorts for almost a decade since her graduation from University of Waterloo in 2004. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, she focuses on Human Resources and has received an MBA degree from Wilfrid Laurier University. Career highlights include winning the Outstanding CHRP Achievement Award by the Human Resources Professional Association in 2009 and being selected as one of Ontario's Top 30 Under 30 by the Ontario Hostelry Institute, for her work heading up Fairmont's global Leadership Development Program. It is a great honor and privilege for YHS to talk to Ms Holmes on 10th January 2014 about her life and career with FRHI -
1. To start off, could you give us a brief introduction on yourself ?
My name is Amanda Holmes and I am the Director, Talent Management with FRHIHotels & Resorts. Based in our Corporate Office in Toronto, Ontario, Canada I have been with the company for almost 9 years. In my role, I am primarily responsible for supporting the development and implementation of a talent management strategy that advances our company's growth plans and business objectives with a special emphasis on sourcing strategies to promote our employment brand globally. This can be everything from our career websites and selection assessments to social media and recruitment policies and procedures.
2. Why did you choose to enter the hospitality industry instead of otherindustries?
For the people! This industry is wonderful, welcoming and exciting. Every day is uniqueand you are surrounded by talented and passionate professionals.
3. Knowing that the FRHI Hotels and Resorts brand is expanding rapidly, whatdo you see as key to attract and retain talents for your brand?
The growth of our company means a number of great things for students and potentialcandidates looking to join our company. With our three brands (Raffles, Fairmont & Swissôtel) it is important that both our existing colleagues and potential applicants understand that this means we will have even more opportunities to offer individuals in more locations around the world. This is an exciting time for people to join a growing company where they can develop their careers and be part of this exciting and transformational change.Our programs for interns and graduating students help to bridge the gap from school to work and provide access to a network of top industry leaders. We look for top talent and help them unlock their leadership potential. The exposure this gives them is the gateway to a career as a leader with FRHI Hotels & Resorts.
4. How has this second Gallup Great Workplace Award impacted your company?
We were honoured to be selected for the Gallup Great Workplace Award. This and manyother regional awards we have been honoured with are a symbol that helps those who might not about the great programs we have in place. The Gallup award specifically honors organizations whose employee engagement results demonstrate they have the most productive and engaged workforces in the world so we are very proud of that !
5. During your career, what was the biggest challenge you faced?
That would have to be the challenge of time – there are so many initiatives you want tocomplete and it may always seem like there is never enough time in the day to accomplish everything so it becomes more and more important to make every minute count. You need to learn to prioritize what is truly important. Remember to stay focused and take every opportunity to get involved, to strengthen relationships and to make choices that move you towards your passion. Once you define your priorities and start to take action, the rest falls into place.
6. If you were to be graduating from a hotel school in 2014, what would beyour next step?
I would take advantage of all of the career services resources possible before Igraduate– sign up for interviews, classroom information sessions etc. to ensure that you can connect with top employers to find your dream job. Next if you don't already have one, find a great mentor. Leverage Alumni networks to find individuals who are in the position you aspire to be in one day and schedule career discussions about how they got to where they are today to gather some words of wisdom and advice. Having a great mentor to bounce ideas off of can be extremely beneficial both personally and professionally.
7. Lastly, can you give some advice for a young hospitality student that wantsto be successful in the industry?
My advice to a young hospitality student wouldbe twofold. First, use your internships wisely to build your CV and show career progression. This is your opportunity to "try out" different companies, departments and experiences (and vice versa) so that you can find out what you are truly passionate about. Often times it is in these internships that you develop both personal and professional relationships that last throughout your career so start looking early to find the right company for you! Secondly I would say use your networks and build great relationships. While this is a large industry, you will be surprised how often you run into people so be sure to make a lasting impression. Best of luck in your journey!
About FRHI Hotels & Resorts
FRHI Hotels & Resorts (FRHI) is a leading luxury hotel management
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opportunities for young talent in hospitality. It is the first entirely student focused and student run hospitality summit, designed to reduce the gap between the key stakeholders – industry, academic institutions and students from leading hotel management schools around the world. Creating a platform for knowledge and idea exchange, networking opportunities and a friendly competition, it works to foster a dialogue on employment related topics between these stakeholders. Its flagship event, the annual 3-day Global Edition Summit, is held at the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne. YHS is truly a unique opportunity! www.yhsglobal.com
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