In just 10 years Swire Hotels has built two successful brands, established a strong presence across Asia and entered the US market with great success. Their unique approach has been to focus on perfecting the guest experience rather than rapid expansion, and as Sonia Lau, Head of People Development, explains, Les Roches students have been a big part of it right from the start.
Swire are one of the largest recruiters of Les Roches interns and graduates, and a regular presence at campus Career Days. “We’ve been coming to Les Roches to recruit students from when we first opened, which is ten years ago”, Sonia said. “Every year we recruit approximately 30-50 interns, around 20-plus for full-time employment, and I would say over 50 for applications for MIT (Manager in Training).”
We love the international perspective that the students have. That’s why we always want to come here to Les Roches.
Bringing international ideas
When it comes to excelling in an international industry with clients from around the world, it pays to study hospitality in a multicultural environment. “We love to come to Les Roches, because we find the students are very dynamic, with international backgrounds”, Sonia said. “A lot of them have exposure not only to Switzerland, but they come from all around the world.”
Leading the guest experience
Sonia has complete confidence in Les Roches interns and graduates to deliver the exacting standards of the business from day one. “We have two different brands – one called The House Collective and the other one East – to cater to different customers”, she said. “We welcome students for all the different streams, but I would say we mainly recruit students in front of house areas, what we call guest experience positions.”
The importance of personality
When part of your brand promise is to deliver ‘a bit of playfulness and sense of fun’, it’s clear Swire place a value on individuality as well as ability. “One unique quality that we look for in students is quirkiness. A very unique character. We hire personality and character”, Sonia commented. “The advice that I could give to the students is just to be themselves, be genuine. And if they truly love hospitality I think they will naturally excel.”
Thank you to Sonia for taking the time to share why she and Swire have been recruiting from Les Roches for over 10 years.
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Discover the full interview with Sonia Lau