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Hotel du Vin puts faith in graduates to manage Newcastle hotel

08 February 2008 by

Hotel du Vin plans to install a senior management team made up entirely of staff from its graduate development programme when it opens in Newcastle later this year, Caterersearch can reveal.

In what chief executive Robert Cook describes as a first for a UK hotel, the property's general manager and deputy general manager, reception manager, bistro manager and assistant managers, housekeeper and bars manager will all be chosen from employees who are either coming off the company's programme or have completed it and been in management roles for the past year.

"This is not a PR stunt," said Cook. "Our raison d'etre is growing young talent, we believe in the galvanisation of academia and industry. This is the fruit of our great people development programme. Now we're showing the guts and tenacity to give this a go."

Cook denied there was a risk that employees might be promoted to senior positions prematurely. "If you are good enough, you are old enough," he said. "We're giving them a £12m toy, but if we give them this opportunity, they'll want to be more successful than their peers."

The 42-bedroom Newcastle development, which was damaged by a major fire last year, is scheduled for a November opening.

• In December Malmaison held a recruitment day in Luzern, Switzerland, hosted by recruitment firm HGR. As a result it offered positions to five candidates. Although the group recruited some 68% of new staff through word of mouth last year, Malmaison and Hotel du Vin director of people development Sean Wheeler said online advertising was attracting a larger pool of candidates. He added that with the businesses continued growth and the calibre of hotel school graduates abroad, recruitment weekends were more economical and effective than flying individual job candidates to the UK. Malmaison plans to hold another recruitment weekend with HGR in March.

Malmaison and Hotel du Vin annual Corkers awards >>

Robert Cook denies he is to leave Malmaison and Hotel du Vin >>

Fire delays new Hotel du Vin in Newcastle >>

Police now treating Hotel du Vin fire as arson >>

By Mark Lewis

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