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The Caterer

Red Carnation Hotels

18 November 2005
Red Carnation Hotels

Red Carnation Hotels is an employer of choice for a host of varying reasons!

Firstly we have a fair and thorough interview and selection criteria. All our managers are trained to interview to the highest standard. It's not just a chat; it's a conversation with a purpose! Our comprehensive and well-designed recruitment packs ensure that some standard questions are asked and these conform to criteria on our person specification - what we are looking for in each and every Red Carnation Hotel employee. This is one of the many systems we have in place that has recently lead and contributed to the Springboard Retention Award for 2005.

Likewise our training and development is second to none. Recently awarded the National Training Award for Greater London, we have built some truly superior programmes that help all team members and managers who wish to develop, grow within the organisation, collecting internationally recognised qualifications along the way. This helps ensure people stay with us and has been a factor in our labour turnover dropping from around 80% four years ago to a more healthy 29% at present.

We reward our employees for all hard work and the achievement of success in their area of expertise: Employee and Manager of the Month; Employee and Manager of the Year; Central Employee and Manager of the Quarter - in recognition for our central support areas (quite unusual in the hotel industry); distributing "Catch a Stars" to anyone performing above and beyond the call of duty; Specific Skills Trainer of the Year; great incentive schemes in front office and food and beverage services; the annual Staff Appreciation Party; and Mrs Tollman's Roll of Honour - these are just some of the methods we have in place for rewarding and showing how much we value our people. (These initiatives were given particular mention by the IIP assessors when we successfully gained Corporate Investors In People - the first privately owned hotel company in England to gain Corporate recognition).

Our Management Programme consists of three tiers and is designed to encourage people in to the hotel industry. General Managers who have achieved outstanding results are usually great managers of people - our Management Programme is structured to provide you with opportunities to develop your people management skills as well as technical skills. A few months spent in Front of House Operations, Reservations, Yield Management and Revenue Management is followed by time in the Food and Beverage Department, getting involved in the day-to-day smooth running of the department. This will be followed by one month in each of the Central functions ie. Accounting, Human Resources and Sales and Marketing. Your assigned mentor will also guide you through exciting project work.

As a company we very much encourage people applying from universities and colleges to spend their industrial placement with us. We prefer people to stay for 48 weeks though we do accept students taking just 6 months if they sound like Red Carnation people! We have therefore put together a supervised work placement programme which we hope eventually would lead students to take up our fast track opportunity - the top tier Management Programme, once college is completed, of course. This supervised work placement usually takes place in one department, covering all areas. Again we link this on job development to formal off job training and during each work placement we encourage and support students to complete some specific development courses. This is all in preparation for receiving them back to continue their careers with us at Red Carnation Hotels!

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