In a recent blog, I indicated that in the next two years we would be opening one hotel per month in China. This, of course, represents a huge challenge to hire and retain some 40,000 new associates.
We are working closely with several hospitality schools and colleges to hire the very best. Many of these institutions are not in the major cities, like Beijing and Shanghai, but in smaller cities in different parts of the country.
As we face this incredible challenge, we are ramping up our on-the-job training. We know that if we achieve the reputation of being the best hotels where people can learn the business, we will be able to attract and retain the very best.
Our Human Resources department is getting creative in helping us hire people and telling our story. They’ve started a video competition in China called Our Hotel Rocks. Hotel teams produced videos about why their hotel is the best in an effort to recruit top-notch associates. We are sharing the very best and posting them to Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter. I love to see the passion and creativity for Marriott. I’m pleased to report that our culture of taking care of our associates is making a big difference in China. For 2011, our Hong Kong JW Marriott hotel was selected by Aon Hewitt as the top employer in all of Hong Kong. This was a competition between 40 different companies across all industries. We were measured on five key areas that differentiate the