|International survey finds students eager for global career opportunities.|
Thursday, 31st May 2012
Source : Hilton Worldwide
Hospitality students around the world are eager for international career opportunities, and many are considering working in China after graduation.
These were the result according a survey jointly conducted by leading global hospitality company Hilton Worldwide and Les Roches Jin Jiang International Hotel Management College (LRJJ), China’s top international hospitality management school.
The survey, which aimed to better understand young people’s – popularly known as ‘Generation Y’ - thinking around careers in the industry, was conducted as part of the two-day ‘Generation Y Conference’ in Shanghai. A total of 473 students from leading hospitality schools across five countries – China, Switzerland, Australia, Spain and the United States – took part in the survey.
“China is witnessing an unprecedented growth in the hospitality sector, which presents huge opportunities for young people who have a passion for working in the industry. Hilton Worldwide is committed to nurturing young talent to support our expansion needs, help young professionals realize their career ambitions and also contribute to the overall development of the industry,” said David Osborne, senior vice president, Human Resource Operations and Development, Hilton Worldwide. The company has an ambitious goal to extend and deepen its presence in China by expanding from the current 28 to over 100 hotels in the market by 2015.
In the survey, international career opportunities was cited as the top factor for choosing to study hospitality, with over half of respondents (51 percent) citing it as one of their top five reasons. In addition, 65 percent of students are considering working in China after graduation. Among students in the Asia Pacific region, Hilton Worldwide is the top choice to work for, with 57 percent of them choosing it as one of the top three hotel groups they would consider working for.
Other key survey findings include:
Hospitality education an asset, management and leadership courses valuable: 40 percent of students surveyed ranked hospitality education as one of the top three factors that will help them achieve their vision of a successful career. Management / entrepreneurial / leadership courses were most frequently cited (59 percent) as one of the most valuable classes for preparing for their careers. This could be because nearly three out of four students (74 percent) expected to start their careers in a supervisor / team leader position and above.
Career ambitious, but also value work-life balance over the long term: Career progression within the company was named by close to half of the students (47 percent) as the most important factor when applying for the first permanent job. However in ‘defining success 10 years after graduation’, ‘having a family, a job I like, friends and living a happy and balanced life’ was most important, with 71 percent of respondents choosing it as one of their top three criteria, ahead of even ‘owning my own business’ (48 percent) and ‘holding a senior management role in the hospitality industry’ (42 percent).
Relationships most critical factor in staff retention: To ensure a long-term relationship with employers, students most value excellent relationships with colleagues and superiors, with over half of them (52 percent) choosing it as one of their top four criteria. This was followed by good balance between professional and private life (43 percent) and having the freedom to decide and manage (39 percent).
In line with the insights, Hilton Worldwide has in place a range of initiatives to support young talent in their learning and career development. It has forged partnerships with LRJJ and other leading hospitality colleges in China to offer top students internship opportunities to complement their classroom learning. Under the program, the company will also organize guest lectures, on-site visits and e-learning programs specially designed to prepare students for the workplace. Outstanding students could potentially secure job offers with Hilton Worldwide upon graduation.
“The value of hospitality education in preparing students for successful careers in the industry is well recognized and appreciated. We will continue to work closely with leading industry players like Hilton Worldwide in developing our curriculum to meet the changing needs of the workplace and provide our students a head start in their careers when they graduate,” said Judy Hou, CEO of LRJJ.
Beyond partnerships with hospitality colleges, Hilton Worldwide also invests heavily in training initiatives for its close to 12,000 staff in China. Promising talent are offered international career development opportunities and access to professional training and development across functions. A structured succession planning program is also in place to groom talent into more senior roles faster.
“Talent is the most critical resource in the hospitality sector as it is the people who ultimately deliver the guest experience. Hilton Worldwide has invested heavily in talent development as we believe the company that is able to best attract and groom talent will gain a huge competitive edge in the rapidly expanding Chinese market,” said Lawrence Lee, vice president, Human Resources - Greater China & Mongolia, Hilton Worldwide.
Its investment in staff training and development has earned Hilton Worldwide a strong reputation as an employer of choice in the hospitality industry, being one of only two players in the industry to be named in the ‘2011 Best Employer for Chinese University Students’ survey conducted by ChinaHR.com on university students.
1 - Survey by Taylor Nelson Sofres PLC (TNS) conducted across on more than 50,000 hoteliers across 70 countries from Sep-Oct 2010