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e-service with style
Andrea Zavadszky
update on Friday, February 3, 2012
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A sleek, contemporary and innovative hotel in Kwun Tong will soon be throwing open its doors, and seeks stylish, confident and technically up-to-date staff who can offer personalised service.

L'hotel élan, the fourth property under the L'hotel brand by the Chinachem Group, will have its soft opening in late March or early April, and is holding walk-in interviews on February 8 and 9 to hire about 200 staff for operations, food and beverage, housekeeping and other functions.

"Both our hardware and software is characterised by style, energy, confidence, enthusiasm and vigorous spirit," says Sylvia Chung, general manager, L'hotel élan. "We need passionate and energetic professionals; they must have the confidence to be stylish in order to be part of the hotel."

The hotel is targeting the growing business community around Kwun Tong, with its increasing number of new commercial centres housing banks, insurance companies, IT and top brandname firms.

About 70 per cent to 80 per cent of the guests will be business executives, for whom the hotel will differentiate itself by relying on the newest technology in all aspects of service. There will be an "e-check-in" and an e-menu in the restaurant via iPads. Technology will support guest communications, with iPads and iPod docking stations in the rooms.

In communal areas, the hotel will use e-signage (such as the list of daily meetings), and an e-kiosk will take up the role of the concierge, offering extensive information on things to do in the area and the city at large.

This means that potential staff should be very familiar with technology, using it as part of their daily lives. "New things mean new challenges, and here they will have to embrace new things. So they have to have the confidence to face challenges," says Chung.

Staff will also have to be detail-minded and focus on personalised service. For example, first-time guests will be taken to the check-in counter on the rooftop, overlooking the pool. But repeat customers will use e-check-in and will be guided to their rooms straight away.

With young business executives in mind, the gym will be open around the clock, and lounge chairs with tea and coffee will be available at all times. The mini-bar will carry healthy drinks that will be free of charge.

The 254-room hotel already has most of its department heads in place. Staff at supervisory grade and below will be recruited over two rounds of interviews. On the first day, applicants for middle-level positions will have an individual interview with the relevant department head.

Those who pass the first round will be invited for a written test on the same day. Candidates who are shortlisted after the second round will be invited back for a second interview after February 9. In mid- to late-February, the back of house will be open, and staff will join in batches.

Chung says 200-220 staff will join the company at full capacity, and will receive induction and training. For the first 50 to 60 days, the training programmes will run non-stop.

New hires will be allotted coaches and mentors from the staff of a sister hotel, L'hotel Island South. The two teams will work closely, keeping in touch through video-conferencing scheduled everyday.

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