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Four Seasons Hotels Recruitment Strategy

Mark Attard

Livewire Communications Toronto

NEED/OPPORTUNITY / Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is a luxury hotel company and one of the world’s premium brands for service quality. At the heart of its offering are its people, who are considered the most important aspect of creating a luxury experience. Four Seasons hires only people who believe strongly in pursuing excellence and who fully embrace the Four Seasons service culture.

In 2007, Four Seasons anticipated the addition of an unprecedented number of new properties, which necessitated a dramatic increase in hiring across all levels of the organization, a task complicated by the need to hire only the most exceptional candidates. The most difficult task was hiring the highly sought-after graduates from the world’s best hospitality schools for Four Seasons’ training programs that lead to management careers.

The human resources (HR) department recognized it was not as successful at hiring preferred candidates as it had been in the past. Previously, HR could count on hiring the majority of graduating students identified as a good fit. Now, quite a number were accepting offers from competing hospitality companies.

Four Seasons was concerned that the critical element in the Four Seasons brand, the excellence of its employees, could be impacted. They asked Livewire Communications to investigate what had caused this change and to develop a new student recruitment campaign that would help reverse this trend.

INTENDED AUDIENCES / The primary audience was the predominantly “Generation Y” graduating students of hospitality programs at universities worldwide.

Secondary audiences included:

• Key Influencers:

Parents of graduating students

Professors and career counselors at international hospitality schools

• Non-graduating hospitality students (years one through three)


• To communicate the Four Seasons brand and career opportunities in a manner that would appeal to graduating Generation Y hospitality students in order to increase the percentage of successful hires of targeted (desired) candidates by 10 percent (over 2008).

• To influence the influencers with the merit of the Four Seasons opportunity so that they would recommend Four Seasons in classes and at universities (professors, career counselors) and support the choice of Four Seasons as a good career path (parents).


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