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A Powerful (and Simple) Approach to Hiring New Staff Who Make Your Culture Stronger

Service Culture

A successful service culture requires your people to collaborate with each other internally and exercise the partnership skills to create greater value for external clients. How do you find and hire such people? This is a critical question.

New Staff Recruitment is a key Building Block of a strong and sustainable service culture. In a previous blog post we provide a guide to interviewing and then hiring staff with a positive service mindset. This blog post takes us deeper into a specific and very successful example.

At Suntec Convention and Exhibition Centre in Singapore, staff members work closely every day to plan and manage major events for their clients. It is essential that teams work and communicate seamlessly. Sales, Marketing, Operations, Food Production, Stewarding, AV, Security, and Housekeeping must work hand-in-hand to create an “excellent experience” for all event and banquet guests. Behind the scenes, Finance, HR, IT and Administration must also provide excellent support.

Suntec has built an organization with enthusiastic culture dedicated to serving clients, and each other. So how do they find and add new staff who will thrive in this environment, and help to make it even stronger?

Here is Suntec’s simple but powerful approach to interviewing and selecting new team members.

When a job is posted for hiring in one department, staff members and leaders from other departments conduct the screening and interviews. For example, when a new chef is being hired, leaders from Operations and Housekeeping might be the first to interview. Only when the final two candidates are chosen does the Head Chef interview and select one person for the job.

This hiring strategy ensures two important results. First, department leaders are not inadvertently “hiring themselves.” Suntec doesn’t want people to hire people with the same background, same skills, and same biases as they already have. Suntec wants a more diverse and creative team.

Second, this approach ensures all new staff fit into the overall culture of service that Suntec has so carefully built. New team members are more quickly accepted and welcomed across departments when they understand the importance Suntec places on cross-functional partnership – right from the hiring process! Imagine how inspiring it is coming to work your first day with a wide range of team members from other departments all wanting you to succeed!

As Peter Drucker said: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” What kind of good-morning-new-hire-breakfast are you feeding into your culture? Are you hiring simply to fill vacant jobs? Or are you hiring the people to make your culture even stronger? What strategies for interviewing and recruitment do you use?

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