Q&A with Group Recruitment Manager at Firmdale Hotels

Written by
HJUK Marketing 2022
Firmdale Hotels

30 Sep 2022

30 Sep 2022 • by HJUK Marketing 2022

This month we interviewed Kirsteen Raitt, Group Recruitment Manager for Firmdale Hotels on what makes them an incredible company to work for and the type of skills and personality their looking for from someone wanting to join their team.

View the latest vacancies with Firmdale Hotels here.  

What type of person do you try and attract to work in your business?

For some of our roles we do require a person to have specific skills e.g., chef positions - but a lot of our roles we can train and develop people. We would be looking for people who are willing to learn, have a ‘can do’ attitude, are friendly, have a strong understanding of what excellent customer service looks like and can deliver on that. Having the right attitudes and behaviours that match our values of ‘Passion,’ Resilience, Attention to Detail, Enthusiasm’ and the ability to build internal and external ‘Relationships.’

Why should someone choose your business to work for?

There are various reasons why someone would want to join us at Firmdale. Not only is the environment they are surrounded by stunningly beautiful and a place you’d be proud to be part of, but we have a wealth of experience within our existing teams, which will give new team members a great opportunity to learn and progress. Also everyone at Firmdale is welcoming and friendly and there is a sense of camaraderie and support from everyone

What do you offer your employees to help them develop skills and progress their careers?

We are fortunate at Firmdale that each hotel has a Human Resource Manager as part of their team and is based in that hotel. They are not only there to support the business but also the team as well from their on-boarding to their career progression. We also have our Graduate Management Programme, reviews and appraisals and an internal recruitment process for our existing team to apply to our various opportunities in Firmdale.

What additional benefits do you offer your staff?

Wagestream – team members can track their earnings and can access 30% of their earnings into their bank account whenever they need them e.g., to pay an unexpected bill
Perkbox - Access to our exclusive platform where you’re able to browse hundreds of different free perks, discounts, vouchers and discounts from the likes of Tesco and Asda

Firmdale discounts - Uniforms laundered for free, also discounted rate for personal items. Staff sales on cushions, TVs, candles, curtains, radios plus 50% Rik Rak products and free meals on shift.

Support with Travel Costs - season ticket loans and Cycle to work scheme.

Well Being - Employee Assistant, Mental Health First Aid, Trainers, and Perkbox Wellness.

Team events – Staff appreciation weeks, Friday afternoon tea, Social Events e.g., Summer Party.

Long Service Awards – which include dinner in one of our hotels and an overnight stay.

What advice would you offer to someone coming to interview for a job in your business?

Ask lots of questions, make sure this is the right role and company for you, do your research on the company, where possible visit one of the hotels prior to your interview. Be yourself in the interview, let your personality come through.

What’s your worst vs best experience working in hospitality?

I have many best experiences to choose from but one that always stands out for me was when I was a Human Resource Manager for a casino, and we were opening a new casino in Southend. We had over 100 skilled and unskilled positions to fill and it was quite a challenge. We worked with an external agency who helped people who had never worked before or had been out of work for some time. A lot of the candidates had tough backgrounds personally and no-one had given them a chance before. They were an amazing group, and it was great getting to know them and to see how they were progressing with the programme the external agency was putting them through.

We hired quite a few from the group and always one stood out for me, a very young lady who had never worked before and her personal situation was quite desperate. Last time I saw her she had progressed within the casino; she had her own accommodation and had just learnt to drive and had her own car. She still remembered me, gave me a hug, and thanked me for the opportunity that I had given her.  For me and I did say this to her, I only offered her a position, she did the rest herself.

Genuinely can’t think of any worst experiences in hospitality, I love the industry the good and the bad! Any bad experience I have had, I feel I turned it into a positive and learnt from it.

Click here to find the latest vacancies with Firmdale Hotels.


Firmdale Hotels