By Whitney Harper & Jim Houran
In conducting interviews for our offices around the globe, we have been impressed with how many applicants have come prepared for their interviews. In particular, many have read a previous article that we co-wrote regarding the questions all candidates should ask potential employers. The purpose of these questions is to help applicants determine if the company is a match for them. To help you determine if HVS is the right company for you, we have responded to the five most frequently asked questions:
|1.||How does this organization listen to employee feedback?
Feedback is one of the greatest gifts our employees provide. An open dialogue means that they are invested in the company and engaged in the work they are doing. We have several structured programs to garner feedback in addition to the daily conversations our Managing Directors have with their team.
- Climate Surveys: on an annual basis we conduct a climate survey amongst all of our employees to determine areas of strengths and improvement from a global perspective.
- Global Business Teams: these are internal teams which consist of a member of our Board of Directors and employees from different offices around the globe. The teams are created based on the needs of the firm; then collaborate over a two year period to determine ways to respond to employee feedback and improve HVS as a whole. In other words, quality control and improvement is a very collaborative process that is largely driven by the employees themselves.
- Weekly Meetings: Most offices hold meetings on Monday mornings, during which employees share what they are working on as well as ideas.
- Daily Interactions: Managing Directors work closely with their teams and interact with their employees on a daily basis, which fosters multiple opportunities for feedback.
|2.||How does your employee performance evaluation process work?
The key to employee performance evaluations is having clear expectations. We have two formats that help to clarify expectations, celebrate strengths and identify areas of opportunity.
- 360 Performance Reviews: Each employee has the opportunity to participate in a 360 performance review. Employees are reviewed on each of the core values by their peers, supervisor and subordinates on an annual basis.
- End of Project Review Form: We received feedback from our employees that they wanted more structured feedback at the end of each project so we created an end of project review form. This form allows employees to identify their areas of strength as well as learn from their mistakes immediately so they can work smarter on the next project.
|3.||What opportunities are there for development?
The sky is the limit at HVS. We truly believe in an abundance mentality at HVS and that there are many opportunities for our employees. We have two core values that are related to development.
We are always looking to develop new services or new offices around the globe. As a company we are people-focused in that we find the right person then the right opportunity for them vs. a common approach of identifying an opportunity and then looking for the right person.
- Partnership Track: For employees who are interested in opening a new office or service, or taking over a current office, we have something called the partnership track to support them. Partnership track candidates create a tailor-made training plan to help prepare them for their ultimate goal. They are also mentored by their Managing Director as well as the president and COO of HVS, Steve Rushmore and Stephen Rushmore Jr., respectively.
- Professional Development Series: All employees are invited and encouraged to participate in our Professional Development series, in which employees share areas of expertise through Webinars. Employees can participate as a presenter or attendee and the topics range from industry trends, technical skills, soft skills, introductions to our different services and general hospitality knowledge. At HVS we have the benefit of working with some of the industry’s experts, and through the Professional Development series you can learn from the masters themselves as you become an expert yourself.
Certification Courses: In addition, many offices support professional development courses, such as Appraisal Institute or RICS sponsored courses. Employees have also taken courses at universities as part of their professional certification that has been sponsored by HVS. Employees are encouraged to speak with their Managing Director to determine the courses that will best support them in their career aspirations.
|4.||How does this organization reward talent?
The core value of entrepreneurialism ensures that we are providing the support needed for employees to be recognized for their talent. We reward talent in multiple ways; however, one of the overarching themes is to help showcase our employees in developing their own personal brand and expertise.
- Personal Branding: All employees are encouraged, to engage in the following activities to establish themselves as experts:
- Write articles
- Participate in the Professional Development Series
- Join a Global Business Team
- Attend the Global Summit
- Become a mentor
- Speak at conferences
By encouraging our employees to establish themselves as experts in the field, they are able to receive recognition from their peers, clients, and industry professionals, a more far-reaching and timeless reward structure than any certificate we could offer them.
- Pay-for-Performance: Compensation is another way that we reward talent. The majority of our offices follow a pay-for-performance compensation structure so that employees are directly rewarded for the amount of work that they do.
- Promotions: Each office handles promotions slightly differently, but quite a few of the offices have a self-motivated promotion process. This means that the requirements for each promotional level are presented to the employee and once they have completed all the requirements, they are promoted. For example, it may be required that an employee write a certain number of articles and pass Appraisal Institute courses in order to be promoted to the next level. Each promotion correlates with an increased percentage for the pay-for-performance compensation.
|5.||Can employees be themselves at this organization?
This is an interesting question that we included as an optional question in the previous article. At HVS, we want to hire people that are going to be successful at the company, and therefore hire people that tend to have quite a lot in common – a passion for the hospitality industry; a love for travel, food and wine; bright and intelligent with an entrepreneurial mindset. With these qualifications we have a very dynamic group of individuals in which everyone is encouraged to bring out their best talents. We encourage you to get to know our team and visit the section A Week in the Life.
We hope that by answering the questions we recommend all candidates ask that you will have a better idea if HVS is a match for you. For those of you that have additional questions, we trust that you will ask them in your upcoming interview, or please send them to Whitney Harper or Jim Houran. Best of luck!