Why Ritz-Carlton doesn’t “hire” people

Ritz-Carlton does not hire people.

It “selects” them.

Words are important.  What we call things matters.  At Ritz-Carlton, they believe the word “hire” suggests a short-term job.  To “select” someone implies a long-term career.

And, the emphasis is on long-term.  The hotel’s focus on retention has resulted in a significant reduction in overall turnover: From over 50% in 1991 to less than 21% today.  

Ritz-Carlton’s selection strategy is clear: Hire for attitude first.  Skills, second.

What specific attributes do they look for?

An inner drive to go above and beyond.  A keen eye for detail.  Attitude.  Personality.  Work ethic.  Passion.  Warmth.  Genuine care.  

Ritz Carlton does hire people and then train them to care.  It hires people who are already wired to care.  

Next, it establishes a higher mission or calling: To provide memorable service to the hotel’s guests.  It’s about people taking care of people.  Yes, the product has to be the best of the best.  But it’s people who deliver memorable customer experiences.

“No matter how beautiful a building might be, it never has heart or soul until we animate it with our employees who bring it to life distinctly as a Ritz-Carlton,” says Ritz Carlton CEO Hervé Humler.  “Our biggest success has been defining and embracing a culture that puts people at the heart of our brand.”

Ritz-Carlton establishes high standards and sets clear expectations.  The message is clear: Develop up.  Or, develop out.  

100%.  Every guest.  Every time.  Always.  With a big smile.  And a love for what you do.

More tomorrow.

______________________

Reflection:  What might my organization learn from Ritz-Carlton’s selection process?

Action:  What one concept would make the biggest difference at my organization?  Do it today.

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