In The Spotlight: Caribbean Hospitality Recruiter Hannah Dalton
In this interview Hannah talks about what it’s like working at Energi, shares her advice for candidates and clients in the hospitality sector, and also a few words of wisdom for anyone thinking about joining a recruitment agency.
Hannah will be at CHRIS in Miami this May with our Caribbean Building Services Senior Consultant Sarah New. If you are also attending and would like to meet up to discuss your recruitment requirements, please get in touch.
Q1: What do you do at Energi People? Tell me a bit about your role
“I have just started building a new recruitment desk in the Caribbean for the hospitality sector, recruiting for engineering, executive level chefs, general managers, marina managers and other related roles.”
Q2: Before joining Energi People where did you work?
“Before Energi, I did door-to-sales and worked for some other recruitment agencies. I found them a bit too salesy and so took a year out and did some HR work before coming back into recruitment. I was referred to Energi People by an employer.”
Q3: What do you most like about working at Energi People?
“The atmosphere in the office is great and we have very supportive managers. We have the chance to develop our desks how we want, and obviously I love the team I work with!”
Q4: Since joining Energi People what have your learned, how have you progressed your career?
“I’ve learned to be very resilient coming from a market that was in a recession [Dubai]. During my time developing a new market I reached my first promotion within in 4 months and I’m now very close to reaching my second. So that will be 2 promotions within in 12 months!”
Q5: What are the key challenges companies face when recruiting candidates in your area of expertise? What’s your top piece of advice for companies in this position
“It’s challenging finding someone who has the right hospitality experience, especially someone with remote island experience. And then once we’ve found the right candidate it’s collecting all the paperwork, police checks and getting the visas processed. It can take anything from 2 weeks to 8 months so clients need to plan ahead and understand they need to be flexible.
“It’s particularly hard to find candidates with solid remote island experience, people who haven’t jumped between lots of jobs. We need candidates that have a proven history of sticking it out in one place. When we find the right candidate companies need to move quickly to secure them.”
Q6: What is the biggest challenge candidates face when looking for a new role? What’s your top tip for candidates in the current job market?
“My top tip would be to be prepared and have your documentation in place, such as police checks from everywhere you’ve worked. I would also recommend that candidates try to stay in one place for more than 2 years so you can show commitment, and don’t necessarily aim for top resorts – if you can get good experience at a 3 star resort, that can be enough to secure work at a more luxury resort.”
Q7: Has (and how) recruitment changed since you became a recruitment consultant?
“I haven’t worked in recruitment for very long so it’s difficult to say, but I think the biggest thing for me is building relationships remotely. I’m often operating in a different time zone and location to my clients and candidates, so it’s important to be available for them. I have Skype meetings with clients, I’m accessible at home over the weekends to build those relationships and I plan to get out to the Caribbean this year to meet them face-to-face and see the environment that candidates will work in – to make sure I’m finding the right candidates for the right environment.”
Q8: What advice would you give someone thinking about becoming a recruitment consultant?
“Resilience is the main thing, all recruiters take knock-backs every day. Be prepared to work hard, be organised with your time and plan your day so you can work smart. You don’t necessarily have to work late every day but make sure you’re working smart and working hard.”
Q9: What do you get out of being a recruitment consultant?
“Money! Having the ability to go on nice holidays and do nice things for my family. Obviously building great relationships with global clients and placing candidates in their dream jobs is also very satisfying.”
Q10: What are your plans for the future? What are your goals?
“Career wise I’d like to build my own team and develop the desk so it’s more of a global hospitality desk rather than focused on one region. It’s relatively easy to move people around the world in this sector so it makes sense to explore more global opportunities.
“Personally, in the next few years we’d like to buy a plot of land to build our own house. I’ve also got an ambition to get to New Zealand before I’m 30. It’s the next place on the bucket list!”
Q11: How do you take your tea / coffee?
“Tea is usually peppermint tea as we’re trying to be healthy on our desk. Otherwise coffee, black no sugar.”
Q12: Are you a dunker and if so what’s the best biscuit to dunk?
“We try not to eat biscuits so it’s fruit on our desk although we are partial to a bit of birthday cake!”
Q13: What has been the highlight of your time at Energi People so far?
“I was lucky enough to go to the MEP Awards in November 2017 and spent a week in Dubai with James Mowat which was a great chance to meet clients. I’m also really excited about going to the CHRIS conference in Miami with Sarah in May.”
Q14: What do you like to do outside of work?
“My favourite thing to do outside of work is to go on nice long walks to the pub with my dog. He’s an Irish Setter called Finny and he’s the best dog in the world! Going out with friends, seeing family and lots of holidays are also favourites.”
Q16: Who’s your office superstar? Who in the office makes a difference to your day / job?
“My number 1 office superstar is [coughs] Jemma but also Sarah, Marcia and Emma. We have a laugh at lunchtime and work very well together.”
Get in touch with Hannah if you need support recruiting in the Caribbean hospitality sector, or connect with her on LinkedIn to be the first to hear about roles she’s recruiting for.
If you are attending CHRIS (May 21-23) in Miami, both Hannah and Sarah are available for meetings during the conference. Get in touch with them to schedule a convenient time.
Energi People is a high growth recruitment agency and we regularly new opportunities to join our expanding team. If you’re interested in technical recruitment you can also find details of our current openings on the Energi People Hunted page here.