Industry Advice from Four Seasons Vice-President, Human Resources Asia Pacific

16 March, 2015
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Industry Advice from Four Seasons Vice-President, Human Resources Asia Pacific

The Swiss Education Group and Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts have shared a strong relationship for many years. Now thanks to an official partnership signed in 2014 between Hotel Institute Montreux and Four Seasons, the recruitment link is stronger than ever!

By SEG - Editorial Team



Mr. Patrick Ghielmetti, VP of Human Resources Asia Pacific travels from Singapore to the International Recruitment Forum year after year seeking Swiss Education Group talent. With a warmth and charm that makes you feel completely at home, it is clear from the onset that Mr. Ghielmetti found his calling in the hospitality industry. Interested to learn more about his recruitment approach, SEG sat down with him to learn his tips for interviews, key qualities he looks for in candidates and how he landed in his current role today.

SEG: How did your career in the hospitality industry begin?
Mr. Ghielmetti: I can actually pinpoint it back to a precise memory at the age of 7. I was staying at the Hotel Danieli in Venice with my parents and I remember the thrill of riding the elevator all day and the exciting atmosphere of the hotel. Before the end of my stay, I walked up to the General Manager, introduced myself and announced then and there that one day I would have his job. It took 33 years, but my dream came true when I become the General Manager of the Four Seasons Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt.

SEG: What prompted your move from General Manager to Vice President of Human Resources?
Mr. Ghielmetti: What’s me is people! And I found that after many years as a General Manager, the industry began to change away from the image I had as a little boy. I sensed I needed to find a new approach from an operations perspective and the Four Seasons was very open to explore this together with me, which prompted my professional shift to Human Resources bringing me back in contact with people on a regular basis.

SEG: What are the strengths that you bring to recruitment?
Mr. Ghielmetti: My strength is in the trenches with the people. With my background as GM I look at the business needs while being responsive to the changes in the new generation. I take into consideration the factors that make new recruits join and furthermore what makes them stay with us.

SEG: What types of questions would you encourage a student to ask during an interview?
Mr. Ghielmetti: Don’t be shy to ask about what is important to you, even if the question is uncomfortable. It is important to convey what matters to you and be real in an interview. I seek out authenticity in potential candidates. When you apply for a job it is very important to make a compelling case about why I should hire you. It’s not just about selling yourself but how you are compatible with the company.

SEG: What advice do you have for a rejected candidate?
Mr. Ghielmetti: I think very often students that are declined can take the rejection very personally when often it simply comes down to compatibility. If you receive a no from a recruiter it may be due to bad timing in your career path. Focus on your growth and long-term goals and if the company still interests you apply again when the right opportunity arises.

SEG: What sets SEG students apart from the competition for you?
Mr. Ghielmetti: I have stopped attending other education recruitment fairs because SEG schools meet very strongly the needs of my region. The model of Four Seasons is to invest in young talent who will stay with our company long-term. In Asia-Pacific we are very interested in Asian talent with an international education looking to return to their home country to pursue their professional careers.

The second point is the approach the Swiss Education Group takes to education. I first attended the International Recruitment Forum out of curiosity, but along the way I became so impressed by the way the upper management reached out to the industry and encourages connectivity and relationships. This is very special and unique. Additionally, the innovative teaching methods that balance practical teachings with theory stand out from the crowd for me.

As part of Mr. Ghielmetti’s stay in Montreux he took time out to host a guest lecture at Hotel Institute Montreux focusing on Dynamic Leadership and Leadership Principles. From all of us at the Swiss Education Group thank you for the generosity of your time and commitment to encouraging hospitality talent across the world.

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By SEG - Editorial Team

Editorial Team