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Searching for the Perfect Match
NexC's Executive Search service helps hospitality firms find the right people for the right jobs.

For more than a decade now, Greg De Garriz' bread and butter has been finding the right people for the right jobs. As the Group HR Manager for the Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, he is all too familiar with the challenge of making the perfect match between candidate and position, a task that is never simple despite the deep pool of talent in the hospitality industry.

"While we do get a lot of exceptional candidates, it is still difficult to place a person in a position and have that be a perfect fit," says De Garriz.

In 1991, when he was part of the pre-opening team of the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel in Manila, De Garriz was responsible for screening thousands of candidates for the 600 positions available in the first deluxe hotel to debut in the Philippines after nearly 15 years. "I cannot immediately say I've found a perfect fit. After the candidate has worked for at least one or two months, then I would know if the decision I made to hire is right. It's a risk all HR managers have to take," he explains.

Late last year, De Garriz found himself on the other side of this risky process when he decided it was time to make a major career change. After repeatedly shunning the services and offers of headhunters, De Garriz decided to shop for a new assignment outside the Philippines using Hong Kong-based NexC's Executive Search service.

Tailored specifically for the hospitality industry, the executive search is a recruitment service that helps brings candidates and potential employees together for that right match. As a candidate, De Garriz' portfolio was managed by NexC's career development team and was regularly considered for openings specific to De Garriz' expertise. When Banyan Tree announced it was looking for a group HR manager - a newly created position in the company - De Garriz' name was floated and before long, he accepted his first overseas assignment.

"I've been with the Banyan Tree group since March this year, and so far I am enjoying my job. It's very challenging," says De Garriz. One of the youngest hotel chains in the world, Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts has reaped numerous awards for its services and products, including the most recent recognition as Asia's Best Resort Hotel from Asiamoney, the leading financial magazine in the region.

De Garriz is in charge of Banyan Tree's entire human resources department, which covers five hotels and resorts around Asia and Africa and nearly 10,000 employees. As Banyan Tree's first group HR manager, De Garriz is busy standardizing the HR policies and procedures for the company, assisting all HR directors in labor relations cases and training staff in the various properties. And because Banyan Tree is continuously expanding and upgrading its services, De Garriz is also constantly looking to reinforce his stable of hospitality professionals.

"I'm looking for housekeeping personnel. I'm also currently looking to fill in key positions in some of our remote properties, like the Banyan Tree Maldives," he says. By 2004, Banyan Tree hopes to add two more resorts to its portfolio - the Banyan Tree Mexico and the Banyan Tree Pokhara, Nepal, which means roughly 400 new positions for De Garriz to fill. For these recruitment needs, the HR head is once again using NexC's Executive Search service - this time as a client.

"The service I receive is very personalized and very reliable," De Garriz attests. "When an important position is required in any of our properties, NexC always replies to me, whether they have a candidate or not. And I really appreciate that."

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