Recent Posts

Doors are Open! Great Wolf Lodge New England Welcomes Guests

Jul 08, 14 Doors are Open! Great Wolf Lodge New England Welcomes Guests

Back in March, we shared that Great Wolf Lodge was hiring for its New England location. We’re back to announce that they’ve since opened their doors!

The 406 all-suite resort features 12 unique suite configurations in the property’s two wings. Each suite comes with a refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker and waterpark admission passes. The 68,000 square foot indoor waterpark holds 300,000 gallons of water! Entertainment is also widely available with character appearances, a MagiQuest game, Cub Club on Wheels, Wolf Walk, Northern Lights Arcade, a kid spa and much, much more.

Interested in a job with Great Wolf Lodge New England? Check out open positions today!

About Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge is North America’s largest family of indoor waterpark resorts and the brand leader in the
waterpark resort industry. Great Wolf Lodge is a first-class, full-service, year-round destination resort. Extending far beyond waterparks, Great Wolf Resorts provides families with quality accommodations, exceptional service,as well as popular proprietary amenities all under one roof – creating family traditions, one family at a time.

Great Wolf Lodge New England is the company’s 12th indoor waterpark resort. Great Wolf Lodge properties are located in: Wisconsin Dells, WI; Sandusky, OH; Traverse City, MI.; Kansas City, KS; Williamsburg, VA; Pocono Mountains, PA.; Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada; Mason, OH, Grapevine, TX, Grand Mound, WA; Concord, NC and Fitchburg, MA.

 

read more

Why I Will Never Regret Working Aboard Cruise Ships

Feb 28, 14 Why I Will Never Regret Working Aboard Cruise Ships

By Michael Horan

If you’re an oxygen-breathing, red-blooded human, you have certainly pondered the “what-ifs,” looking at your trials and tribulations asking “would I done anything differently?” I remain steadfast not to give countenance to complacency and would not change a single thing.

I spent five years working aboard cruise ships while travelling the globe and find it difficult to realize any regret. It was the time of my life. As a young man from Vancouver, BC with no more money in my pocket than I needed to survive, I was awash in good fortune to do what I did.

The world travel bug was planted early in my life. I credit my Irish father, a former communications officer in the merchant navy, who regaled me with stories and experiences I always assumed were untrue — if only because they didn’t reach the ears of my three sisters. My geography grades out-shone math grades; naming world capital cities came more naturally to me than memorizing the Periodic Table of Elements. My bookshelf was peppered with more Fodor’s and world atlases than Batman or Spiderman comics. I knew even as a child I would see many of the sights in National Geographic, a magazine subscription my mother gladly renewed each year. To me there was nothing more romantic, inspiring or enthralling than to travel the globe.

I traveled to six continents, including seven Asian countries from Busan, South Korea south to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand; eight South American countries, all of the Caribbean, Central America, the Galapagos, Mediterranean Europe and Egypt-Sinai Peninsula. My memories are lucid and luxurious, and the sights were joined with meaningful excursions. Some are etched forever:

  • The Pyramids of Giza and Acropolis of Athens
  • Drinking Pouligny Montrachet atop the Eiffel Tower
  • The White Cliffs of Dover (which are extremely white from any distance)
  • Sitting on a jail cell floor on Devil’s Island, French Guiana once occupied by Henri “Papillion”
  • Feeling the unrelenting sting of Brazilian humidity on the way up the Amazon River to Manaus
  • Gazing at the majestic, perfectly symmetrical beauty of Mt Fuji looming over Tokyo
  • Morosely musing the worst of human nature at ground zero in Nagasaki
  • Basking in an alien sense of autonomy in Dalian, China as locals ogled my Caucasian-ism up one side and down the other
  • Buying $10 Nike runners in Busan, South Korea
  • Treating my taste buds to authentic-yet-affordable Chinese dishes from sidewalk vendors outside the Peace Hotel in Shanghai
  • Avoiding a pack of children hell-bent on picking my pockets in broad daylight in the streets of Madras, India
  • Riding a genuine rickshaw in Ujang Pandang, Indonesia
  • Golfing in Phuket, Thailand
  • Seeing Fiji and the Cook Islands
  • Viewing a thermo-nuclear destroyed Bikini Atoll
  • Zooming along the west roads of Bora Bora, Tahiti on a not-so-reliable motorcycle
  • Riding in a helicopter over the Igazu Falls, Argentina, uncertain if it topped the helicopter ride over the Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska

I succumbed to the dazzling, hypnotic effects of the Aurora Borealis, darting playfully across the skies over Norwegian Fjords with angelic nuance. I crossed the Equator five times (at the cost of a very dark suntan) and went three times through the Panama Canal. I made several peaceful, uneventful (and ultimately anti-climactic) trips through the Bermuda Triangle along with two crossings each of the Atlantic and Pacific. I drank in the sights and sounds of huge cities as easily as enjoying the reticent obscurity of world remoteness. Most memorable are the strong friendships and personal bonds I developed with other crew mates from proportionately unusual cultures and countries.

Starting a Cruise Ship Career

What other job requires you to travel all over the planet while your bank account grows every month? There is simply no other job that offers such life-changing benefits for a young person.

My first job was with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL), which offered me a bartender position aboard the Nordic Prince. I managed to parlay that into a Sommelier job. After completing a 15 month sail from New York to Bermuda and back (with 10 months spent in the Carribean), I came home exhausted but eager to go again. A previous application to Princess Cruises garnished an offer as an Assistant Purser aboard the Pacific Princess (the original “Love Boat”). We conducted the penultimate “Grand Voyage” starting in Victoria, BC, crossing the Atlantic to Honolulu and on to Tokyo for an Asian tour before returning across the Atlantic to South America. I sailed for 14 months, ending up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I disembarked gladly and tiredly. With a week of relaxation in Barbados ahead, I was convinced this would be my last cruise. Six months later, however, I joined Holland America Line as a Crew Purser (human resources) aboard the MS Westerdam in Europe. After eight months I returned, and a head hunter convinced me to join Celebrity Cruise Lines out of Vancouver to Alaska as a Shore Excursions Manager. That experience accounted for my final eight months working aboard a cruise line. My fiancée, Theresa, insisted I come ashore and stay permanently. Although it completed a unique era in my life, I am grateful for her advice. We now have two beautiful daughters (whose ears I quickly cover when their grandfather begins to wax nostalgic about his world travels).

In summary, if you’re young, un-attached, and want to know whether or not you should work on a cruise ship, consider, as I did, the timeless words of Robert Frost: “Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by.”

Michael Horan is an Account Executive with Hcareers and lives with his wife Theresa and two daughters Allison and Adrienne in Vancouver, BC.

read more

Apres la pluie, le beau temps: Every cloud has a silver lining

Feb 19, 14 Apres la pluie, le beau temps: Every cloud has a silver lining

Born in Quebec (sometimes referred to as “La Belle Province”, which is the only Canadian province with a mainly French-speaking population and the only one to have French as its sole provincial official language), Brigitte Bissonnette speaks both perfect French and English, and has a good working knowledge of Japanese.

Brigitte refuses to “hang up her personality” at the corporate door. She is a Corporate Account Executive on the Emerging Markets team of Hcareers, and an onTargetjobs USA (Dice Holdings, Inc.) Star Award winner for the last three years. She believes in building her brand by providing unique customer service to her clients, putting smiles on their faces, offering personalized messages, and helping people feel genuinely recognized. Brigitte is a true world citizen.

“I left my native Quebec in 1990,” she says. “My entrepreneurial spirit led me out West to embark on a career in hospitality. At first, I was a restaurant supervisor at Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort, and later a managing partner of a popular café/pub / wine & beer store in Whistler Village. Then I headed to Japan and immersed myself in the language, tradition, and culture of the Far East. I visited Tokyo and the Greater Tokyo Area—the largest metropolitan area in the world, with more than 30 million residents. I had a wonderful experience!”

Brigitte has a proven record of accomplishment in the financial services industry. On joining Hcareers, she brought a six-year history of continuous success with Heritage Education Funds, Inc. When the Emerging Markets Division at Hcareers was launched in 2005, Brigitte’s record of exceeding sales targets continued and led both her team and the company to year-after-year of consistent revenue growth. Brigitte has an absolute dedication to adding value for her clients in everything she does.

“My time in Japan taught me a lot about customer care,” she says. “One experience I will never forget was when I visited Okayama-shi, the capital city of Okayama Prefecture. While I was exploring the famous Korakuen Garden and the black Okayama Castle, ranked among the best 100 Japanese castles, I stopped at a gas station. Four attendants serviced my car: one attendant filled my tank with gasoline, one cleaned my windshield, one filled my ashtray with deodorant beads, and another checked the oil. When done, a member of the staff stopped the traffic to let me out, stood on the street, and bowed to say ‘arigato gozaimasu’ – thank you. He kept bowing for as long as I could see him in my rearview mirror. Soon he disappeared from my view, but I knew that he was still there…”

To be successful today, businesses need a unique approach with their clients. In Europe or North America, a personalized approach may not mean bowing to the client, but a little attention offered in a genuine and caring manner can go a long way. The only way to bring back customers is to add value to your service, deliver a memorable experience, and offer something unexpected.

Clients are more likely to spend money with people they trust, so businesses must strive to better the life of the client. For Brigitte, integrity, transparency, and honesty are the building blocks of trust in business. She believes in the simplicity of access to resources. Whether it is access to account information, support, reporting, resume databases, job postings, jobseekers’ or employers’ information, simplicity is the best way to improve loyalty and drive revenue.

“Educate. Inform. Collaborate,” she says. “Be the expert. Provide your customers with everything they need to know, and help them make a smart decision. Out of touch companies will find it difficult to win new markets today.”

With millions of visitors on the web, businesses need to rethink their approach and target the right audience. Success is an emotion experienced through feeling like a winner in an open and engaging way. Energy rich organizations have the power to share this feeling of being winners with their people. Brigitte believes in finding, attracting, and winning the most qualified talent on the market— she puts the client first, before anything else.

“We need to update our minds and thinking,” she says. “The old way of thinking doesn’t work anymore.  Today’s candidates are sophisticated: we need to understand their game, their rules of engagement, and their ways of doing business. Communication is a two-way street. Employers should deliver relevant content, write industry articles candidates can connect to, share values, and make any job search a valuable experience. Each employee is unique and we need to ensure that we treat each person as an individual. Never adopt the one-brush paints all approach. The workplace should entice employees to come back. Companies need to inspire, to make their brand recognizable and, most of all, more human, and always treat people with respect and dignity!”

The new pursuit of personal fulfillment through work is a product of our times. Finding great work is more art than science. I asked Brigitte to describe the key to career success in the hospitality industry.

“I would recommend to job seekers exactly what I recommend to clients—brand yourself! Without a brand, you can’t market yourself.  Highlight your talents, show what you do well, build your reputation, define your skills and qualities, be authentic and distinguish yourself from others who do similar work.  Gain the trust of your future employer!  Share your vision and know where you are going. You can’t move ahead without a sense of direction.”

People are the most valuable of assets, so the prospect of looking for work should be an exciting journey. Job searching is an opportunity to discover other work environments, learn about important trends, connect with new people, and mine every option to increase your marketability.

“What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from your experience?” I asked Brigitte.

“Follow your dream! Welcome change. Focus on what’s next and bring out your best assets. You should never feel hopeless because difficult times often lead to better days. Think ahead to the moment when you accept that fabulous job offer. Let that motivate you!  Après la pluie, le beau temps: Every cloud has a silver lining!”

Bonne chance!

read more

10 Habits of Expert Hospitality Workers

Working in hospitality offers its share of joys and stresses. Here are 10 habits that will help you maximize the former while mitigating the latter.

Let it go

You’re going to disagree with co-workers from time-to-time. It's inevitable, but don’t let these moments get the best of you. What seems like a big deal usually fades from memory as soon as you move on and focus on something else. Walk away and discuss the issue later with your co-worker if you feel it’s necessary. Also keep in mind that busy times can put everyone on edge. Cooler heads usually prevail once things slow down.

Stay busy

Slow times are rare for people in hospitality, but why not pitch in elsewhere in those few moments you’re not busy? Perhaps you're caught up and ready for the dinner rush, but others are still scrambling to get their areas ready. Give a little help, and you’ll almost certainly get a little when you need it.

Don’t take reprimands personally

It’s easier said than done, but just process what you need to learn in the moment and move on. The sooner you demonstrate that you’ve learned from a mistake, the sooner your supervisor will forget you messed up in the first place.

Listen and learn

Pay attention when somebody is teaching you something. This may sound obvious, but busy environments often scramble the learning process. Write things down on a small, pocket-sized pad if needed, and don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions. It’s better to ask a “dumb” question on the front-end than look foolish after messing up when it could have been avoided.

Show up

Sometimes you legitimately need to take a sick day, and nobody will fault you for that. If you make a habit of ditching, though, you will inevitably alienate management and your co-workers. We all have days when we’d rather not work, but calling in just because you “don’t feel like it” can hamper business and hurt morale.

Work a little extra

Volunteer to stay late or fill a shift. Gain a reputation as somebody who comes through in the clutch.

Ask for help

Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Nobody will fault you if it’s busy and you’re having trouble keeping up. Don’t let pride get in the way of providing the best possible experience for your guests.

Give others space

Working long shifts with the same crew inevitably brings you closer together with others. Enjoy the camaraderie but don’t take it for granted. Some days people just need space, and that’s normal. Let others have their bad days without being judgmental, and they’ll let you have yours.

Keep learning

Learning increases your value to the team in the present and sets you up for a future promotion. Take a little time whenever possible to learn a new process or skill. The more you know, the better problem-solver you are – and problem solvers are always in high demand.

Enjoy What You Do

Most people choose to work (and keep working) in hospitality because they enjoy interacting with people and the rush it provides. Some days will be hectic and you’ll wish you could do something else. Don’t let a bad day or two permanently hinder you from enjoying your job. If your struggle is ongoing, address it with management or HR. Life’s too short to dread coming to work!

Search thousands of Hospitality Jobs on Hcareers today!

read more

The latest in the luxury hotel sector: Is this where you want to work?

Trump Hotel Collection has three projects slated to open, one being the Trump Hotel Rio de JaneiroThe luxury sector will see a big year in 2016, with increased openings in the hotel market, specifically luxury hotels and accommodations.
 
“We’ve always been catering to the luxury sector. We just saw a great opportunity to do what my father had done in conventional real estate for 30 years,” said Donald Trump Jr., executive VP of development and acquisition, during an interview with Hotel News Now.  
 
 
If it does prove true that there will be increased openings in the luxury sector, it might be worth asking yourself if you'd be interested in/qualified for a position in this sector. 
 
How do you decide where you'll set your sights?
 
Peter Shrive, partner with Cambridge Management Planning, offers some advice in this Hcareers Resource Article:

Your first choice, says Shrive, is always to talk to someone who's doing the hotel job you're interested in. Your second choice is to talk to someone teaching about it. "Most colleges offer hotel management/foodservice courses. If nothing else, take the course and talk to the professor." Attending job fairs and taking coop placements are also helpful in making your decision. Your third choice is to talk to someone who's hiring people to do the hotel job that interests you and "interview" them. But, warns Shrive, "Don't go hat in hand, asking to be hired. Go with resume in hand, expecting to learn as much as you can about the business."

Once you've learned more about working in a large versus boutique hotel, the best experience is trying both options to see which environment better suits your temperament. Shrive uses this analogy: "Once you've eaten surf and turf, you know which you prefer!"

Up your alley? Apply today! 

 
Image credit
 
read more

The ABCs of an Effective Interview

Ready to land your dream job in hospitality? Make sure you know your interview ABCs:

Be Approachable. Show your upbeat and personable side. Hospitality is all about customers and guests. Demonstrate not only how well you can perform the job, but how well you’ll take care of the company’s clientele.

Be Bold. Send a thank you note as soon as possible after the interview. Re-emphasize your interest in the job and how your experience makes you a good candidate. Here’s an example:

Dear Mr. Clark,

Thank you for the opportunity to discuss your company’s goals and mission. I believe my experience thoroughly matches the job role we discussed and will position me to be a strong leader in the front house area.

My current position places me in direct contact with customers every day. As supervisor of the front of house team, I have to think on my feet and resolve all kinds of issues. I am an adept problem-solver and comfortable dealing with challenging guests.

I believe a positive team work environment is essential to front house operations. My experience leading others has given me wisdom that theory or academic learning simply can’t replicate.

I am confident I have the skills and experience you need for this role and hope for the opportunity to demonstrate how I can help your organization achieve its goals. I wish you continuing success.

Kind regards,

Dwight O’Donnell

Be Coordinated. Create a spreadsheet or other document to keep track of important information. Include these items:

  • Date of interview and location
  • Contact information for your interviewer
  • Date you sent a thank you letter
  • Notes about the job role, team or the company that you learned during the interview
  • Questions that caught you off-guard (so you can prepare for future interviews)

 

read more

Classic Hotel Amenities Slipping Away

Even as the economic recovery promises to boost revenues, many hotels are taking a second look at costs and eliminating under-performing or under-utilized guest amenities. Staples of the industry including room service, free hygiene items and even in-room phones are going by the wayside at some of North America’s biggest names.

CBC News takes a closer look at this trend in its report, Room service, minibars, toiletries on the chop as hotels cut back. Some of the changes might be expected as technology changes lifestyles, like the near universal adoption of mobile phones. Other services like room service are simply based on ROI, with a decreasing return as fewer guests use them.

What do you make of this trend? Are hotels shooting themselves in the foot by discontinuing these amenities?

Employers: Visit Hcareers to search the largest hospitality resume database anywhere, and post a job in less than five minutes!

Job Seekers. Visit Hcareers to and search over 10,000 hospitality jobs today!

Photo courtesy Manu Contreras on stock.xchng.

read more