May 2 - Spanish hotel chain Melia is using X-factor style auditions to help recruit hospitality staff for its new flagship London hotel ME, due to open later this year. Hayley Platt reports.
It's a good performance from Nigel Brough - but the young Irishman is no budding actor - he's after a job as a hotel maintenance manager. These X-factor style auditions are part of the interview process. SOUNDBITE: Nigel Brough, plumber, saying (English): "It's very strange you don't usually do that, it's actually a brilliant way and all through the day they're analysing you to see what type of person you are." The Spanish hotel chain Melia is running the Talent week in order to find staff for a new hotel. It's bringing its boutique brand ME to London for the first time. Previous experience is not necessary but the right personality is. Fabio Gallo is the hotel's General Manager and Jon Yantin is in charge of hiring. SOUNDBITE: Jon Yantin, director of operations, The One Group, saying (English): "Academic skills are important and past experience is relevant but ultimately you know you could be a great plumber, a great electrician, you've got great personality and you've decided to for whatever reason, the economy, you've had enough of plumbing and want to change your vocation. If you've got the personality and the ability to absorb then you can learn anything." SOUNDBITE: Fabio Gallo, General Manager, ME hotel, saying (English): "Needless to say you can only be as good as the people around you. So it is absolutely crucial to get the right level of candidate to serve to the best of their ability, the guest that they will be serving, that's a must." With unemployment in Britain at a 16 year high and 1 in 4 young people out of work, firms can afford to be fussy. The ME group has received more than a 1,000 applicants for just 300 vacancies. Some, like Pasqual Mortes, have come from Spain for the interview. 50 percent of the young population there are out of work. SOUNDBITE: Pasqual Mortes, saying (English): "I didn't expect this kind of interview. I came here for a face-to-face interview with a manger or boss and I found activities and it was really really fun. I enjoyed it a lot." SOUNDBITE: Allesandra Abrahams, saying (English): "There are very few jobs but there are a lot of people out there, so I think we really have to stand out from the rest and that's probably why they're doing this kind of day to try and find good people." Nigel doesn't yet know if his performance was good enough. But if he doesn't get the hotel job he has gained a little acting experience and that could open up a whole new career. Hayley Platt, Reuters.