Competition in Macau's hotel industry will only get keener. To win in this service-focused market, it takes more than just impressive infrastructure and guest facilities. As such, Wynn Macau is now looking for 1,500 new employees to staff its extension to the integrated hotel-casino.
The original project, Wynn Macau, was officially opened in September last year, with around 6,000 staff working in a resort with 600 deluxe hotel rooms and suites, fine-dining and casual restaurants, entertainment lounges, about 26,000 square feet of retail space, a spa, a salon, a swimming pool and meeting facilities. The casino covers 110,000 square feet and has about 256 gaming tables plus 477 slot machines.
Scheduled to open this September, the extension will comprise approximately 123,000 square feet of additional gaming space, a dramatic front feature attraction, a theatre showroom, additional food and beverage services, and retail facilities. After the completion of the expansion, Wynn Macau is expected to have a total of 470 table games and 1,400 slot machines.
Grant Bowie, president and general manager of Wynn Macau, says although the hotel enjoys a satisfactory occupancy rate, the company aims to continuously enhance its service standards and facilities to strengthen its competitive edge in the market as a luxury resort.
Wendy Yu, Wynn Macau's vice president of human resources, says Wynn Macau is already in full gear to recruit staff for the expansion. To streamline the recruitment process, the hotel will consider "early bird" applicants before the official launch. The recruitment programme will primarily focus on operational staff for the new casino areas, restaurant and bar, the retail shops and theatre.
Although hotels in Macau are now facing a labour shortage, Ms Yu is confident about recruiting the new workforce, pointing out that priority will be given to Macau residents. Her optimism springs in great part from the enormous response Wynn's recruiting centre has already received — 90,000 local and overseas applications so far, and counting.
Two factors are responsible for this huge response — the success of Wynn's online recruitment system, and the hotel's favourable culture and staff development initiatives.
Only if all vacancies have not been filled close to the launch of the expansion, or there is no such talent or skill avaliabe from local workforce, will Wynn consider hiring overseas applicants. Hong Kong would be one major outside recruiting market because of its close proximity to Macau, and similarities regarding knowledge, language ability, lifestyle and culture of Hong Kong applicants.
Ms Yu says Wynn Macau always regards its staff as assets, and adopts the management philosophy of "happy employees and happy customers." "Starting from day one, we treat our staff as 'guests' and make them feel like family members," says Ms Yu. "Furthermore, we always recognise their contribution to the hotel's success." Integral parts of Wynn Macau's dedication to its staff include team-dining, awards to the "star of the month," and an annual party where senior management join in the fun by participating in performances.
To promote a harmonious work environment, Wynn has introduced several initiatives for staff. "Practice day" encouraged new recruits to bring their family members to experience the hotel before it was even open to public. The hotel also provides various channels for frontline staff to communicate with senior management.
Wynn Macau also provides staff with ample training opportunities to help them progress along their career path, adds Ms Yu. Every new employee must go through an induction programme. Their respective departments arrange full-time trainers to offer lessons in customer services, language skills and other aspects of their work. Veteran staff members are also nominated as mentors to oversee on-the-job training to enhance practical skills.
Room for growth
At present, the average occupancy of the hotel is running at 85 per cent, and the daily expenditure per guest is about US$245. Its main market is high-end customers from Hong Kong and China. However, Wynn is targeting guest growth from western countries like the US and European countries, plus prosperous neighbouring countries such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
Meanwhile, the mainland China market needs time to be developed, says Mr Bowie. At present, it is dominated by a small number of travel agencies, he points out. "Therefore we must establish our reputation with mainland tourists through word-of-mouth referrals, publications and recommendations in travel guides and magazines," he adds.
Since Macau is famous for its vibrant gaming environment, Wynn's marketing strategy is to highlight Macau's non-gaming experiences such as luxury shopping, fine dining and other leisure activities, promoting the hotel as an ideal holiday destination for weekends. Wynn also offers attractive deals to corporate clients, especially from the financial sector, highlighting the hotel's capability as a venue for corporate meetings, in-house training and symposiums.
With more international-branded hotels set to open in Macau, Mr Bowie foresees growing competition. Wynn's response, apart from the opening of its second phase extension, will be to continuously upgrade its services to remain a pacesetter.