Do you have what it takes to join the W London cast?
That’s the challenging question posed by the W London’s official website, where job applicants are invited to ‘audition’ for roles. It’s certainly an eye-catching way to describe highly sought-after London hotel jobs.
Due to open in Leicester Square in early 2011 after a much-publicised delay, at least the hotel’s recruitment drive appears to be in full swing.
The W London is one of nine new hotels being opened by the chain worldwide over the next 12 months. Paris, Shanghai and Marrakech are among the other upcoming destinations under development at the luxury boutique arm of well-established operator Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
W’s unique take on recruiting staff for its new hotels is somewhat akin to TV talent shows such as the X-factor, and reflects the brand’s desire to be seen as a chic trendsetting hotel destination for young jetsetters.
Even the colourful graphics on the W London website bear more than a passing resemblance to the style of the televised contests they emulate.
After applying online, shortlisted applicants will be invited to a “casting day”, due to take place in early November. “Supporting roles” up for grabs range from jobs within administrative and security departments to sales and Style & Wash (that’s housekeeping and laundry to the rest of us!).
This latest set of auditions follows hot on the heels of the successful conclusion to the search undertaken for a ‘W London Insider’ last month.
The role of the Insider is that of a concierge-cum-social fixer: able to get guests the best tickets to the hottest shows and entry to the most exclusive of exclusive night clubs and seats at London’s best bars.
Questions asked of applicants included: “Where can I find the latest shop in London which carries a variety of young, cool designer goods? Why is the shop hot and how can you get me a discount?”
Those who cut the proverbial mustard were then invited to a Hollywood style casting call in front of a panel of judges which included the hotel’s General Manager David Rockey, J Alexander from the TV series America’s Next Top Model and gallery owner Libby Sellers.
They were then judged on performance in several tasks designed to demonstrate if they had their finger on the capital’s beating pulse.
Time will tell whether W’s unique way of choosing staff is as effective in recruiting great hotel staff as it is in attracting publicity. But it certainly captures the imagination, in a manner not dissimilar to the family-friendly Athenaeum’s recent drive to recruit a “Granny Nanny”.
Photo credits: W London Hotel.