Congratulations to 2015 Large Business Nominee, Four Points by Sheraton London. The Large Business Award recognizes a company over 50 employees, that develops and applies the concept of ability first and best practices in recruitment, retention, and talent management.
The annual Ability First Coalition Champion Awards celebrate and honour businesses, companies, individuals and organizations that have hired and retained people with disabilities in London, Ontario and surrounding area.
Nominee: Four Points by Sheraton London
Representative: Tara Creaser, Human Resources & Hotel Accountant
Can you tell us a little about your business?
The Four Points by Sheraton London is a franchise owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts. In recent years Four Points went through a 3 year renovation that started in 2012, which gives a welcoming contemporary feel that flows throughout the entire property. With 180 guest rooms the property boasts multiple conference spaces for larger or more intimate events. With approximately one hundred active staff everyone aims daily to portray the Four Points core values to our guests which are Honest, Uncomplicated, and Comfort. The franchise owner and general manager lead by example and show their passion for the business on a daily basis, hiring staff that share this passion is what sets the hotel apart.
How long have you been in business?
In 1999 the property became a Four Points by Sheraton (16 years).
How many employees do you have?
Did you have any prior experience working with people with disabilities?
Previously we had a woman who was legally blind in one eye work in our Banquets department as a Server. I don’t believe it came to our attention until the end of our hiring process and it was never considered something that would stop us from hiring her.
How did this experience help shape your outlook?
The Server being legally blind in one eye was never an issue, as it was something she was self-aware of and ensured to take extra precautions in her daily life. She proved that her disability never changed that fact that she was the right person for the job.
Why did you decide to hire someone with a disability?
I would not say it was decided to hire someone with a disability; it’s a case of hiring the person with the right skill sets for any given job. A disability does not make a person a better or worse candidate for a position if they are the right fit you find a way to work with someone so they can do the job.
How did you go about finding the right person(s) for the job?
When a position needs to be filled in the hotel we will post on multiple sites and employment services to get the word out. Once candidates apply and the qualifications seem adequate interviews are set up with the department managers. At this point it’s about who sets themselves apart by portraying the right attitude and willingness to take on a new and hopefully long term future with our Four Points family!
What is your advice for other employers?
That a disability does not own who you are. It is one part of a whole person and if they are the right person for the job that’s truly what matters.
Please finish this sentence, “I hire for Ability First because…”
I hire for Ability First because the best form of marketing is hiring staff that have the passion and talent to take a business and make it a memorable brand.
What does being nominated for the Champion Awards mean to your business?
It is an honor to be nominated.