what is “it”   |   turn-key hr   |   case study

Property openings are like Marmite…

you either love it or you hate it!  You are either brilliant at it or you suck.   A celebrated hotelier of a Luxury brand was heard to say of opening team leaders, “You either have it or you don’t”. So what is this “it”?

Speak to anyone who has led or been involved in a property opening and get ready for tales of camaraderie, daring, close shaves and above all relief wrapped in victory when the doors open and the first guests are welcomed.  From our own property opening experiences and the battle-field tales from opening veterans we have collaborated with; “it” refers to a distinct and (sometimes) paradoxical set of skills and attitude.

Here are some of our top picks of the “it”:  Inspirational leadership with egalitarian management skills, off-the-charts entrepreneurial flair and standards obsessiveness; policy-minded and a creative solutions finder; high pressure tolerance with buckets of humour, collaborative with mind-shifting capability to move from preopening construction mode to opening guest-facing mode with the click of your fingers.

We have “it” and we have built recruitment, training and engagement models to hire “it”, develop “it” and retain “it”. Our specialism is the HR aspect of property openings.  Here are some highlights:

  1. In keeping with the ‘bare foot chic’ personality of the brand, hosted a recruitment open day on a catamaran, interviewing over 500 potential internal guests for a  Luxury  boutique resort and creating free PR buzz in the media.


  1. For the client who wanted to make a big impact, planned and executed a 3 day mass hiring event; including the design of all recruitment marketing collateral and candidate selection material.  We processed over 1300 visitor-applicants for 270 opening positions.

IMG_0334The Turn-Key HR Function.

Like a SAS or Navy Seals Operation, we are deployed by the client. After developing a comprehensive strategy and tactical plan, we go in – bold or subtle as you like.

Successful missions have included, setting up the HR space, hiring and training the HR team and providing on-going support 1 year post opening.  We provide added operational assistance by developing critical opening and year 1 operations budgets, HR policies, procedures and standards in keeping with national labour laws and the client’s brand values.

The keys are handed over to the property HR team and we leave with another opening tale added to our collection…

We are proud to have the following assignments in our portfolio of work.  Contact us for more Opening Tales and how we can help you get your doors open:


Legal Status Change Case Study

Retail Business

“Positioning for a blooming future.”

PROJECT: A long established office supplies retail business operating in two Eastern Caribbean islands converting from owner ‘trading as’ status to limited company. Advise owner, plan and lead execution of the HR aspect of the transformation within 6 weeks with minimum disruption to customers and business flow.

ACTION:  Conducted an HR audit using 12 Zone Assessment (Aquarius Human Resources Consulting Ltd©2010). The results informed the priorities of the project plan. Facilitated owner-led creation of new mission, vision and core values.  Designed new organisation structure, embedded new business purpose in design of new job profiles, recruitment material, employment contracts, orientation, employee handbook and policies.  Consulted with company’s legal counsel and advised on HR best practice approach to redundancy, severance and employee communications. Led the recruitment of 1 senior management role and 3 new service assistants.

BUSINESS IMPACT AND RESULTS ACHIEVED:  New team in place and employment status regularised, orientation/team building programme delivered.  Business reopened as new legal entity as scheduled within 6 weeks.