Wyndham’s ‘Try and Train’ Strategy

April 21, 2016 2:45 pm

Finding Employees among Contract workersBy Sheryl Estrada

There’s no such thing as temporary talent at Wyndham Worldwide due to its “try and train” approach to recruiting.

While some companies use contingency workforces to cover business peaks or fill in for full-time employees, Wyndham — No. 27 on DiversityInc’s 2016 Top 50 Companies for Diversity — sees this pool of workers as fertile hiring ground, especially when it comes to finding diverse talent.

The company hires diverse and talented contractors with the intent of bringing them aboard as full-time employees, if he or she is a fit for the company, said Patty Lee, senior vice president of human resources and chief diversity officer at Wyndham.

“At Wyndham, we look to do the things others are not; we get involved at a grass roots level,” she said at a DiversityInc Top 50 event learning session on Tuesday titled “InnovativePatricia-Lee-Wyndham-Worldwide-198x300 Nontraditional Recruiting Strategies.” “And then we measure our successes, one person at a time.”

A strategic partnership with a workforce solutions management company has affected Wyndham’s overall recruitment efforts, which has made for a diverse pool of candidates. A program was also implemented that spends money with more sub contractors, which are smaller firms that provide their services to Wyndham’s direct supplier.

“We focus on Asian, LGBT, women and veterans workers, and have partnered with more than 15 tier two firms to bring that talent into our organization,” Lee said.

The result:

In 2015, Wyndham spent $27 million in contract labor and part-time expenses. Out of the 370 people obtained as contractors, 134 were converted to full time employees, a 36 percent conversion rate.

So far, Lee said, Wyndham’s partnership with ZeroChaos, a contingency workforce provider, has been effective, but acknowledged hiring an outside firm to assist in recruitment can be tricky.

She offered the following advice:

  1. Choose your partner well. Make sure they align with your core values and can deliver results.
  2. Once you have a partnership, managing relationships is essential. Don’t let the partnership manage you.
  3. If you’re in a partnership that’s not working, get out of it. “When it’s not working, it’s time to say ‘goodbye’ and go your separate ways.”

As a brand Wyndham’s mission is to “welcome people to experience world and travel the way they want to,” she maintained, so it takes hiring the best and most diverse talent, seriously.

The company holds hiring managers accountable, and doesn’t hesitate to dismiss those who don’t facilitate Wyndham’s recruitment perspective.

This approach, she admitted, “is the one people usually question the most,” Lee said. “And, it’s quite simple. If our leaders and hiring managers do not subscribe to hiring the best talent, from a diverse slate of candidates, they’re generally not a fit for Wyndham. And we bounce them.”