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L.A. Live Hotel Jobs Attract a Crowd

By Eric Richardson
Published: Saturday, December 12, 2009, at 11:56AM
Rick Spade Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Rick Spade, Director of Human Resources for the new J.W. Marriott and Ritz Carlton at L.A. Live, stands inside a ballroom where the hotel is conducting a hiring fair to fill 550 positions.

Given the state of the economy, it should not be much of a surprise that the 550 jobs soon to be created at L.A. Live's J.W. Marriott and Ritz Carlton are a hot commodity. Advertised for less than three weeks, 6,100 applications were received for the hotels' hourly positions.

Sorting through all those candidates is a job that now falls to a team led by Rick Spade, the hotels' Director of Human Resources. In a pair of hiring events this weekend and next, 1,200 candidates will be interviewed, with jobs offered on the spot.

"It's great for us as the employer," said Spade, "because we have very talented people to choose from."

Around 150 of those interviewed on Friday were hired, and will start work a few weeks before the hotels open.

The project presents some unique challenges. The tower contains an 879-room J.W. Marriott, a 123-room Ritz Carlton hotel and the 224-unit Residences at the Ritz Carlton. 90% of the hourly staff being hired will work for all three properties. The two hotels are scheduled to open on February 15, with the condos following a few months later.

Applications for the hotel jobs have come in from around the world, but most of those hired will be from the Los Angeles area. Part of that comes from local hiring rules that govern the L.A. Live complex, but it's also simply a matter of logistics.

That doesn't mean that those filing into the hotel ballrooms for interviews today are all Angelenos. Spade said that some applicants drove in from neighboring states, and that one flew in from Florida for the interview. "I think that just shows the power and strength of this location," said Spade.


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