Case Study

Hilton Group

Groundbreaking graduate selection & development at Hilton

Hilton Group


Hilton Group is an international hospitality company, operating 5,500 properties in 109 countries. Hilton has a strong focus on recruiting graduates into the group to move quickly into management positions across its portfolio.

Despite some significant improvements in retention rates between 2013-16, Hilton had seen a fall in graduate retention during 2017. Research established attrition hot-spots at 3-4 months and 16-18 months, with graduates leaving because they felt that they would not be able to pursue careers in Hilton in areas that they really enjoyed and which energised them.

As a result, Hilton approached Strengthscope to help develop a solution which would attract and retain graduates for whom Hilton would provide an excellent fit personally and as regards their future careers.

Our solution

Graduates introduced to their strengths using Strengthscope®

The programme started with a personal development module where graduates were introduced to their strengths using Strengthscope®, as well as receiving 360 degree feedback from past and present colleagues on where their strengths might best be deployed. Strengthscope® data was used to inform subsequent programme design which could therefore be perfectly tailored to the Hilton graduate context, with the aim of improving retention by building graduate confidence and engagement.

Hilton developed strengths-based training modules incorporating Strengthscope®, including: stress awareness, building effective teams, managing your personal brand and taking control of your career. Along with Hilton’s existing development infrastructure (mentoring, line management and career support), this programme provided a highly relevant and individual experience to each graduate.

The next stage of the project saw Strengthscope® and strengths-based interviewing introduced to the recruitment process to select the best possible graduate pool available. This involved job analysis and interview design to help attract and select those candidates most likely to thrive in the Hilton environment.


Since launching the strengths-based approach, Hilton has achieved a 70% increase in applications

Within 6 months, Hilton’s graduate retention rate improved to 81% (an increase of 14%)

Hilton’s Graduate Programme supported me in positively stretching myself beyond my comfort zone by using my strengths and those of others in my team. I’ve seen how creating teams who all share the Hilton values, yet have a range of strengths, improves guests’ experiences. Understanding how others see your strengths, especially when they are in overdrive, is useful too. The knowledge the programme gives you about strengths enables you to influence decisions and behaviour and gives you confidence that you can grow your role and progress through the organisation.

Bert Serry, Graduate Recruit, Hilton UK & Ireland

Within the first six months of its implementation, we are already seeing significant positive impacts of our graduate recruitment and retention programme. It is already strengthening our business by allowing our graduates to ‘travel with purpose’ through their careers with Hilton, which is also in line with our CSR strategy. We are all very proud of the programme, the team that developed and delivered it and our talented graduates.

Steve Cassidy, Senior Vice President of Operations for UK & Ireland, Hilton UK