Supporting refugee employees to settle
The Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, owned by Blackstone, has hired more than 65 refugees from Afghanistan and other countries, such as South Sudan and Guatemala, who currently make up about 25% of their total staff.
The hotel worked with a resettlement agency, starting with hiring one individual. From there, the Sheraton worked with the agency to recruit more refugees, with their refugee employees also referring their family and friends. Roles range from housekeeping, cooking and serving to accounting, purchasing and human resources. The goal for Marriott was not to just offer jobs but provide a path for long-term careers.
Recognising their new employees were newcomers to the US and still getting acclimated, they wanted to provide support beyond employment. The hotel welcomed many of their new staff by helping them with setting up bank accounts, showing them how to use public transport, hiring a translator, celebrating regional holidays, modifying cafeteria menus and constructing a prayer room to ensure they felt that they truly belonged and were part of the Marriott community.