Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Taking IR visitors on ride of their lives

Want in on Singapore's two integrated resorts (IRs)?

A total of 20,000 jobs will be created when the Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World at Sentosa open, at the year end and next year respectively.

In the second of this two-part series, The Sunday Times checks out five interesting jobs the IRs have to offer.

Slots ambassadors

This job, at Resorts World, requires candidates to master the A-Zs of the various slot machines.

You will be part of a 24/7 team that keeps the fun level up, from helping first-timers to spotting those whose drinks have run out.

You may want to advise someone on a losing streak to change to a different game or machine. You will also urge regulars to sign up for casino membership, where they pay an annual fee rather than pay per entry.

'Slot games can get very complicated these days,' said Resorts World's senior vice-president for human resources and training, Ms Seah-Khoo Ee Boon.

'That's why we need ambassadors to help the customers.' The job calls for someone meticulous, personable and easy to talk to.

'If you like meeting people and want to see that satisfied look on a customer's face, this is a fantastic job for you,' said Ms Seah-Khoo.

Criteria: At least 21 years old, with a deep passion for customer service, meticulous and a team player.

Number of positions: 200

Beverage service team

Over at the Marina Bay Sands, a crew of more than 350 sommeliers, mixologists, bartenders and managers will keep customers' spirits up.

Their job is to select wines for the various wine lists, manage the inventory of wines and spirits and, more importantly, create a drinks menu for guests of the IR.

Every watering hole will be covered, from the luxury hotel's atrium bar to the casino's VIP PaizaClub lounge and restaurant.

'Because of the size of the IR, we need a dedicated and experienced team that specifically looks after the wines and spirits offered to our guests,' said Mr Tamir Shanel, executive director of food and beverage at the Marina Bay Sands.

Training will be provided for most of the crew but sommeliers and mixologists need to be experienced.

A mixologist uses creative ideas to give cocktails a new spin while a sommelier is a wine expert able to give good recommendations.

'A sommelier needs the right disposition and customer service as he'll be serving guests with discerning tastes,' said Mr Shanel. 'He needs to know when to offer the $100 wine - or the $5,000 one.'

Criteria: A passion for beverages and customer service, plus experience for sommeliers and mixologists.

Number of positions: 350

Theme park technicians

They are the guys in overalls, the 'smooth operators' at Resorts World's Universal Studios Singapore. They will maintain all equipment and rides to ensure safe operation.

Perks include a training course at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, lasting between three weeks and three months, and being the first to try out the various rides.

With 24 rides and shows here, each technician will specialise in the repair and troubleshooting of a few. Ms Seah-Khoo said: 'They have a critical role to ensure everything is in tip-top condition before the park opens.'

'The safety of the park depends on them and park safety standards are crucial,' she added. 'So we want to hire the very best.'

Criteria: Three to five years of maintenance experience. Experience in an amusement park is a plus.

Must have normal colour vision, and skills and knowledge in mechanical, pneumatic, hydraulic and electrical areas. Also, be prepared to perform three shifts.

Number of positions: 50

Security staff

Needless to say, the security at casinos - where large sums of money are involved - has to be flawless.

At the Marina Bay Sands, a security officer does not just patrol the casino and ensure security within its premises. A big part of the job is escorting the cash and chips from the tables to the cage where the cashiers work.

'They have to be highly alert and sharp,' said director of security Tan Puay Kern, since 'they have to work within a concentrated zone, with people milling in and out'.

Besides the security staff tasked with the casino areas, others will patrol the rest of the IR, from hotel towers and retail mall to public areas.

Unlike in the usual mall, the challenge of managing security in an IR is much more intense due to the sheer number of people across the entire property.

'Our security staff will be working in a very demanding environment,' said Mr Tan. 'There's a need to be very focused and coordinated so any incident in one part of the IR does not escalate and affect the rest of the property.'

All security personnel will have to be individually licensed by the police. For those who need it, there will be a basic training course given by the Workforce Development Agency before a police licence is issued.

Criteria: Must be fit and reliable.

Number of positions: 450

Guest services ambassadors

This job, at Resorts World, entails providing a comfortable environment for the guests.

'They are the face, the touch point with customers and basically the lubricant that makes the whole casino flow,' said Ms Seah-Khoo.

Their level of service differentiates a good casino from a bad one. On a typical day, a guest services ambassador scans the casino floor to ensure that customers are having fun and are well taken care of.

They often work with various departments to meet the needs of guests - from arranging theme park visits for children to making dinner and show reservations.

They have to stay cool as they deal with last-minute and even difficult requests.

'To play that role well, one needs to empathise and be sensitive to customers' feelings,' said Ms Seah-Khoo. 'We want someone personable and charming.'

Criteria: At least 21 years old, proficient in spoken and written English. Knowing a second language is a plus.

Also, they have to be able to work under pressure and be willing to work extra hours if need be.

Number of positions: 150

The two IRs declined to reveal salaries for the positions profiled here.

Contact information:

Resorts World at Sentosa: careers@rwsentosa.com

Marina Bay Sands: careers@marinabaysands.com

This article was first published in The Straits Times.


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