Brendan Toomey, Vice president, HR, Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide

Brendan Toomey of Hilton Worldwide is part of the HRD Asia Hot List 2018

Hot List 2018

Vice president, HR, Asia Pacifi c

From starting out as a busboy in his earliest working days to now serving as the head of HR for all of Hilton’s Asia Pacifi c operations, Brendan Toomey demonstrates how success results from a combination of patience, hard work and good opportunities. “In my career, I’ve been blessed because I have had opportunities created every step of the way,” he tells HRD. “Someone would tap me on the shoulder and say, ‘We’ve got this job here – are you interested?’ And that does still happen even up to this day.”

For Toomey, the focus on engaging talent at the individual level remains important and applicable, even with the scale of Hilton’s operations, and it’s especially crucial given the talent acquisition challenges in the hospitality industry. 

The success of Hilton’s employee engagement strategy, which covers everything from benefi ts to L&D through to CSR and employee volunteerism, has been possible because of the commitment of the leaders to lead by example. As an example, Toomey came up with his own set of goals for the health and wellbeing ‘Thrive’ challenge, which include walking and/or running 50km a week, drinking more water and eating more healthily, and practising mindful listening, spending less time on social media and having more in-depth conversations with people around him.