Spotlight Crerar Hotels' Claire Cuthbertson

Posted on Thursday, June 9, 2022 by Izabela KrajkaNo comments

Welcome back to our 'Spotlight' series where we shine the light on the industry's amazing leaders and inspiring figures! Today, our guest is Crerar Hotels' (more about Crerar) Group HR Manager, Claire Cuthbertson. We are grateful for the amazing advice and for sharing fascinating personal stories and facts. To find out in which sport Claire Cuthbertson competed in and won at the UK Championship level, keep reading! :) 

  1. Can you introduce yourself?


    My name is Claire Cuthbertson, I am the Group HR Manager at Crerar Hotels.

  2. Where did you start your career at?


    I left school during 5th year. I could not wait any longer to start work. So I started work as an administrative assistant on the YTS Scheme (Youth Training Scheme for those who probably have never heard of it before!) I am definitely showing my age, anyway I was earning £29 per week!  I had a couple of similar jobs after that until I jumped into the hospitality industry 23 years ago working in a hotel at the time called St Andrews Bay Golf Resort and Spa in Fife, which is now Fairmont St Andrews.  My first job was a Telephonist, I then was transferred to work in the Spa as a Receptionist, I then applied for an HR Officer role which I got and here I am today, never looked back.

  3. What motivates you to wake up and go to work?

    Knowing that I can make a difference, especially when it comes to people. I have learned so much and the hospitality industry has invested a lot into me, so its really nice to be able to give it back.  I am very much a people person, knowing I am waking up to go to work that has such a diverse workforce and also our customers, its different every single day. It can be very interesting/different/challenging and exciting at the same time.

  4. What do you do in your current role?


    My role as a Group HR Manager is to support the business and General Managers of the seven hotels on:-


    • Recruitment
    • Learning & Development
    • Performance Management
    • Reward & Recognition
    • Culture
    • Engagement
    • Welfare
    • Health & Safety
    • And so much more!

  5. What would you do (career-wise) if you were not in this current job?


    I always wanted to be an Actress!


  6. Who is your hero? Why?


    I have a few heros:


    - Jackie Cannon who was my Vice President of HR for Chateau Elan Hotels & Resorts (St Andrews Bay).  Jackie gave me the job which started my career in HR, she encouraged me to do my CIPD and then encouraged me to travel to Atlanta, Georgia USA to work at our sister hotel.  Best 1.5 years of my life, I have made so many friends for life in America, I was invited back to be a bridesmaid.


    - Sean Wheeler who was my People Director at Principal Hotels.  I learned so much from Sean, such an amazing inspirational manager to work for. 


    - Laurie Nicol who was my General Manager at Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow.  I have a lot of respect for Laurie, she was a manager who was so driven and pushed me to drive myself with trust and respect.


  7. What advice would you give your younger self?


    Life is too short, stop worrying about the things that there is no need to worry about.  Have a little patience and don’t sweat about the small stuff.

  8. How do you see the hospitality industry going further/changing?


    This is a difficult one, there has been a lot of changes already since COVID, and the most important one is that Hospitality has woken up and realised that we need to be kinder to our employees, mostly when comes to working hours, pay, benefits and flexibility.  This has turned hospitality around for the better.   

  9. Why should people consider working in the hospitality/Tourism sector?


    Hospitality is hard work, however the rewards you get are like no other industry.  As I mentioned above, I got the opportunity to work in the US, lots of people travel the world because they work in hospitality. There are so many different careers in hospitality and its like one big family.  Everyone works hard but also has a lot of fun at the same time. You definitely get lots of benefits!

  10. Tell us three things about you that no-one knows?


I hold a 2nd Dan Black Belt in Karate, trained for 27 years, competed and won at UK Championship level.

I am totally obsessed with my dog named Molly, she is a Cockerpoo and I love her so much! She makes me feel happy when I am sad or stressed!

I am such a foodie. I live to eat not the other way around.  When I plan a holiday, I always think about what the culture would be like and what type of food they make.  The only food I do not like is Marzipan….yuk!


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