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Kathryn Moore launches recruitment and training company

28 Jan 2016
Industry veteran Kathryn Moore has launched a new company, Spa Connectors, to provide training and recruitment for the global spa industry.

Moore, who most recently oversaw 60 facilities as MSpa’s director of spa in Asia, said her experiences in the industry inspired the launch of Spa Connectors.

“We saw the same problems, year after year,” she explained. “There’s always a shortage of therapists, and there’s always an issue with training.”

Spa Connectors works with colleges in China, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Morocco to source high-quality therapists – screening them for English fluency, experience, motivation and attitude – before interviewing them and doing reference checks.

Once selected, therapists can then take one of two courses: a three-month course for those with no experience, or a two-week course for experienced therapists. The courses include Spa Connectors’ X-factor module, which teaches employee engagement, anticipating guests’ needs, up-selling, empathy and more.

Spa Connectors is aiming its services at five-star resorts in the Middle East, Asia and the Indian Ocean, with plans to expand into China and Africa. The organisation will also train therapists in two specific protocols for the hotel they’re going to work in.

“They’ll be ready to go and start generating revenue as soon as they start,” Moore explained.

Hotels pay US$1,000 (€916, £698) for a trained therapist, and turn-around time is between two weeks and three months.

Spa Connectors also offers a corporate social responsibility division, and has partnered with Harmony House in India and BaliWISE in Bali to help place disadvantaged women into spa careers.

“A lot of hotels have massive CSR budgets that they could use for this,” said Moore. "Instead of spending that CSR budget on planting trees or painting a school," she explained, "they can put their money towards training a disadvantaged woman to be a therapist who works for them – a win/win situation."

“I’m really excited about this division of the business, because I think we can make a really big difference,” she added.

Spa Connectors also offers spa pre-opening services, including menu development.

“We can recruit, train and build the menu,” said Moore. “We’re working with a lot of consultants because they don’t want to do the training and recruitment, so they build our services into the package.”

Additionally, the company offers specialised spa manager training, spa manager recruitment and spa audits, and also has a mobile training team, based in Thailand, that can do on-site training in a variety of skills.

“Right now, most new properties are reliant on the product house for the training,” said Moore. “So there really is a big gap there.”

Spa Connectors had a soft launch at the Global Wellness Summit in November, but officially got up and running this month, and expects to have its first students ready at the end of March.

The company also includes Julie-Anne Kelly, training and culture director; Simon Eadon, commercial director; Jaime Svensson, operations director; and Lisa McCarthy, marketing and PR manager.

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