René J.M. Schillings, a Dutch National, is the owner, founder and Managing Director of TOP Hoteliers, the first specialized hospitality recruitment agency to open offices in the People’s Republic of China (in 2004).
After a hotel career that started in Europe, and covered besides Asia, also Africa and the Middle East, he came to China as a hotelier for the first time in 1997. Recognizing both the need for professional search assistance to attract talents for the hotel industry as well as the enormous growth China was experiencing TOP Hoteliers was born. Based in Hong Kong he devotes himself to recruiting hotel managers for all major international and some local hotel companies in Asia. His company was very early to recognize the need for local talent, Mandarin speaking expatriates and China experienced expatriates. His knowledge and insights of the China Hotel Industry are generally regarded as second-to-none, and also led to a loyal clientele overseas, in other parts of Asia.
He has a BA in Hotel Management from Stenden University, a.k.a Hotel Management School Leeuwarden, The Netherlands and an MA in International Tourism & Leisure Studies from Metropolitan University in London, England. René speaks 5 languages, including Mandarin Chinese. He is a keen observer of industry trends and has published numerous articles on HR issues in hospitality in general, and on China in particular. He has lived in the past 2 decades in Asia, in diverse locations as Beijing, Shenzhen, Harbin, Seoul, Hong Kong and Phuket.
Top Hoteliers was founded in 2004 with a first office in Shenzhen, China. It made us the first dedicated Hospitality Recruiter based in China, at that time a booming new market, with many new hotel openings in the run up to the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Our focus was on ‘Greater China’ which included China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan & Singapore. From 2004 to 2008 we operated under the name of HES Global – Greater China, a franchise. In June 2008 we started to operate under the name TOP Hoteliers. Further branches were opened in Hong Kong (2005), Beijing (2007) and Shanghai (2009). At this time TOP Hoteliers consisted of 18 recruiters, familiar with the region. From 2015, the founder of TOP Hoteliers René Schillings went ‘solo’, now operating more dedicated and focused with a more selected database and clientele, keeping Hong Kong as his base, while retaining a presence in the PR China via a sub-office in Shenzhen.
While the focus and presence on China remains, TOP Hoteliers has gained valuable contacts in the rest of Asia, thanks to hotelier contacts who moved through China to other regions. Today we also recruit for locations like Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea and Japan