Hilton Hotels Corporation Rolls out Flexible Work-at-Home Program for Reservations...

Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:39am EDT

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Hilton Hotels Corporation Rolls out Flexible Work-at-Home Program for Reservations Agents

   Flexibility Attracts Highly Talented Workforce; Enables Agents to
   Skirt Effects of Rising Fuel Prices Associated with Work Commute
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.--(Business Wire)--
Hilton Hotels Corporation has developed a flexible work-at-home
program, called Hilton@Home, underway within Hilton Reservations &
Customer Care (HRCC). The highly flexible program enables HRCC to
attract talented individuals for reservations and customer support
positions who prefer to work from the comfort of their own homes while
providing the first critical interaction for prospective guests
calling upon reservations and customer services.

   "Today's consumer demands a heightened level of customer service,
and HRCC delivers with motivated home-based sales and service
professionals," said Russ Olivier, senior vice president, HRCC.
"Today, more than 800 Hilton@Home agents book global travel and
provide customer care for more than 3,000 hotels with 500,000 rooms
among nine brands that comprise the Hilton Family of Hotels. This
unique career offering from a world-class organization attracts
experienced and educated professionals who may not otherwise consider
a customer contact position in the typical call center environment."

   Applicants for employment at HRCC largely come from stay-at-home
parents, dual career professionals, retirees, students, primary
caregivers or special needs individuals - all who prefer the at-home
working environment. The program's flexibility, thorough self-managed
training and on-line connectivity help attract a high-caliber, diverse
work force who appreciates the value proposition of work from home,
without the hassle or cost of a commute. "In addition, rising fuel
costs largely are averted with a non-existent work commute," added
Olivier, "which is highly relevant to our current workforce and
prospective candidates in today's economy."

   Specific program components include:

   --  Customizable work schedules online - Agents are given complete
        control over the balance of their personal and professional
        priorities by being able to choose their own work schedules
        online, 24/7. Work schedules become the complement to team
        member lives as opposed to a 'barrier' to creating optimum
        work-life balance - representing a fundamental and refreshing
        shift from the norm.

   --  Advanced technology enables HRCC to bring sophisticated tools
        and resources directly to the agent desktop. Agents have fast
        access to a rich, on-line knowledge base enabling superior
        customer support to book for virtually any hotel stay around
        the world. Additionally agents can access their own
        performance metrics and personalized scorecards from their
        desktop - a full view of where they are today and where they
        need to go to achieve their personal best.

   --  Training courses for new hires and for existing team members
        are a blend of classroom and on-line training. By early 2009
        new agents are scheduled to be able to complete new hire
        training from home through a series of self paced training
        courses, virtual classroom courses and a virtual learning lab.

   --  Chat rooms and social activities enable at-home agents to
        communicate with their peers online and off. These
        professional and personal exchanges help create and sustain an
        environment of strongly informed and connected team members.
        Team meetings and one-to-one monthly meetings with management
        are held virtually - all resulting in communications that are
        seamless, fluid and frequent.

   --  Environmentally Friendly Advantages - HRCC has helped reduce
        the carbon footprint of team members who no longer have to
        commute in a traditional sense. Energy consumption in contact
        centers also will be reduced through the program. HRCC already
        has reduced its required facility footprint by approximately
        10% in 2008.

   "A work force of inspired, educated and experienced team members
bolsters the customer experience," said Olivier. "Happy team members
result in happy guests -- the proof is in the longevity demonstrated
by highly capable agents and the increased satisfaction scores from
guest surveys."

   About Hilton Reservations & Customer Care

   Hilton Reservations & Customer Care (HRCC) is a division of Hilton
Hotels Corporation with the primary focus of providing worldwide voice
reservations and customer service for the Hilton Family of Hotels and
Hilton HHonors program. HRCC operates four U.S. contact centers
(Dallas; Tampa, Fla.; Hazleton, Pa.; and Hemet, Calif.) and five
international centers (Mexico City, Glasgow, Singapore, Tokyo and
Cairo), comprising more than 3,000 team members worldwide and serving
more than 98,000 customers per day.

   HRCC operates a state-of-the-art multi-brand central reservation
system (CRS) and provides a full range of reservation services
including telephone reservations, travel agent support, frequent guest
customer service, Internet reservation support, and email services.
HRCC employs over 800 reservations specialists working from their
homes through its exclusive Hilton@Home program.

   About Hilton Hotels Corporation

   Hilton Hotels Corporation is a leading global hospitality company,
with more than 3,000 hotels and 500,000 rooms in 74 countries and
territories, with more than 135,000 team members worldwide. The
company owns, manages or franchises some of the best known and highly
regarded hotel brands including Hilton(R), Conrad(R) Hotels & Resorts,
Doubletree(R), Embassy Suites Hotels(R), Hampton Inn(R), Hampton Inn &
Suites(R), Hilton Garden Inn(R), Hilton Grand Vacations(TM), Homewood
Suites by Hilton(R) and The Waldorf=Astoria Collection(TM).

   Hilton Hotels Corporation is an Official Sponsor of the U.S.
Olympic Team, which will extend through the 2010 Olympic and
Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic
Games in London, the 2010/2012 U.S. Paralympic Team and the 2011 U.S.
Pan American Team.

   The Hilton Family of Hotels adheres to founder Conrad Hilton's
philosophy that, "It has been, and continues to be, our responsibility
to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality." The
company put a name to its unique brand of service that has made it the
best known and most highly regarded hotel company: be hospitable(R).
The philosophy is shared by all brands in the Hilton Family of Hotels,
and is the inspiration for its overarching message of kindness and
generosity.

   For more information about the company, please visit
www.hiltonfamily.com.

HHC Brand Communications
Kendra Walker, 310-205-4545
Kendra.walker@hilton.com
http://www.hiltonworldwide.com

Copyright Business Wire 2008