„Recruiting the elite“.
Since 1992.

In the hospitality business, finding and keeping top-class employees has proven difficult in the past. This was how haystax came into being. The idea was to set up a recruiting service that pools the know-how and networks of experienced professionals from the hospitality industry.

Filling vacancies with the best possible people is central to our work. And what makes us especially proud is when we are instrumental in forging employer-employee relationships that stand the test of time.

With six offices, all operating independently of one another, haystax is today one of the leading headhunters for the international hotel and catering business. But not only that, over the years our remit has changed as the demand for hospitality professionals in other branches has grown. Be it social services, clinics, property developers, fashion companies, trade or industry.

Wherever service and quality play a role,
trust haystax to find the proverbial needle in the haystack.


Important milestones

„For over two decades we trust in haystax, when searching for a charismatic company executive.“

– Thomas H. Althoff
General Manager Althoff Hotels GmbH

It all began back in 1992 with our very first customers: Sheraton Hotels and Althoff Hotels. The precursors of haystax were three offices operating under a licence agreement with the American company ESI (Executive Search International). Set up between 1992 and 1996 in Munich, Frankfurt and Berlin respectively, they essentially introduced Anglo-American-style hotel headhunting to Germany. When the licence agreement expired in 2001, these three offices became independent and were given a new name: haystax. The owners and the business portfolio remained unchanged.

In 2016, further offices were opened in Mülheim and Vienna. Since 2007 we have enjoyed a close working relationship with Vista Hospitality International, New York.


The people behind haystax

Ute Maßmann

After completing her training in hotel management, Ute Maßmann gained a wide range of practical experience working for prestige hotel groups such as Dorint Hotels & Resorts and Arabella Hotels. After being instrumental in the opening of three hotels, last of all the Seidler art’otel Potsdam, in her role as hotel director, she switched to consulting and became the managing director of the Berlin haystax office. She is also a qualified mediator and works as a coach and trainer.

My personal motto:
“Courage is rewarded. In real life, actions speak louder than words.”

Nick Avenell

Born in England, Nick Avenell completed his training at the famous Savoy Hotel in London. He initially planned only a short visit to Germany but ended up staying for 16 years, working as sales director for various hotels belonging to the Kempinski Group. He then became a founding member of the haystax team, bringing professional headhunting, long established in Anglo-American countries, to the German hotel business.

My personal motto:„Life is like riding a bicycle: to keep your balance, you must keep riding.“

Oliver Speh

After training as a restaurant manager, Oliver Speh held various positions in F&B at many renowned restaurants and hotels, culminating in the post of F&B manager. The list of hotels where he has worked includes Hotel Schloss Hugenpoet, the InterContinental in Düsseldorf, the Portman InterContinental in London and the Radisson SAS, again in Düsseldorf. He not only has a full 17 years of practical experience in the hotel and restaurant business, but also almost 18 years of experience in recruitment. In March 2016, he founded the haystax office in Mülheim on the Ruhr.

My personal motto:
“Empathy and passion are the keys to success. In catering to the same degree as in personnel recruitment.”

Antje Maesse

Antje Maesse began her career as a trainee at the Kempinski Hotel in Gravenbruch. Shortly afterwards she rose to the post of rooms division manager at the Kempinski Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Munich. She then steadily worked her way up to the position of deputy director at the Grand Hotel Continental in Munich. In 1992, Antje Maesse set up her own business, pioneering executive recruitment in Germany.

My personal motto:
“The best decisions are made over dinner, not at a Skype conference.”

Anne Koch

After graduating in business studies, Anne Koch gained experience in various international hotels such as the Four Seasons in Berlin, the Hyatt Regency in Warsaw and Le Royal Meridien in Hamburg. She held the post of Regional Director of Finance Europe & North Africa for the InterContinental Hotels Group and was responsible for the initial and continuing education of controllers. In 2016 she established the first haystax office in Austria.

My personal motto:
“There is no such thing as a bad employee or a bad employer, there are only bad combinations.”

Christian Schmidt

After his training in hotel management Christian Schmidt took over responsibility in a short space of time. As Manager, Hotel Director and later on as Managing Director, he gained experience in various hotels. During his time as Managing Director of the ‘Seehotel Großherzog von Mecklenburg’ on the Baltic Sea he was able to set benchmarks in sustainability eg. in the high profile restaurant where he ensured that only regional organic ingredients would be used.

My personal motto:
“If you have the opportunity to shape things, you also have the responsibility to do so.”


The services we provide
for candidates and clients

Market research
Via our network of useful contacts and based on our haystax database, we are aware of who currently has a vacancy – and which executives are looking for a new job.

Screening candidates
From the pool of candidates that have signalled interest, we select those best suited as regards the type of environment and the job profile.

Making contact
We search for suitable candidates, get in touch with them and invite them to an interview. We only rarely place an advertisement in our search for applicants.

Candidate selection
Both employers and candidates benefit from our support at all stages of the selection procedure from the initial telephone interview right up to participation in an assessment centre.

Advising candidates
When asked, we can map out the various routes open to candidates and give them advice on their personal development.

Recruitment follow-up
Our work doesn’t stop once the contract has been signed. We stay in contact with our client and the successful applicant to make sure our recruitment fulfils expectations.