Talent is currently one of the biggest challenges for the events and hospitality sector. In our latest guest blog, Danny Pecorelli, managing director of Exclusive Hotels, explains why recruiting the right people into the industry is about names not numbers…
If the truth be told facts, figures and people benchmarking is not what defines today’s ‘employer of choice’. And it’s especially true in the hospitality sector.
With hoteliers now responsible for being makers of moments and experience specialists we need more than equations and statistical business norms around our people practices and, most importantly, we need to ensure we have the people who are aligned to our ethos in place. Finding people for the service industry is no longer just a numbers game of X people to serve X guests. Getting the right people – talent – is now far more about finding the personality to interact, enthuse and create that experience or moment to get guests talking, sharing, and returning.
Just as guests want a brand experience, so do employees. Holidays and meals on duty are expected, people don’t want to be treated as a number they want to be recognised for their individuality, impact and commitment. They want to be treated as unique and the one size fits all mentality no longer works in terms of employees’ expectations. Of course, they want to be remunerated well but they also want benefits that are meaningful to them as individuals. Benefits need to be developed for the individual faces and personal nuances that are in the business.
The days of piling into a role with the biggest corporate with the biggest global footprint is being superseded with employees wanting to work for an organisation with the lightest footprint. They want to work for an employer, big or small, who cares about their impact on the environment and the communities where they are based. Big bullish branding is being shunned in favour of integrity, purpose, and respect. Respect for the environment, the teams, the suppliers and the community.
People also want development. The hospitality sector is known for high employee turnover but give people the right environment to develop and their staying power lasts. Learning is a natural human tendency and it’s up to us to create opportunities to grow through learning and personal development.
The last 18-months has been a pivotal time for our business – an all hands-on deck scenario where we sought to innovate and react to a rollercoaster market. We encouraged everyone to get involved and listened to every voice, after all people who know they are heard are more engaged and productive. And when people are given a voice, they tend to use it which facilitates improvement, innovation, and a sense of belonging and value. It also creates ambassadorship helping influence that draw of an a ‘employer of choice’. And since people are attracted to success, it’s a virtuous circle.
Giving people the space and reassurance to take risks is also key to building a strong employee focused brand where satisfaction is measured in smiles and engagement and a willingness to dig deep when the roller coaster takes off at full speed. Without risk there is no innovation or change and as we all know guests’ expectations have been heightened. Going out, staying away or holding an event now requires infinitely more in terms of service, experience and moments than two years ago.
We’ve learned to place a bigger focus on counting our different voices and individual personal assets, rather than purely benchmarking our people. After all, by capitalising on the asset of individuality and personality it not only creates a hard to replicate brand, it creates ownership, belonging and innovation.
Ultimately creating a brand that people are drawn to is about names not numbers.