Voices of the Future – Vicky Sanchez Acedo, MBA Global Hospitality Management student at Les Roches.

About Vicky: ” I was born and raised in the northern part of Spain, licensed in Business & Marketing and moved to China and France to study. I had the opportunity to travel to 41 countries so far, which gave me an international vision of the world and allowed me to discover my passion for cultures and people. I joined the MBA program in Les Roches where I found everything I was looking for, a mix of cultures and backgrounds together endlessly in love with same industry, Hospitality.”

EP proudly provides a platform for the thoughts and voices of the future leaders of the Hospitality industry.

Hospitality recruitment: “stop hiring profiles, start hiring potential talents”

After almost three years of uncertainty, changes and instability, we can finally say that tourism is back; and hospitality is alive and kicking.

This beautiful sector, where people from all around the world take the time to plan, leave their place, discover other countries and enjoy different gastronomies. The industry of people caring for people, where one is welcomed with a smile, and parted with a warm “au revoir” and never a goodbye. A sector where the way to differentiate yourself is not the services or selling products, but the people. The driving force of the hospitality industry is people looking after the needs of others.

It is no secret that hospitality has been extremely damaged by the pandemic. We can blame the world crisis and the need to lay-off employees. However, we cannot forget that even though it is a people-centric industry, companies could not get rid of their workforce any faster, creating a huge sense of mistrust. While we were all getting back to normality, human resources teams realised that the main ingredient was not returning. Where did our people go? The world is facing a new Covid-19 consequence which has become a huge challenge: a shortage of staff.

Hospitality has opened its business doors, but we are no longer in 2019. Let me welcome you to 2022 hospitality workers. We are lucky to be in an industry characterised to be a fast-changing sector constantly facing obstacles to beat. Nevertheless, it is not about killing the problem anymore, our industry is calling for change. Covid-19 stopped the world and made us rethink our way of living and, more importantly, the way we work.

One of the most important lessons we take from the pandemic is to spend time with our people and value the work-life balance, always loving what we do. We spend eight to ten hours of our day in the workplace and we know that remote working is absolutely out of the equation as hospitality needs people. So how do you make someone who has been home for the last three years come back to an industry which requires emotional and physical effort? Bringing the passion back. Creating an employee branding strategy. Making the workplace the place to work, taking care of the employee’s needs and serving them as the brand wants them to serve the guests.

Examples of hospitality survivors are the ones who carried the situation forward; that F&B manager who had to work as a steward to help the restaurant team, that housekeeper who had to be the front office manager to keep the doors open. It is not only about bringing the talent back, though, it is about finding potential employees in different pools and putting the industry in power again. Hire a lawyer, see how loyal and honest they can be to the brand. Hire a marketing specialist for the front office team, see how good they understand the needs of the guests and advance any issues.

Take the risk. Believe in the potential of the personalities and how well they can fit into the brand. Train them with the skills and give them the knowledge. Stop looking for CVs and start looking for matches to the brand. Flexibility is a must word to consider when attracting talent. Take the time to know the hobbies and passions of your candidates. Maybe this potential front office candidate is a foodie and restaurant lover; so consider that with the right training they could become a surprisingly good future F&B manager. Appraise the idea of cross-training for employees, retain their talent in the right department, and make them experts in the brand.

2022 should be the year where we start changing the way we see the workplace, changing how we hire our employees and how we try to retain them. And this movement starts with taking the risk, trusting the people around you and giving them opportunities to shine. Stop hiring profiles and start hiring potential talents, it will make a difference.