Trends And Technology In And Around The Exec Search Firm Landscape
Robert Mellwig, Chief Culture Officer (Global CHRO) at Sbe Lifestyle Hospitality
As the demand for top talent across many industries reaches a heightened new level, companies like Accor are needing to capitalize on emerging trends and new technology in partnership with executive search to meet business objectives. Having re-opened the majority of the Group’shotels and poised with a growing pipeline, Accor, like many luxury hospitality management companies is navigating a complex landscape in the midst of a talent conundrum. With many competitors enhancing their benefits and perks to improve their employee value proposition, Accor has continued to organize both internally and externally with the addition of senior talent acquisition leadership roles in the home office and experimenting with new field recruitment structures. Additionally, external partners are playing an increasing role in accessing talent including at the executive search level.
Robert Mellwig, Senior Vice President of Accor’s North and Central America region, which oversees 91 hotels and 22,000 employees, which Accor refers to as ‘Heartists’, acknowledges a number of emerging trends in this area including increased flexibility, enhanced perks and hybrid search partnership structures. The notion of “work fromanywhere” is an important shift in Accor’s strategy to access top talent and strategically distribute certain leadership roles in key markets where Accor operates. More than 50% of the corporate teamis not based in its Toronto office, with the vast majority working from home. The company is experimenting with new customized benefits in certain markets, like Canada’s western mountain region, encompassing 4of its prominent Fairmont properties, where managers can “pick their perks” and choose from a menu of options such as free golf, free spa services, free dining credits, transportation discounts and more, to customize what matters for them. These offerings are not only valuable tools in attracting and retaining talent, but they help reinforce the company’s brand and differentiated culture. The pursuit of connecting people to purpose has been at the heart of Accor’s mission. All top talent including at the executive level are looking to work for an organization that has a compelling culture where values and beliefs are prioritized and have evolved to reflect the future of work. For Accor, diversity, equity and inclusion paired with its unrelenting commitment to the environmentand sustainability, help position the Groupto stand out. Being named a top workplace by several organizations, coupled with its impressive portfolio of award winning locations aids Accor in extending its reputation as a preferred employer.
Robert also notes that the executive search model has evolved. While Accor still leverages search partners as a strategic extension of its talent network in traditional ways with fully retained and fully contingent partnerships at various levels, they have seen an emerging trend with respect to semi-retained models. These partnerships may see an initial fee, but are heavily back end conditioned on success in terms of placement. This model can serve to help consolidate search partnerships more strategically where the firms representing the company have a deeper connection to Accor and therefore the ramp up time for search is accelerated, the search partner sees greater volume and can more authentically represent the company in the process based on experience and familiarity.
"The use of executive leadership assessments via technology have made the selection process easier if these tools are integrated into the company’s talent management systems."
Technology also plays a role as companies like Accor embrace a mobile enabled and virtual world. Partnerships with companies and platforms like QWICK and Handshake show Accor’s desire to lean in to the technology shift as it relates to talent. While these tools assist in hourly recruitment and with respect to university hiring, Accor has seen technology play an increasingly important role in accessing senior talent. Leveraging targeted digital campaigns via LinkedIn and cultivating alumni networks designed to entice leaders to return to Accor have played a role in shaping Accor’s approach. The use of executive leadership assessments via technology have made the selection process easier if these tools are integrated into the company’s talent management systems. Robert cautions against too many assessments and when working with executive search firms suggests aligning on the front end of the process to avoid confusion and ensure a better candidate experience. Well in advance of the pandemic, Accor had embraced virtual interviewing, but with the comfort level of both hiring managers and candidates increasing over the past 18 months, Accor views the need to get comfortable with technology as a key business priority.
Accoris a world leading hospitality group consisting of more than 5,200 properties and 10,000 food and beverage venues throughout 110 countries. The group has one of the industry’s most diverse and fully-integrated hospitality ecosystems encompassing more than 40 luxury, premium, midscale and economy hotel brands, entertainment and nightlife venues, restaurants and bars, branded private residences, shared accommodation properties, concierge services, co-working spaces and more. Accor’s unmatched position in lifestyle hospitality – one of the fastest growing categories in the industry – is led by Ennismore, a creative hospitality company with a global portfolio of entrepreneurial and founder-built brands with purpose at their heart. Accor boasts an unrivalled portfolio of distinctive brands and approximately 260,000 team members worldwide. 68 million members benefit from the company’s comprehensive loyalty program – ALL - Accor Live Limitless– a daily lifestyle companion that provides access to a wide variety of rewards, services and experiences. Through its Planet 21 – Acting Here, Accor Solidarity, RiiSE and ALL Heartist Fund initiatives, the Group is focused on driving positive action through business ethics, responsible tourism, environmental sustainability, community engagement, diversity and inclusivity. Founded in 1967, Accor SA is headquartered in France and publicly listed on the Euronext Paris Stock Exchange (ISIN code: FR0000120404) and on the OTC Market (Ticker: ACCYY) in the United States. For more information visitgroup.accor.com, or follow Accor on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, andInstagram.
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