Mobile Technologies to Drive Operational Focus and ROI
January 23, 2022
Mobile technologies have streamlined data collection more than ever but knowing how to link and act on that business information is the key here. Leaders should therefore not assume that near-instant learnings always entail fast solutions or outcomes. On the contrary, there is a psychological phenomenon known as the "speed-accuracy trade off," which implies that one can do things "quickly" or "correctly" but usually not both simultaneously. This means that organizations are well advised to start thinking early about the feedback loop, the information that they are interested in gathering, how they plan to use it, and the process (and time) it takes to build and develop such data.
Ideas To Overcome The Current US Employment Conundrum
September 3, 2021
Today’s employment environment is like nothing we have experienced before. The last pandemic happened in 1918, with a very different labour and economic atmosphere. There are no easy answers to a vast number of questions and nuanced circumstances. The travel industry has been particularly hard hit, as so many people were furloughed last year without any real answer about when they would return. As an “academy industry,” a large portion of these furloughed people were in line-level and entry-level management positions – the most vulnerable faction of the American economy.
Hospitality’s Second Act: Capitalising on the Enchantment Economy
June 29, 2021
Companies that apply new learnings of the enchantment economy only to product offerings or curated experience packages will fail to fully capitalise on the economic rebound and recovery. This is because the most basic component of guest experiences must also be considered, i.e., the people delivering on brand promises. Sadly, many hospitality organisations across the globe continue to struggle with entice employees back to work. It is reasonable to deduce that the economic recovery might be at risk if employees themselves are not ‘enchanted’. The obvious question becomes how businesses can effectively accomplish this.
A Conversation with Le Cordon Bleu about Talent, Trends, and Entrepreneurship
May 12, 2021
I recently connected with Dr Thomas Kyritsis, Senior Lecturer at Le Cordon Bleu and Director for the Master and Bachelor programmes which the organisation runs together with Birkbeck College, University of London, Our conversation started on the impact of Brexit on education and the UK hospitality industry but quickly moved to other topics. Are industry executives still ‘taking the plunge’ to pursue their own entrepreneurial endeavours? If so, what trends or shifts in consumer behaviour should individuals keep in mind that might shape the industry …?
New Technologies to Balance “Speed-Accuracy Trade-Offs” in Hiring
March 15, 2021
Psychology says that decision-making is complicated by a “speed-accuracy” trade-off. This issue becomes more salient as the post-pandemic “rebound and recovery” period approaches. Many organizations will need to increase their talent bench-strength quickly to meet pent-up demand. New psychometric research and AI-technologies confront the traditional trade-off by facilitating more efficient and effective hiring decisions than ever possible before.
Hospitality's 'Hot Seat' Leadership Series: COOs - A Tale Of Two Fortunes
February 18, 2021
curiosity about the ‘hot functions’ is keeping both organisational leadership teams as well as individual executives preoccupied. How can one best reshuffle or complement one’s existing leadership team? Are there specific experiences or skills which could further enhance one’s own executive profile – and thus one’s ‘marketability’?
Hospitality's 'Hot Seat' Leadership Series: Trends in Key Functions
January 22, 2021
We are frequently asked by leaders in our industry what roles are ‘hot’ and where are we seeing movement? That curiosity is reflective of our highly competitive sector, one where individuals are eager to further their professional development but also an industry where scarcity of talent remains an issue – and the pandemic, perhaps counter-intuitively, will probably exaggerate this even further. Of course, one cannot deny that at present there is a larger than usual talent pool for employees to pick and choose from. However, the pandemic has also caused some considerable ‘talent haemorrhaging’, with executives having taken the decision to re-orient their career or to leave the sector for good. On top of that we have already witnessed well-capitalised industry players starting to ‘snap up’ talent so that they are ahead of the curve when it comes to driving and shaping the recovery.
Re-Shape, Re-Generate, Re-Invent: A Career Roundtable Discussion Focused on Confidence, Control and Opportunities
October 20, 2020
The Annual Hotel Conference was held October 8th – in line with the overarching theme of ‘re-shaping’, ‘re-generating, and ‘re-inventing’, delegates were able to participate in an interactive roundtable discussion focused on professional development opportunities. The conversation centred around identifying and securing one’s next career step.
An Insider View: What Keeps Hospitality Leaders Up At Night
September 14, 2020
The hospitality industry finds itself in a state of flux. Many organisations have had to restructure – thus not only forcing many executives to re-evaluate their professional careers, but also the organisations themselves to more critically assess internal workflows, staffing levels and productivity, as well as general business strategies. ‘Change management’, ‘adaptability’ and ‘innovation’ are certainly the buzzwords which are front of mind.
Seatrade Europe and Thomas Mielke In Conversation: Sustainability, Recruitment And Leadership Development In The Cruise Industry
August 14, 2019
"People are the product if the hospitality industry" – this most certainly holds true for the cruise sector. Without the continuity of the talent bench-strength cruise companies would be unable to execute on their ambitious growth plans. As the fight for talent has continued and intensified throughout the last few years, cruise companies have started to embrace an approach which can be coined as "future-casting" – in other words, rather than focusing on proven track record and/or domain knowledge, they have moved away from assessing task competencies. This shift in their recruitment efforts has enabled them to identify people with potential who are adaptable, inquisitive and knowledge-thirsty and who perform well in high-pressure work environments such as the cruise industry.
Successfully Recruiting Hotel Executives in the 21st Century
August 5, 2019
Extreme competitiveness in today’s business world demands that hotel companies consistently outthink and outpace companies within and outside their immediate hospitality verticals. Such competitors include cruise lines, home-sharing, and other luxury or niche experiences like “glamping,” all of which constantly strive to dominate market share. Identifying and securing superstars for senior leadership roles is the cornerstone for ongoing company performance in branding and profit share. Here, companies must be forward-thinking by looking at the “best-in-class” talent from other segments and specifically those within the wider hospitality industry. This is not a new idea, but with the competitor set constantly evolving and broadening, hotel companies need to raise the bar on a continuous basis. This best practice makes sense and can be extremely effective when implemented thoughtfully according to a well-defined strategic purpose.
Sustainability – A Multi-Layered Human Interest Story
July 26, 2019
At present, business podcasts, industry articles and news bulletins are all about ‘sustainability’. The fact that the topic has established itself as a regular head-line feature across different media outlets is very commendable; yet, conversations appear to be somewhat one-sided. We read about initiatives to ensure economic benefits trickle down to communities which are otherwise left behind, to reduce pollution levels and/or to safeguard the environment. In short, most news coverage is about ‘pre-packaged solutions’ – but jumping to solutions will never get rid of the underlying cause of a problem. Should the conversation therefore be more multi-faceted and deeper?
Confronting ‘Trickster’ Figures In Market Metrics
June 12, 2019
Huge faith is placed in data, often blindly. People want to believe the black and white figures in front of them; it feels safe and reassuring. In the hospitality sector alone, data have spawned a whole industry of firms that specialize in collecting, housing, distributing, compiling and helping users to understand data – data related to bookings, food cost, productivity, guest reviews, water usage, market demand, average spend, CRM, etc.
Leveraging Transformational Technology - Miles Ahead In HR With Artificial Intelligence
June 3, 2019
One of the biggest pitfalls for organisations is to spend money and set up an AI infrastructure but not be able to use the outputs or insights gained – based on either incorrect avenues pursued that yield in irrelevant or difficult-to-use data points or based on a lack of in-house skills to “make sense” of the AI outputs. Understanding how “digitally mature” an organisation is and how ready its employees and executives are to implement “data science” should, consequently, be one of the first assessments one undertakes when looking at applying AI within an organisation.
Hotel Food & Beverage - Where to Invest in Talent?
April 29, 2019
It feels as though hotel food and beverage has received a lot of renewed attention in the industry as of late. Twenty years ago, around the turn of the millennium, we experienced a reinvention of the hotel fine dining model with the introduction of big name ‘celebrity’ chefs into hotels through outsourced, leased and/or licensing deals. One of the most prominent of such deals was that made between Blackstone and Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s in London, which spawned a decade of followers as hotel ownership succumbed to the old adage that “hotels can’t do F&B” and instead opted to give the space over to someone who supposedly could.
Are a Hotelier’s Expat Days Numbered?
April 12, 2019
One wonders [...] if the days of the expatriate are numbered and if those entering the business 10, 20 years from now will have the same options open to them. My visit to Singapore also took in the HICAP Update conference. During the ‘Investment Outlook’ panel, when asked to name his number one cost-saving measure in relation to his firm’s hotel portfolio, one of the region’s leading investors half-jokingly replied, “Get rid of the expats.” While this raised a chuckle from the audience (at least 50% expats themselves), there is some seriousness in his statement that reflects an increasing move to localise many management positions in the hotel sector. The fact is that foreign executives are expensive when compared to local hires, often requiring significant additional cost above base pay in terms of allowances and benefits, such as housing, schooling, relocation, insurances, etc. With labour costs typically being one of the heaviest line items on a P&L, it is no wonder that hotel owners are keen to lessen their dependency on imported expertise.
Cross-Industry Hiring Decisions: Recruiting Leaders from the (System Chain) Restaurant Industry - Opportunities and Threats for Lodging Operators to Consider
February 25, 2019
Hoteliers have historically considered the Food & Beverage (F&B) department as a loss leader, a ‘must-have’ to appease paying hotel guests. To put it bluntly, money was to be made on the rooms side of the business. Yet, times and attitudes have changed. Clients have become more discerning and thirstier for authentic and local experiences to tease their taste buds whilst hoteliers have recognised that their in-house F&B offering can be a point of differentiation.
Putting ‘Job-Hopping’ in Proper Perspective
June 13, 2018
Executive search clients consistently voice concerns about candidates who appear to be “job-hopping”– i.e., frequently move to new opportunities after relatively short stints. These concerns are reasonable and can be justified in many circumstances, although other times, movement early in an individual’s career can be both beneficial and rational. For instance, one AETHOS placement talked about how he sought different companies and experiences in the beginning years of his career to make himself more well-rounded and adaptable in the future. Aiming to understand better these different views on job-hopping, an analysis was conducted on the career paths for eleven of our recent placements in hospitality real estate related positions, including Development, Acquisitions, and Asset Management roles. The idea was to gauge the first eight years of each placement’s career for the number of different companies represented. This does not include multiple positions within the same company, graduate schooling, or internships.
Cruise Ships and Their Ports of Registration: Should Human Resources be Worried About Perception?
March 29, 2018
The hospitality industry is one of the world’s largest employers; the cruise sector is arguably one of the sub-segments which records one of the strongest growth rates (note: The Cruise Line Industry Association, CLIA, predicts 27 million passengers by the end of 2018). With that in mind, it is no surprise that everyone wants a piece of the pie. Although the market is dominated by just a few big players, new competition is muscling in. AETHOS recently assessed what it takes for one of those new competitors, the traditional lodging operator, to move into the cruise sector – looking predominantly, at human resources and talent management. One key decision that we have not yet discussed is the relevance of the country where a cruise ship is registered – does or does it not impact the ability to attract and retain talent? Could it have an adverse impact on employer branding?
Driving Away Top Talent
May 23, 2017
Imagine the typical home-buying process… but riddled with unexpected gaps in communication, unanswered questions and a sneaking suspicion that the seller is hiding something from you. What if the realtor is hesitant to have a phone call or meeting to talk through issues, but gives you endless rounds of paperwork and questions to complete before you are even ready to consider putting in a bid? Reasonable buyers would not tolerate this for a decision as important as buying a house. Why do companies think they can get away with perpetrating similar red flags when trying to recruit top talent to their firm? The fact is, they can’t.
Introducing the “FAIR” Interview: Four Traits Critical for Success in a Meritocracy
April 5, 2017
Whether through social media, internal referral systems or recruiters, companies searching for top talent consistently ask me and other AETHOS partners for advice and guidance on interviewing people to determine whether they will likely thrive in a meritocracy. That’s the name of the game in today’s hospitality industry – though not everyone is equally equipped to excel in such an environment.
Are You Honestly Willing To Hire Out-Of-The-Box?
December 14, 2016
Do you have the moxie to hire out-of-the-box? Do you hire the ‘best athlete’ or the ‘safe’ candidate? Do you push the envelope in your company to help move it into the 21st century? Or is rocking the boat just too much risk for you to take?
“What Millennials Want” – The Real Career Priorities of Gen X vs Gen Y
January 16, 2017
Millennials (aka “Generation Y” or “Echo Boomers”) are the talk about town. A day rarely passes without a new report explaining what this generation wants out of life and how their value set are economic and cultural disruptors. As consumers and employees, GenY is therefore fast becoming the focal point of marketers, as well as cultural, religious and political leaders.
M&A’s Impact On The Hotel Talent Market
September 23, 2016
“I expect there are a lot of people out on the market at present?” - I have been presented with this supposition on a large number of occasions this year, mostly by small to medium sized hotel groups who are hopeful that the consolidation currently underway in the sector equates to an abundance of laid off talent that they can snap up.
Knock, Knock… Who’s There? Understanding the Merits of Candidate Background Checks with Databases Expert Edward Robusto
May 15, 2016
This era of big data, global connectedness, and instant access to a wealth of social media information makes it tempting for organizations sourcing or vetting executive talent to assume that it is easy to “see what you are getting” with potential candidates. After all, the logic goes, most everything about people’s professional and even social backgrounds would seem to be codified and quantified online or otherwise documented and accessible somewhere.
The Hospitality Industry’s Intense Eye on Human Capital: A Hot Topic in Strategic Circles
April 1, 2016
Keeping in mind the heightened M&A activity and the international buy-out or take-over activity that the hospitality industry is currently witnessing: How well do you think your organisation would fair if it were made up of likeminded individuals not used to be challenged or questioned by a different perspective? By individuals who predominantly come from the Western world and, although having gained international work experience, who have first and foremost made their careers in European or American institutions with belief systems quite distinct from their Asian counterparts?
Thoughts for Leaders on Gaining and Retaining Millennials
November 16, 2015
Millennials are easily bored if not intellectually or socially stimulated the right ways - this is a significant and potentially costly challenge for businesses as they strive to curb turnover of employees with lower engagement, loyalty to company and a threshold for job-hopping.
Three Insider Tactics to Effectively Hire Hospitality Leadership from Outside the Sector
September 18, 2014
"Bringing in someone from outside [the sector] can lend new perspectives and experiences and produce extremely positive outcomes. The key is to know where to look, identify the needed skill-set, and then be sure to have a systematic on-boarding process in place to set up your new leader for ultimate success."
A Profile of Hospitality Leadership in Africa
September 15, 2014
Dr. Jim Houran assesses global leadership profiles and specifically hones-in on the potential challenges faced by employers and senior executives on the African continent. Dr. Jim shares best practices in driving performance in the work place and identifies key issues that need addressing - the psychometric GM and CEO/COO profiles revealed in the article provide a data-driven response to the critical question posed as to what types of leaders will meet the guests defining the new haven of hospitality. Arguably that answer is leaders who are “technical capable but perhaps not fully prepared in their service mindset.”
CEO Turnover Study 2013: A Profile of Hotel Industry Leadership - A 10 Year Review
August 18, 2014
CEO turnover among the world’s 50 largest hotel firms in 2013 was 10% down from a 2012 figure of 16%. Leaders who took office in 2013 were Sébastien Bazin (Accor), Lee Chee Koon (Ascott), Wolfgang Neumann (Carlson Rezidor), Frank Fiskers (Scandic), and Peter Gowers (Travelodge). New CEO arrivals always tend to prompt speculation from employees, shareholders, analysts, media, and industry colleagues as to the likely performance of the hire and of the hiring organization. Such transition events also give us a chance to take stock, look at the CEO role in the hotel world from a holistic standpoint and explore the profile of these industry titans.
Breaking the Mould: Talent Management in an Ever Evolving Industry
July 4, 2014
There are three major shifts within the industry and the workforce as a whole that drive the growing need for transformation within the HR department and the relationship between business leadership and HR professionals. Considering each on a case by case basis, it is subsequently questioned whether there are no other talent management tools beyond the established that are worthwhile applying.
New HR Study: Candid Recruitment Experiences with LinkedIn
May 30, 2014
Industrial and workplace psychologist Dr. Jim Houran is looking at the accuracy and effectiveness of a new form of hiring - social recruiting. Studies reveal that even for low-level positions a failed hire costs a company double the person’s annual salary. At higher levels, the cost can be six times annual salary. Corporate leaders and HR pros tend to agree that hiring is the most important thing any organization does, yet the best method for recruitment remains debatable.
MBA and Nowhere to Go?
January 11, 2013
AETHOS and EHL Masters students discuss job search strategies in the current economic turmoil.
Internet Job Boards Offer a Menu of Services to Hospitality Industry Professionals
January 11, 2013
Industry professionals are looking to job boards for comprehensive career tools.
Executive Recruiting Within The Chain Restaurant Industry
January 11, 2013
Organizations that understand how executive search firms should operate consistently attract and retain the best and brightest.
Cautiously Optimistic: Hotel Recruitment in 2010
January 11, 2013
The partners at AETHOS present a global perspective on hospitality executive recruitment in 2010.
Become a More Efficient Internet Recruiter and Attract the Best Talent
January 11, 2013
An analysis on the components of internet job boards.
Addressing the Demand for Hotel Asset Managers in Europe
January 11, 2013
Continuing changes in the European hotel real estate sector have led to a significant increase in the need for Hotel Asset Managers in Europe this year.
How to Best Sell Yourself In An Online Environment
January 11, 2013
Strategies for candidates to find and secure the best jobs through the internet
January 11, 2013
HVS advises on strategies that will assist job seekers and employers maintain confidentiality while using recruitment websites.
Can New Technology Bolster HR Strategy?
January 11, 2013
Sophisticated technologies improve HR efficiencies but also warm the hearts of CEOs and CFOs as they can directly and dramatically affect both top and bottom line.
Assess for the Best
January 10, 2013
As the pool of available candidates grows, it becomes more important for employers to ensure that they are hiring the best candidate for the job.