WHEN EXECUTIVE RECRUITMENT GOES WRONG
If a company employs a member of the management team who falls short of expectations, this exercise will – as a rule – end up costing the company the equivalent of an annual salary, points out Mette Ravn Arnold, a partner in TN Manpower & Training.
“If you hire a general manager at a salary of DKK 1 million per year, the secondary cost will arise from the one year it takes before a new general manager becomes fully operational. But it’s not just about money, there are also human consequences. Inadequate managerial skills are the most frequent cause of changes in the management team,” she says.
For Scandic Hotels, the recruitment process – both internally and externally – has become extremely important, says Head of HR, Lena Bjurner.
“We go to great lengths when recruiting. It’s important that our managers inspire, build trust, cooperate and are capable of empowering our employees. We compile personal profiles and conduct tests in the recruitment process to ensure that the candidate embraces a Scandinavian value of hiring people for their attitude and then offering skills training,” says Lena Bjurner.
Nordic Choice Hotels has adopted a similar approach, explains HR Manager Hanne Corneliussen. Thorough preparation prior to a job interview is absolutely crucial, she emphasises.
“We continuously strive to enhance the skills of all recruiting managers at Nordic Choice Hotels. The training is both online and off-line, and we have clear guidelines and policies for recruitment and onboarding,” she says. But erroneous recruitment still happens, she acknowledges.
“Those who hire and those who get employed are people. Sometimes the match isn’t quite right, but that doesn’t mean that the person hired isn’t right for a different job in the company. Sometimes you need to reassess,” says Hanne Corneliussen, and adds:
“There are costs involved in recruiting, hiring and onboarding, and recruitment will become especially costly should the same job vacancy need to be repeatedly filled within a short period of time. But although the costs in terms of time and money can be considerable, great personal costs can also be involved if an employee experiences a feeling of failure.
“We as employers have a great responsibility to quality check the information we receive during the recruitment process, so that we choose the right candidate, ensuring we are the right choice for the candidate, too.”
IN SEARCH OF NEW TALENT
The industry is booming and so is employment. This requires the industry to start looking beyond its professional ranks, says Mette Ravn Arnold, partner in TN Manpower & Training.
“There is a lack of openness towards non-industry professionals, which leads to narrow recruitment from the same talent pools. This applies to the managerial level as well as the level below. The hospitality industry entertains a narrative of uniqueness, which leads us to make special demands on our employees. It’s a closed club, not least within revenue management.”
According to Mette Ravn Arnold, the industry should look more at natural traits than professional training in relation to service.
“One could look more at personal competencies than traditional CVs and work-related experiences, such as with PMS systems. Today, many employers look at the professional quality of an applicant’s previous positions. In the future, it will become necessary to adopt a broader perspective,” she says, adding: “Other players within the service industry, such as ISS and Deloitte, have begun showing interest in people from the hotel industry. Perhaps we should look around to see if we could use people from other service industries, too.”
However, according to Allan Agerholm, CEO of BC Hospitality Group, industry knowledge is especially important when it comes to positions such as general manager or restaurant manager, while such knowledge is less relevant when it comes to marketing positions, for example.
“We don’t attract many people from other industries. To manage a hotel or restaurant requires knowing what you are doing. Theoretical training isn’t enough on its own. You need to know something about the trade.
“However, within specialised areas such as sales and marketing this is less important. Many people nurture a dream of opening a hotel, but it soon turns out that they have difficulty delivering when it comes to operational management,” he concludes