How to recruit post COVID-19?

How to recruit post COVID-19?

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It is probably the trickiest question that might cross hoteliers and restaurateurs’ minds during these very challenging times. HN spoke to

Sophia Mounib, founder of Talent Advisor, a Casablanca-based talent and coaching firm, to get tips and insights. Talent Advisor supports Glion Alumni in Morocco, providing them with tailored coaching to prepare them for the best upcoming opportunities. 

Sophia Mounib

The hospitality industry is experiencing exponential changes, but we must face  them with deep convictions. Despite the current situation and uncertainty, it is  crucial to prepare and anticipate a proper recovery.  

Hospitality is a timeless industry, its prosperity, recovery and success are  intrinsically dependent on its talented men and women. Therefore, recruitment  should not be a ‘taboo” subject during the crisis and we must look where the ball  is going not from where it’s coming.  

If hospitality is forced to reinvent itself to cope with new guest behaviors and new  emerging trends, it is also time to rethink our recruitment process and approach.  

This practical overview enables us to encircle major emerging tendencies for  employers and the future of hospitality recruitment:  

Soft skills first 

AI, innovation and reinvention are on everyone’s mind and mouth, as COVID-19  forced emerging trends. In consequence, our industry will benefit from  innovation but on the other hand hospitality talents jobs are threatened.  Nevertheless, as a counter argument it is also an unprecedented opportunity to  enhance the importance of hospitality talents’ soft skills.  

Tendencies predict that employers should focus more on “human abilities” and  here are five soft skills that I believe will become more precious to employers in  the future :  

 -Creativity  

 -Emotional intelligence  

 -Analytical (critical) thinking  

 -Leadership skills  

 -Embracing change  

Quality over quantity  

We must keep in mind that quality is the best business strategy, especially for hospitality. The crisis forced hotel’s groups to adopt the minimalist approach “less in  more” by restructuring their teams at corporate and on properties level.  For instance, CEO of Accor Sebastien Bazin stated the need to implement a more direct  management between the CEO and the GMs by reducing the former 7 levels. On  property, we also notice that the number 2 position is given to the GMs.  We then assume that the demand will be towards more qualified and polyvalent profils –  with a highest concern regarding the service quality they provide. This said, once tourism bounces back, we predict enough opportunities for all job levels with a stable  “quality factor” concern.  

 The crisis: An opportunity to learn and skill-up  

Hospitality talents must keep in mind that the major post-covid challenge will be to  stand out from the crowd as more candidates will apply. Furthermore, they must be  aware of skills obsolescence with the new emerging trends.  Therefore at Talent Advisor for instance, we highly recommend to take this opportunity  to update their skills and unlock their potential according to new recruitment tendencies  by registering to online hospitality workshops.  Since the beginning of the crisis, at Talent Advisor we supported our talents by  providing some of our training and coaching regarding leadership and guest  experience post-covid free of charge; which position our talents as the top recruitment  choices.  

Recruitment in the MENA

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Hotels in the MENA region have long had a reputation of delivering the highest quality  service for guests who seek the five-star luxury treatment and this distinction must be  strengthened post-COVID. All regions are facing the same challenges, it is then an opportunity for the Mena region  to assert itself as a leader by revealing its legendary genuine “Arabian hospitality” as we  emerge from this time of uncertainty; and this shall pass by a qualitative recruitment to  provide “lifetime experiences” that everyone is surely missing.  

The current reality is tough but with tremendous opportunities for the upcoming years.  Among the relevant exemples is the “Mega tourism project in Saudi Arabia” expecting  to position the region as one of the largest leisure tourism industries in the world upon  2030.  

In Morocco for instance, several hotel group openings are scheduled post-COVIDsuch  as Hyatt, Fairmont, Marriott, Hilton with great opportunities for our talents as well as our  tourism to position internationally its legendary “Moroccan Hospitality”.  

Hence, I believe that the quality of service provided, the anticipation in recruiting the  best profils are key conditions for the Mena hospitality recovery success.  

Hiring markets  

The bias would be to assume that it will be easier to recruit post COVID because of the  significant number of available talents. However, the recovery recruitment process will  be more time consuming as the number of applications will significantly rise.  

Recruiting locals will also be an emerging trend, since the crisis forced several talents to  review their career priorities and sense of security; more local talents will be available on  the market. Besides, employers should bear in mind that a smart recruitment must be  part of a long term strategy taking into consideration talents priorities to feel reassured,  useful while embracing the brand’s values and philosophy.  

It is then crucial to not wait for an emergency situation as it forces hotels to hire under  pressure which is not a quality indicator. A search firm specialized in hospitality and  training will align with a long term strategy.  

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