Interview with Inigo Capell, Global Chief People & Resources Officer, Radisson Hotel Group.
How would you define RHG’s corporate culture?
Radisson Hotel Group (RHG) is an international hotel group with nine distinctive brands. The Group’s overarching brand promise is Every Moment Matters. We are a diverse community living our core seven company cultural beliefs. The Group's proudly inclusive, international team of "Moment Makers" turn experiences into unforgettable moments every day, everywhere, and every time by going above and beyond with the signature "Yes I Can" Service ethos.
Our Moment Makers have a passion for hospitality and believe that anything is possible by having open and direct interactions with guests. Radisson Hotel Group believes that “we are many minds, with one mindset” and that one simple act can change an overall guest experience from one fleeting moment to a truly memorable experience.
People are our greatest asset at Radisson Hotel Group. We want to be the employer of choice, recognizing talent and offering a journey of meaningful career moments and advancement. We are proud to have been recognized the #4 Best Employer in the Travel & Leisure industry globally by Forbes’ World Best Employers ranking. This is a result of our clear strategy built on the seven strong beliefs that make up our vibrant company culture.
Team members embrace the Group’s Responsible Business pillars by supporting the local communities where we operate and by creating shared value, better futures, and a better planet for all.
What are to you the key topics that must be addressed to regain attractivity for the hospitality industry?
Hospitality has always offered roles that create a true sense of fulfilment and purpose. The current hospitality climate is a real opportunity for individuals who can thrive in an entrepreneurial and fast-paced environment.
As a result of the pandemic and extended hotel closures by companies around the world, we experienced a global shift of professionals from hospitality to other industries such as retail. This has resulted into a significant shift in company’s strategic focus. Talent Attraction, Talent Management and Culture are no longer HR priorities but have moved to be at the core of business strategy.
We are living in a candidate-driven market. Thus, when it comes to attracting talent, HR Leaders should learn from consumer marketing strategies and be mindful of their market positioning. Creating seamless & appealing candidate experience plays a crucial role. We need to craft creative communications and develop strategies to reach candidates who fit into our culture.
The changing industry dynamics require HR professionals to be innovative and agile. Experimenting & iterations are key to achieve success. Technology is a crucial enabler; we are adapting the latest technology trends to allow our teams to connect with the candidates, ensuring that our brand is at the top of their minds whenever they look for an opportunity.
A recent McKinsey report outlined the five key trends for hiring in the hospitality sector, which are aligned with our recruitment campaign and offering. These include how digitization is changing hospitality roles, employees’ increased expectation for more flexibility, how hospitality careers are becoming more multifaceted with employees wearing multiple hats, the importance of a company’s ESG issues and policies to new and existing employees, and a desire for continued focus on hygiene and safety.
What actions have you developed, and do you plan to develop to help retaining the employees of RHG hotels?
We are looking to attract people back to hospitality by offering them unique opportunities within their career progression to expand their skill set and develop new capabilities. We offer increased flexibility in roles and work shifts in an inclusive and positive work environment. Our latest technological advancements in day-to-day operations mean that team members can focus on interacting with guests and bringing the important human connection of hospitality to life.
We take our cultural belief, “We grow talent, talent grows us,” to heart, and are constantly focused on the continued development of all team members. Personalized career development for all team members is at the core of our employer values to ensure team members develop new skills and progress in their careers. Through Radisson Academy, an umbrella learning and development program that equips our team members with critical skills to grow professionally by boosting their potential through customized training programs from day one, enabling individualized development and creating a solid performance culture that facilitates career development at all levels of our organization.
Radisson Academy currently offers more than 1,500 courses and virtual/live training sessions across four different formats, Radisson Academy Online, Radisson Academy Live, and Radisson Academy On-the-job, Radisson Academy Virtual. In 2022, Radisson Hotel Group celebrated the third anniversary of Radisson Academy. We have developed 1.5M on-the-job, classroom, and online training hours. In partnership with hospitality training provider, Typsy, we have increased our Learning & Development offering which resulted in a 120% increase in training hours in 2021 versus 2020. We are currently experimenting with virtual reality training modules for service and behavioral skills, as well as our “Fast Track Hospitality”, a new training program under development that facilitates the efficient onboarding of team members without a hospitality background. We have also been reinforcing our Service Excellence programs through learning program rollout, for example our “Delight the Guest”.
Our key focus is early talent identification through our robust Performance & Development cycle processes and talent review calibration. We have a solid strategy and plan for career development, and are investing heavily in attracting, developing, and retaining talent.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), with a focus on gender equality is one of our top priorities. We are committed to a 50-50 gender balance for General Managers and leadership roles in offices by 2030.
Radisson Hotel Group is a proud partner of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance’s Youth Development Program, which aims to enhance the employability of underprivileged young people, create opportunities of scale for young people, ensure hotels make a real difference to the lives of its graduates and their families, and provide graduates with employment to continue their education. Our flexible program empowers disadvantaged youth and equips them for their future professional and social life. The classroom sessions include core employability skills training and English language tuition. The practical skills training focuses on giving hands-on departmental experience. We currently have several hotels in Nigeria, Lebanon, and Kenya that actively participate in the Youth Development Program and other programs that our hotels run independently.
What messages would you like to send to the younger generation, why should they come to work in the hotel sector?
With the rebound in tourism, now is a fascinating time to join the hospitality industry. If you are looking for a dynamic career with rich and diverse career paths and to gain transferable skills for life, hospitality is a great industry in which to grow.
Earlier this year, we launched a recruitment campaign looking for driven individuals who are flexible, eager to gain cross-functional skills and learn as much as possible about the hospitality industry with incomparable on-the-job experiences.
And why RHG?
Radisson Hotel Group offers meaningful career moments built on seven strong beliefs and continuous development. As a transformed company that is ready for the rebound and that operates and develops hotels in EMEA an APAC, we give our employees the option to pursue career opportunities right across the globe.
New team members benefit from incomparable on-the-job training and experience in a fun, dynamic. Culturally diverse environment, offering unique global travel opportunities, exclusive rates for permanent and temporary employees and their friends and families while traveling and staying in Radisson Hotel Group properties, complimentary meals while on duty, free use of the leisure, pool, and gym facilities, and personalized development plans supported by the Group’s Learning and Development program, Radisson Academy, which helps ambitious, positive people develop their skills and achieve their dreams.
What messages would you like to send to your peers?
We must remain united and instill confidence in the employment market within the hospitality industry. During the pandemic, we saw hotel groups put aside the competition and work together to rebuild our industry, and I hope this is a sentiment that continues and is not quickly forgotten as we all continue on the road to recovery.
As a hospitality leader, how do you picture the hospitality industry tomorrow?
The start of 2022 was a real turning point for the recovery of the travel industry. We are now seeing a strong resurgence, as people look to make up for lost time and broaden their horizons by exploring new cultures and destinations. Travel and hospitality have always been characterized by strong business resilience, and now is an exciting time for entrepreneurial talent to join the hospitality industry and Radisson Hotel Group, as we continue growing our global portfolio.
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