Putting the Luxury Spin on Traditional Recruiting at EXCELLENCE by Vendôm

Putting the Luxury Spin on Traditional Recruiting at EXCELLENCE by Vendôm

Interest in luxury and hospitality careers is stronger than ever as almost 4,500 candidates from around the world joined the second edition of EXCELLENCE by Vendôm recruitment fair. Luxurious Magazine’s Sabi Phagura boarded the Eurostar to Paris to learn why the recruitment process is one of the most important aspects of the luxury sector.

Every industry has its own best practices for recruiting, and the luxury sector is no different. The recruitment process can be defined as a series of steps, including advertising, screening, interviewing and making a job offer. But navigating through tense waters to hire the best talent in the luxury sector can be a tense and stressful procedure.

These unique concerns can be an isolated affair, and to address them, Glion Institute of Higher Education partnered with EXCELLENCE by Vendôm by holding the recruitment fair for the second year running.

Visitors to the recruitment fair making their way down the grand staircase

There’s no doubt that given the current global shake-up of the job market, many luxury brands are finding it even harder to recruit the best and most talented candidates for a given job.

The three-day luxury recruitment fair, both in face-to-face mode and virtually, was an immersion into the world of luxury to identify and find ways around common problems faced by the sector. Interspersed with conferences, workshops and interviews, the event brought together luxury actors and future talents under one roof.

Luxurious touches were featured throughout the fair, including this gold and velvet chaise surrounded by flowers in the lobby

Embodying the luxury industry’s integrity, commitment and passion, this year’s trade show held at Hôtel le Marois was organised around workshops, online or in-person interviews with recruiters and via a series of four roundtable discussions in collaboration with a business school specialising in hospitality and luxury. And one of the key factors to emerge from the event was returning to the core value of the very essence of recruiting – people.

The quartet of lively discussions led by Martin Green, the Editorial Manager behind the Insider Magazine by Glion, focused on the themes of innovation, corporate culture and customer experience. The exchanges explored three key challenges – human capital, sustainability, and skills transmission – before concluding with a delve into the true essence of luxury itself and where the sector might be headed in future.

People to People
The event was kick-started by François-Henry Bennahmias, CEO Audemars Piguet and Maud BAILLY, CEO of Sofitel, MGallery and Emblems with the People to People topic.

Both speakers highlighted that as luxury and hospitality are a one-of-a-kind people-to-people business, both employees and customers are at the heart of it, and the quality of their relationship brings luxury brands to life.

For François-Henry Bennahmias, luxury brands have tended to overlook the central human element as they have built ever more impressive boutique environments in which to sell their wares.

He said, “With luxury stores, we spend millions and millions on the outside, on the box, then we spend millions on décor, so I said, we need to work on people before we work on the box around the people. And to be successful with people, we had to do it first within the company before we could then do it outside.”

Young people being offered advice on communication

Mr Bennahmias went on to highlight that the right personalities with the appropriate mindset and grit sometimes trump what is on a candidate’s CV and experience. He said getting the right person was key, and training would bring them up to the industry standard when it came to skill sets.

Meanwhile, Maud Bailly emphasised that the cultural relevancy in the way customers are treated is key to a global operator like Accor. “One size does not fit all,” she reiterated.

“It is hard for us to try to identify the same clients and treat them the same way no matter where we are going to be (operating). We are currently in 110 countries, and if you think about the way you treat one guest in one country, then if you try to replicate that treatment somewhere else, you are going to be wrong. This is why we desperately need cultural relevancy, to make sure we meet each guest’s expectations, locally speaking.”

People applauding after listening to one of the speeches

Luxury Talks Sustainability
The luxury sector, with its focus on quality and durability, would seem like an obvious trade that adopts sustainable measures as part of its ethos. Sadly, that doesn’t always equate to reality.

Manuel Mallen, CEO of jewellery brand Maison Courbet, which is pioneering the use of lab-grown diamonds and recycled precious metals to make its high-end pieces shared his vision. He said, “The luxury industry is aspirational, and because of that, it must be a leader on this topic (sustainability) to put it on the top of the agenda.”

Both Manuel and Christofle CEO Emilie Metge Viargues pointed out that sustainability needed to be taken to a deeper level as people’s views on the subject were rapidly changing. With a large number of people seeing resale, upcycling or recycling as a viable alternative to fast fashion, it was time for the luxury brands to adapt. They noted it’s what customers want and expect from top-end brands, and ignoring them would be detrimental to the luxury sector.

Young woman discussing some of the things they have learned whilst sitting at a table

Luxury and Transmission
For the session on skills transmission, Maisons Pariente’s CEO Guy Bertaud explained why candidates should embrace being themselves. The Managing Director of the family-owned hotel collection emphasised’ “There are many recruiters who look at CVs, degrees and diplomas, and what you have done in your career, but I say that being yourself is more important than anything else.”

He added, “At the end of the day, you must feel comfortable in who you are because that’s what guests perceive when they are facing you in our industry. For me, that’s the essence of our job; it is everything about humanity – we need to be humans talking to humans, and this starts with being comfortable in our shoes.”

A young dark haired lady with a broad grin looking around the fair

History and Mindset of Luxury
Closing off the series of talks was by way of a three-way conversation between three of luxury’s most important threads: fine jewellery, haute couture and premium hospitality. Stanislas de Quercize, President and Founder SAVIH, Jean-Luc Naret, CEO of JLN & CO and Véronique Beaumont, COO of ESMOD International, discussed how the term luxury is subjective.

Stanislas De Quercize associated luxury most closely with storytelling, noting that the best brands and pieces tell a great story. Véronique Beaumont expanded upon the notion of keeping a luxury brand relevant and not becoming tempted to preserve it in aspic, explaining, “We talk a lot about storytelling in luxury, but it’s really about keeping the dream relevant to the story. It’s about coming back to this story again and again.”

Ms Baumont added that this was important even if innovation through younger creative directors meant taking risks.

People relaxing, interacting and smiling the ballroom

Glion Institute of Higher Education
If there is one thing that emerged throughout the trade show, then it was luxury returning to its essence – the human being – at every level of the industry sector. By holding relevant recruitments like this one, the message can be honed in at recruiters, candidates, and hotel and luxury management schools.

It’s something that the Glion Institute of Higher Education (GIHE) has been instilling in its students since 1962. The Swiss institution offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hospitality, luxury and finance to an international student body across three campuses in Switzerland and London, UK.

It has ranked among the world’s top higher education institutions in Hospitality Management and in Employer Reputation since its entry into the rankings in 2018 (QS World University Rankings, 2022). The high focus on the soft-skills development of their students makes it the preferred recruitment institution by the luxury industry actors.

And it’s platforms like Vendôm, dedicated to luxury professionals, that the message can be drip fed throughout. Created in 2015 by Laetitia Girard, the company’s mission is to offer relevant recruitment solutions for the luxury sector, both on the recruiters’ and candidates’ sides.

The first qualified talent network in the luxury world, the Vendôm Company is committed to enhancing human capital around three major poles: luxury recruitment, training and highly exclusive events, as well as an annual luxury gathering like “EXCELLENCE by Vendôm”.

Immersion into the world of Luxury is what we do here at Luxurious Magazine. But luxury does not and should not just be associated with financial value. Luxury goes deeper than that.

A good recruitment process will help you find the best candidate for your company. And when it has got the human touch, that is the meaning of true luxury.

Where and How?

For more information about the Glion Institute of Higher Education, visit www.glion.edu.

Information about Vendom can be found via this link https://excellencebyvendom.com/4187280606/en/registration.

Putting the Luxury Spin on Traditional Recruiting at EXCELLENCE by Vendôm 2

Sabi Phagura

Deputy Online Editor

Sabi Phagura is a health, fitness, travel and lifestyle journalist with over 14 years experience in both print and broadcasting media. With Luxurious Magazine, Sabi has travelled the world and experienced some of the finest things that it has to offer. Sabi is one of our most eager and enthusiastic journalists regularly finding unique and exciting destinations. She always creates articles that showcase the subject in the best light via her wealth of knowledge in the luxury travel and dining sectors.

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