Finding the right fit for leadership

HRD talks to Pan Pacific Hotels Group and Talent Plus on ways they have addressed the challenge of finding the right fit for leadership positions

Finding the right fit for leadership
An increasingly tight labour market and a highly competitive environment are two factors that make hiring the right workers especially challenging in the hotel industry said Andreas Sungamin, senior vice president for human capital and development at Pan Pacific Hotels Group (PPHG).

But it becomes even more challenging when hiring for leadership positions, he said.

“In most of the Asian countries that we are operating in, we have a high reliance on foreign management talent i.e., general manager, executive committee members and key department heads,” he said.

“Competition for these management talents, particularly high caliber individuals, is aggressive and this is anticipated to continue in the foreseeable future.”

The challenge is further compounded by the fact that some candidates are very selective of the country or location they will be posted to or would prefer joining a more established global brand with seemingly better “future global opportunities”, said Sungamin.

To address this issue, he said that PPHG creates “success profiles for each key leadership position”.

A “success profile” is a detailed description of what is required for exceptional performance in a given leadership position such as critical factors for success and how these will be measured, he said.

Sungamin explained that they use these profiles as their guide in order to grow their own leaders, target the right fit for recruitment and selection, and develop graduate management development programmes.

“[This ensures] we have an adequate supply of leadership for our pipeline,” he said.

“The call for people-leadership is a lot more prominent in the hospitality sector than in other industries,” said Thomas Wai, director for Asia Pacific at human resources consulting firm Talent Plus.

“When we seek new hires for the hospitality sector, we want individuals who are not only competitive, have a global mindset, and the ability to run businesses, but we seek individuals who have the heart for people and truly know how to engage and unlock the potential of individuals.”

But regardless of the sector, Wai said that “leaders across all industries need to have drive, energy, honesty, be principle-driven, have the ability to think both short and long term, handle crisis and conflicts, and create a positive team-based culture and environment”. 

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