Excellence by Vendôm returns to Paris from January 25 to 27. The event, organized in partnership with Luxus plus, in physical ar le Marois hotel and digital format, is dedicated to the recruitment of luxury professionals. Laëtitia Girard, head of The Vendôm Company, has made it a priority to place the human element at the heart of recruitment issues in the sector, which has enabled her to become a pillar in a constantly changing universe. Interview.
1/ Can you explain in a few words your professional career? What did you want to bring to the Houses by founding The Vendôm Company?
Very early on, I wanted to perfect my English in the United Kingdom and then in Canada. During this time, I became increasingly interested in the world of luxury and its values. Back in Europe, I joined the Costes Hotel at the age of 20, and then opened the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme. Apparently, my managers quickly perceived my curiosity, my perfectionism and my desire to learn, because in less than two years, I obtained a position as Revenue Manager. With a Master’s degree in Hospitality Management from ESCP Europe and a certification in Revenue Management from Cornell University, I then joined the Royal Luxembourg to become Sales & Marketing Manager.
Feeling that I had reached a turning point, I had to choose between taking over the management of an establishment or creating my own company. I realized that at recruitment agencies, candidates were often perceived as mere CVs. The headhunters did not seem to take into consideration the individuality of the applicant, his desires, his career plan, his attitude. But for me, luxury is above all a question of attitude, of interaction between individuals. The Vendôm Company’s theme was to put people back at the heart of recruitment.
2/ Has the health crisis changed the recruitment situation in the luxury sector? If so, how?
The major luxury brands have been able to bounce back quickly to compensate for the closure of their stores by accelerating an already present trend: online sales, but also the online sharing of the discovery of their environment with their communities. This allowed them to reach out to others, especially millennials.
For the high-end restaurant and hotel industry, the challenges were more difficult. For this reason, many chefs were quick to think of take-out, for example. This form of business obviously played a lot on the conviviality of a meal in a great restaurant. However, many chefs have succeeded in creating a true appreciation of gastronomy online, and this, for all. They have democratized great food via digital technology. The result is that eating better is an ideal for everyone. And this is undoubtedly the future of gastronomy.
The luxury hotel industry has taken the time of reflection during the crisis to improve many of its paradigms. Teams have used this imposed parenthesis as a time to think about what improvements could be made. What is fascinating is that all employees were able to contribute to the post-crisis process.
3/ What are the issues and challenges facing the major companies in terms of recruitment today?
I think the challenges are mainly in the service professions, much less in administration or luxury craftsmanship. In our western world, long before the crisis, service jobs were already perceived as too demanding, encroaching too much on private life. Despite the passion of many employees for their profession, the health crisis has forced them to choose other paths.
The challenge now is to improve the value of these professions: in terms of salary, working hours, etc. Prove to aspiring employees that the service professions in luxury are much more rewarding and enriching than people think, because luxury is one of the sectors where young generations eager for mobility and change can flourish.
4/ What tools are you putting in place to help them?
We have several and continue to develop them. It all started with our Vendôm Talents platform, which enabled us to put profiles selected by our expert luxury teams in touch with recruiters. At the same time, we follow, on a daily basis, the needs of young talents and of our members who are looking for the most suitable profile for their needs.
Then, our luxury recruitment experts are on the ground, thanks to the Vendôm Premium branch, present in Europe, in the Indian Ocean and soon in the Emirates. We are aiming for an international reach.
Finally, last year we set up a major international exhibition sponsored by the biggest luxury brands, notably Audemars Piguet. The latter is also the sponsor of our second edition to be held at the end of January 2023. We were still in a period of health restrictions and our goal was to allow everyone, throughout the world, to have access to the major players in luxury. The window we opened in 2021 seems to have paid off, because at the end of January, we are repeating the show with a few new features: a day of face-to-face meetings, in order to recapture the conviviality of our sector – as well as competitions launched in the major schools.
For more details, please visit the website!
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