Diversity, key talent management in tourism and hotel companies


The focus centered on the recruitment, management and retention of talent as a business strategy at the HTSI Talent & Networking Conference, organized by the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Sant Ignasi (HTSI), together with ESADE Business School and ESADE Law School. The conference was held on June 3 at ESADE Forum in Barcelona.

One of the main conclusions of the conference is that diversity is built upon what is called the 3Gs: gender, generation (understood as coexistence of different ages), and globalism (defined as multiculturalism), which is one of the current trends in internal management and recruitment and retention of talent in companies. The conference also highlighted the crucial role of commitment to diversity of corporate teams for it to succeed.

At the opening of the day, the dean at the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Sant Ignasi HTSI, Ricard Santomà said that “investing in talent and collaboration so that employees are good professionals and good people is one of the keys to success “. After a long crisis, we are back at war for talent” continued Jaime Ozores, Partner, Leisure and Tourism at Odgers Berndtson, who stressed the importance of star employees” who are not always the employees with potential who mark the talent company, but those with less visibility but who reflect the values of the company. “

Constant change,  ´weathered´ profiles, (in sense of experienced), the contribution of new technologies, the well-being of employees, multiculturalism, attracting talent from the University and the relevance of English, are all essential for the tourism sector and hotel sector.

Globalism, diversity and employee welfare

The first presentation, entitled “Managing diversity: developing talent in international and multicultural businesses,” was offered by Andreu Canals, General Manager of Cotton House Hotel, Anaïs González, HR Manager at Renaissance Barcelona Hotel and Maria Contreras , Assistant General Manager of the Soho House Group. Lara Vivas, Senior Associate of Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira, moderated the debate.

All speakers agreed that diversity is also part of the selection process, in accordance with the company´s values. Now other aspects of the curriculum of the candidate are taking into consideration, such as their experience and whether the company’s profile is suited to their talents, in order to ensure equal opportunities and avoid discrimination.

Andreu Canals said that “the tourism and hospitality industry is in a time of change, so look for people who contribute their talents to make the experience better.” For Anaïs González, “in the selection process, evaluate each of the competencies, the reason why the candidate wants to work with us and if their values are aligned with those of the company”

The concept of “global employee” was another of the topics discussed during the session, since the vast majority of cases are the same workers who apply for relocation. For Maria Contreras, “mismanagement of diversity leads to a high turnover and increased absenteeism.” According to the speakers, welfare and happiness of employees must be a formula for retaining talent and for fostering team spirit. “Strategies for well-being have a very high return,” concluded Lara Vivas.

ICT platforms, talent and disability

Xavier Martin, founder and CEO of Turijobs, a portal specializing in tourism employment, offered the second presentation on the use of ICT platforms for the recruitment and training of talent. In his opinion, “it is now necessary to speak of our internal customer loyalty (employees). Employer branding strategies, which are to improve the brand image as employers and preserve the image of the company, are essential not only to attract but also to retain talent. “

Talent and disability was the third presentation, by Juan José Cestero, director of Human Resources at Ilunion Hotels and Meritxell Vidal, FSC Inserta technician, two companies linked to ONCE. “Our differential value is our exquisite attention to the public and a specific focus on disabled groups, so our main goal is to make all our establishments accessible,” Cestero said. Ilunion Hotels has more than 25 hotels in Spain and more than 700 employees, “26% are employees with disabilities, a trend that will continue to rise in the future,” he said

Preparation of talent at the University

The last presentation was focused on the development of talent at university and how young graduates start their careers in a professional environment, by Inmaculada Ortega, director of Career Services at the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Sant Ignasi (HTSI) Sandra Enzler, director of Careers at ESADE Law and María José Verástegui, director of Corporate Development & ESADE Careers at ESADE Business School. The speakers agreed on the importance of betting on good internship programs to encourage the recruitment of talent and commented that the management of diversity, in the case of affects these universities directly due to the international origin of the students.

Inmaculada Ortega said that at the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Sant Ignasi in Barcelona “the student can graduate with more than 3 years of practical experience which were acquired during their studies,” noting that “HTSI focuses on academics so  that students develop skills of management that they can then  bring to the sector “.

José María Verástegui said that “our purpose is to create bridges between potential candidates and companies with recruiting needs.”  In this way, by Sandra Enzler said the profile of a Jurist in the XXI century, “For many of the skills required we try to intensify more in training.”

The closing was offered by Daniela Freund, Associate Dean for Corporate and International Relations at the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Sant Ignasi who concluded that “the talent of organizations is achieved through a learning process. Therefore, there is a universal interest in organizations that learn.


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