Blog “Brand Who?” How to use your brand to attract the right people.
HR in hospitality panel discussion event Thursday 18th May 2017
We held key discussions and heard thought provoking insights from our panel of experts led by Jo Faragher award winning journalist. Collectively they provided some interesting points around engagement and branding and the impact of getting it right for your business. Below you will find some useful nuggets I have collated to get you thinking about your own employer brand.
Sean Wheeler, Director of People & Development, Principal Hotels:
Their challenge was moving ‘grand dames’ country and city hotels into 4 star iconic brands. First, understand what your organisation DNA is. Start with your Employer Brand, what do you stand for? Is it really clear? Principal hotels wanted to be “local at heart” so everything they did underpinned this ethos. They worked to establish a new clear brand bringing five distinctive brands together. They found “Brand Gurus” within their business who lived the Values and got them involved in developing the brand. They put a lot of activity into Social Media as a way of engaging teams. If you do not involve your people in developing your brand and engaging with them from the start it will never happen. Employer branding sits with everyone. You need to find tangible ways to express and reinforce your brand and what you stand for.
Holly Glover, Director of Human Resources, Farncombe Estate:
They had the challenge of creating one brand from three very different rural properties, where there are no menus and no rules! Their aim is “To be the most memorable hill in the world” brining together each property but retaining their slightly different personality. They used their teams and brought them together in focus groups to get insights into what was essential. They worked to find the common threads of the brand and culture that worked across all properties. The benefit of this was cross-pollination of staff, creating opportunities to build skills. You have to have a consistent tone of voice and language, this is really important. They used lots of pictures and images to get the message across to find the essence of who they are.
Steve Rockey, People Director, The Pig Hotels and Limewood
They have turned country house hotels on its head. They face the challenge of finding and keeping staff to work in remote locations so have to ensure they have a strong employer proposition. Their key USP is their 25 mile radius menu and the kitchen gardens where 80% of their food is grown on site, this also provides different opportunities of a career path within the hospitality sector. They have two very different approaches from a brand perspective to serving guests and need to find people who really get what they do as a business. They get this message across through pictures constantly using instagram to really share the personality of the brands.
Zuleika Fennell, Chief Operating Officer, Corbin & King:
They decided to build their employer brand from the inside out, their employees designed their brand it was not centrally driven. People live by their guiding principles, it is almost ‘like a cult’ where their people consistently say the same thing about working there. They know this through engagement surveys and customer feedback. They view hospitality from the heart not the boardroom and decisions are made from an operational perspective, where senior leaders walk the floor every day asking for peoples opinions. They have developed a culture of tying to catch people doing something right, creating moments of magic, empowered to do things, rather than stopping them through needless rules and process. They use film clips to bring their brand to life. Involve people in the process ensure it is not static and constantly re-evaluate as things do change. The key for them was building a long lasting consumer brand intrinsically linked to their employer brand. Ignore this link at your peril!