Egon Zehnder ’ s Hicham Sharara said : “ It is critical that hotel groups use big data and customer insights to ensure that their new concepts resonate with their target demographics . The proliferation of new concepts – from lifestyle hotels , to budget options , to wellness offerings - continues apace : three-quarters of our respondents highlighted proliferation as having a major impact on the hotel industry in the years ahead .
“ Globalisation underlines the importance of off-property engagement : groups have to inspire and attract new travellers from growth markets . This means building digital teams that are agile enough to harness and use local platforms to create content and engagement that is lively and relevant to local tastes . The winners in the new global travel market will be those who can balance global brand standards and control with delegated and nimble local teams .”
But hotel groups ’ ability to fight off the OTAs increasing influence require bold new approaches to leadership and identifying talent - only 30 % of respondents felt that their company had a talent pipeline in sync with the new commercial environment .
The study highlights five key talent questions for the decade ahead :
How to build a digitally savvy leadership team – A major focus is needed on developing commercially minded technology and digital leaders . But hiring a couple of digital stars won ’ t work : the entire leadership team must have the insight to drive digitization of everything from customer experience , to branding , to sales and marketing , to revenue management and cost control . to ensure your business thinks globally and acts locally – Groups need to create clear guidelines on how to use local channels to engage with customers . This is particularly true in emerging , growth markets , many of which have strong local digital platforms ; customer perceptions can shift very quickly in these markets and need careful management . to create strength from diversity – When recruiting , groups need to look well-beyond their industry to sectors driving digital engagement , such as consumer goods . They should also question the sector ’ s traditional leadership path , which still sees ‘ on property ’ experience as fundamental in executive roles . to keep your talent fresh – Talent development must involve strong exposure to the new functions driving the ‘ off property ’ experience . It ’ s time for the industry to encourage the development of a new hybrid form of digital-savvy , globally experienced top talent . to reconfigure your Board – Hotel groups should be courting people from disruptive technology players . Once installed , these Board members can serve as ‘ talent magnets ’, reassuring their peers that the traditional industry is embracing digital-based growth strategies .