André Claro, International Talent Acquisition Manager for Irish hotel group iNUA Hospitality
Talent Acquisition is one of those annoyingly inaccurate American expressions that have crept into common parlance in all industries, including the hospitality sector.
The truth is that in recruitment, one is seeking well trained people in the particular sector who have the right attitude rather than some magical component for one’s business.
And seeking out where those people are trained and finding the ones who would like to work in an English-speaking country is what André Claro does.
“That’s a part of my modus operandi,” says the Portuguese national who is International Talent Acquisition Manager for Irish hotel group iNUA Hospitality.
“It all started in the Marker (The NH-owned Marker Hotel in Dublin). When I joined the Marker, it was as Assistant Night Manager and I progressed until I reached the position of Assistant HR Manager. Then, the Pandemic brought me down to Cork and I became the HR Manager for the Montenotte.
“During my time in HR, I’ve been involved in some shape or form with international recruitment. I’m Portuguese and, from very early on, I identified other countries in Europe that have less economic power than Ireland – meaning that the salaries are much lower. So, for people from those countries, the salary package we have to offer is very attractive. On top of that, I could share with those people my personal experience because the opportunities that were offered to me in Ireland were pretty-much unheard-of in Portugal… I went to college for the first time in my life thanks to an Irish company who trusted me and saw the potential in me and they sponsored me to go to college and get a degree in Human Resources.”
Another factor in all this is the fact that the UK has become either too complicated or practically impossible to deal with for potential employees from many countries.
“It’s out of the equation for many people looking for an opportunity in an English-speaking country,” says André. “As a company, we decided to take advantage of that situation and we are now targeting students in hospitality schools around Europe that are looking for that chance of working in an English-speaking country… with the UK no longer a possibility for many of them, we’ve had quite a lot of success, I must say.”
The strategy of targeting the education centres across Europe from France to Switzerland, through Romania and Portugal is part of the picture. As André points out, the problem with the education centres is that there is a limited timeframe during which the students are available and once they’ve left college, they tend to scatter across a large number of countries.
“The main target is permanent, full-time candidates from the main countries in Europe… in terms of talent, that’s what is more viable for us; they’re generally available immediately and we can put a proposal on the table for them that they wouldn’t find in their own country… I bridge the gap. I don’t hire people, I’m just their first point of contact in the company.”
Although the international recruitment arm of iNUA Hospitality is currently working to place staff within the iNUA collection, the success of the service and the need for it on a nationwide basis means that the ambition is to service the national hospitality sector.
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Read the full June / July 2022 Magazine Publication.