EXCLUSIVE: Eurostar CEO reveals struggle to find skilled tourism talent in UK

EXCLUSIVE: Eurostar CEO reveals struggle to find skilled tourism talent in UK

Finding the best candidates while keeping your employer brand intact can be difficult, but Nicolas Petrovic, CEO of Eurostar, has plenty experience of juggling international recruitment challenges while still maintaining customer expectations.

He spoke at a Club Delville Event at the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry last night. The event highlighted their professional survey on the interim management market in the UK, with a total of 800 decision makers answering to a questionnaire at the end of 2014.

The study is now online with the key findings showing that 76% of the respondents have a positive image regarding interim management, and 64% of the respondents have already used an Interim manager.

Petrovic discussed the rise of technology in all sectors, and why that makes hiring and training more essential than ever: “Even though there is a lot of investment in digital tools, where you don’t have to meet people and staff, you will be judged on the service, the human interaction they get.

“It could be on Twitter, it can even be the way your website is laid out. It will tell you how you are treated by that company. This is why we are investing a lot in customer service training.

“When hiring people we try to get the best in the industry, but we also want them to speak several languages, and we keep training and coaching them throughout their employment.  

“At the end of the day, whether you have a good or bad experience, it’s essentially something you judge on the interaction with the staff.”

Speaking to Executive Grapevine afterwards, he expanded on the challenges of recruiting candidates who speak more than one language: “It is one of our issues actually. What we are doing to mitigate this problem is that we are working with a lot of schools to try and develop language skills. We also want to tell kids - especially in state schools, where students may not think that there will be sufficient job opportunities – that if you learn a language, then we provide apprentices, as well as other opportunities.  We want to say that, actually, you can have very skilled jobs in the tourism industry. But yeah, we are struggling a bit in the UK.”

Earlier this year we reported that the Metropolitan Police had made a second language compulsory in new recruitment drive.

Delville Management operates in Europe as a major interim management firm, with offices in London and Paris. They have delivered 200 successful assignments since 2010.


Be the first to comment.

You are currently previewing this article.

This is the last preview available to you for the next 30 days.

To access more news, features, columns and opinions every day, create a free myGrapevine account.