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InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) is a business with strong ambitions for growth.Already responsible for more than 650,000 hotel rooms and 4,400 hotels across the world, its expansion programme is similarly impressive. Currently opening new locations at an average rate of one per day, IHG also has the industry’s largest hotel development pipeline, currently progressing more than 1,200 hotels with almost 200,000 rooms.
Naturally, this rapid expansion also creates the positive challenge of ensuring that IHG has the right people in place to help manage this growth. “Over the next four years, we need to find around 400,000 people to help support that growth pipeline,”says Claire Guberg, Global Talent Systems Manager at IHG. “Understandably, it’s one of the biggest challenges facing the recruitment team.”
A large part of meeting that challenge also lies in ensuring that the opportunity in talent mobility is maximised. “With such a large global portfolio, we need to make sure that we don’t just have visibility of internal talent, but that we’re proactively identifying and supporting it too,” says Guberg. “We wanted a consistent, across the board approach to managing this, and that meant being able to give our people the power to share their ambitions and career preferences with us.”
IHG has been using Taleo Recruiting since 2004, where it was introduced into the company’s Asia Pacific operations. Over the years, it has been deployed across the rest of IHG’s globally owned and managed hotel operations and is managed by IHG’s Global Talent Systems team, which was founded in 2009.
When Claire moved into her current role as head of the Global Talent Systems team, there was a directive from the senior team at IHG that the company needed to become a more flexible organization when it came to talent mobility. “There was a desire to build and foster a culture that allowed people to tell us about the functions and global or regional locations that they wanted to work in and feed that back to us,” says Guberg. “We didn’t want that stiff perception that you’re there to do only the job that you applied for in one location.”
Taleo was quickly identified as a way of helping to achieve that. Taleo Recruiting, which helps organizations to source, assess, hire, and onboard the best talent, is being used as a way of improving the quality and efficiency of both external and – vitally for such a global organization – internal recruitment.
“We need people who are brand aware – what we call brand-hearted – who can deliver our vision to our customers and our team so that our hotels are successful,” says Guberg.“We believe that the best way of getting that level of brand-heartedness is to look internally for the key positions that we need around the globe.”
One of the primary ways that IHG helps to drive that internal mobility is through its biannual Careers Week. Careers Week is used to encourage existing IHG personnel– no matter their level or job function – to go into the Taleo system and create a profile. Careers Week is not mandatory, but there is broad support since Group hotels around the world hold a variety of activities to help people to participate.
“This allows us to create a pool of people within the Taleo database that we can search and find out where they want to work in the world and which functions they might be interested in working in at a future point in their career, and helps us to very quickly check that we’re approaching the right people when it comes to new opportunities across the globe,” says Guberg.
IHG measures the success of Careers Week in a number of ways. “First of all, we look at how many people completed their profile during that specific week,” says Guberg. “We held our third ever Careers Week in September this year and 5,000 people across 89 countries did that, which is our biggest ever number and a great sign that the message is getting through.”
In addition to the profile snapshot, IHG also asks its people a specific question about knowing how to find and apply for jobs within the Group during its annual employee survey. “It’s that number that we really want to drive up, because that indicates that people are aware of the opportunities within IHG, are comfortable with applying for them, and know where to go to do that,” says Guberg. This year, we saw approximately a three per cent increase on last year for that question. Our vendor that measures the year over year survey cites anything above one per cent as significant.”
In real terms, that is delivering a significant impact on IHG’s global Source of Hire figures. Across the Group, internal hiring figures have increased dramatically. “We are filling internal vacancies at a notably higher rate, particularly amongst our General Manager population,” says Guberg. Indeed, internal hires of General Manager vacancies has increased to 84 per cent from 61 per cent in 2010, supported by an increase from 10 per cent to 26 per cent for Corporate roles, and from 7 per cent to 8 per cent for hotel vacancies.
“Naturally that hotel employee population is our largest, and so even that one per cent rise is significant for us,” says Guberg. “All of those numbers are very positive in terms of our employee retention rates too.”
Taleo Recruiting also delivers significant benefits in external hiring too. “With Taleo, we are able to build reports that we can provide to our external recruiters. This means that at a ground level, we are able to give them data and information about each vacancies and requirements for each hotel unit,” says Guberg.
At a reporting level, Claire uses Taleo’s reporting tools to produce a monthly Global Resourcing Report. Pulling the data from the Taleo system, Claire is then able to write commentary around the findings, comparing vacancy and hiring figures year on year and consulting regional managers for their view on the results.
Claire and her team also use Taleo to provide Talent Intelligence reports to their senior HR leadership team. Taleo’s solution generates data that enables Claire and her team to check how much recruitment activity is underway in specific regions and areas, identify key sources of hire, and make investment decisions on those issues. “It helps us make better informed decisions about what we need to prioritize and where,” says Guberg.
Taleo provides IHG with the talent management technology to deliver measurable value from its talent mobility activity. It enables the Group to deliver on the promise of working for a truly global brand, and supports IHG through a period of rapid expansion by making a positive impact on its ability to hire the strongest candidates externally and mobilize valuable brand-hearted personnel internally.
This story was originally published on Taleo.com