Hiring Suitable Catalysts to Support Your Forte with Brilliance
“We are up there at the top when it comes to finding the best talent. Clients call our abilities ‘unrivalled’ when you see them, you’ll probably understand why”
The hospitality consulting and executive search industry in India has witnessed substantial growth over the years and having said that, it not only is the size that has amplified but also the service. The customers in India have boiled down immensely to the need for more and more consulting services making it a highly hunted profession.
Opening the gates to opportunities, innumerable consultants today have started to assist corporates with a wider base of resources and knowledge. The industry is annually estimated to boom, bringing in a stable growth market and an increase in employment opportunities.
The year saw the steady uptrend in the hospitality sector. The continued strong growth rates in foreign tourist arrivals and airline passenger movement coupled with muted supply growth contributed to the growth. The settling down of business sectors to all the new initiatives rolled out in 2018 and growing demand from the domestic market segment added further impetus.
Along with this growth, comes the focus on management and leadership hiring, with the human resource talent pool being the backbone to the growth of the sector. The hiring outlook looks positive for the coming year.
In fact, hiring intent in 2019 is expected to be the strongest after a gap of four years on the back of bullish employment opportunities in Travel and Hospitality sectors as per India Skills Report 2019.
Since 2010, Neha Garg, Founder, Director & CEO, Red Kite Consulting Private Limited has been turning the established model of executive search on its head and has assisted their clients to source and hire today’s leaders and tomorrow’s stars.
Neha Garg, The visionary!
Neha is a distinguished Alumni of WGHSA 12th course (1998-2001)& university rank holder who graduated with outstanding rank credentials receiving Scholarships for excellence in F&B Service, Production, and Accommodation Operations. She was awarded the scholarship for Best Outstanding Student in F&B Service & Production 1998, 1999 & 2000 and held 1st Class with Distinction in all subjects. She topped F&B Service, Accommodation Operations, F&B Production, and Environmental Studies 1998, 1999, 2000 & 2001.
She was selected for the Post Graduate Diploma in Hotel Management (PGDHM) at Oberoi Centre of Learning & Development post-WGSHA. Sought for her expertise and adept business handling, she has been the face of all major luxury hospitality groups in identification and recruitment of key talent across multi-disciplinary functions, being an extension of their tactical corporate HR platform representing global luxury hospitality clients.
A dynamic and accomplished professional in the hospitality and aviation industry, she has spent 19 years across both sectors having worked at some of the best companies in India, USA & Australia handling senior management roles in business development & marketing communications at Air Sahara/ Jetlite, Lufthansa A.E.R.O , Spice Jet, Taj Hotels, Punj Lloyd Aviation, Air Works & Skypac Aviation.
Business Connect: How have you adapted yourself to the latest needs of the market?
Neha: By being relevant and ahead of time. We are easy to connect for both companies and candidates alike. We don’t want anyone to go through the hassle of calling a number, listening to a robot and choosing among options one, two, three or four on the phone tree and then holding the line for another three minutes. We follow a consultative approach as executive search at the top of the pyramid (where executive search firms are summoned to find the talent for senior strategic roles) are direct searches and more than often confidential in nature and operating in the passive segment. On the candidate side, Enduring, mentor relationships are vital in persuading high flyers to leave their current roles and take up new positions. Such bonds do not form overnight. They can only be achieved by search firms investing time and energy in candidate management. Search firms that genuinely focus on candidate management will be more likely to land those few special candidates who make a difference, the ones their clients covet.We have partnerships built on trust and earned our place in top HR leadership minds in the hospitality industry and we constantly reinvent ourselves to remain compelling.
Business Connect: What gives you an edge over your peers?
Neha: Passion, knowledge, and efficiency of time. We have deep experience in executive and specialist recruiting and offer much more than the transactional approach. We are opinionated, unafraid to ask awkward but important questions and talk openly about the things which most search firms want to keep quiet.We are proud to be ‘contrarians’. Our approach has demonstrated that there is always a better and more intelligent way to conduct every search assignment.For us “Only the best is good enough”.
The business world is changing and the business of recruiting leaders must change too. Boards and HR Directors want committed, collaborative partners who are not shy about innovation.
Finding top candidates is just the start. We are pioneers in assessing constantly evolving executive genres and follow acute assessment.
Business Connect: What kind of clients have you served?
Neha: Our global luxury hospitality clients include Hyatt Hotels & Resorts ( including erstwhile Alila&Ista), Hilton Hotels, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, Marriott Hotels & Resorts ( including The Ritz- Carlton Hotels & erstwhile Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, Leela Palaces, Hotels & Resorts, Taj Hotels, Palaces & Resorts , Intercontinental Hotels Group, Accor Hotels (including Fairmont Raffles Hotels International & Swissotel), Mövenpick, Carlson Rezidor and other leading hospitality and corporate groups such as GHM, Booking.com, Diageo, Brindco International, Brigade Group, Embassy Group, Max India, Wafi Group LLC, Phoenix Mills Limited, MBD Group&K Raheja Corp.
Business Connect: How do you ensure the unbreakable faith of clients in your company?
Neha: Our delivery speaks for itself! We Focus On Service, Quality and Transparency. Search firms are being challenged daily by clients and candidates alike. As with most other services or products, would-be customers are comparing offers, checking feedback on recruiters or verifying profitability. Most of that information is but a mouse click away.
“Recruitment is the most ethical job in the world: We help candidates make a career step forward and companies to find that very talent they need to achieve their goals and make economies turn. The future looks bright – at least, when you do the right things and when you do them right.”
Business Connect: What are the efforts made by you not to lag behind in the race of having latest technology?
Neha: As HR functions become more sophisticated, it is technology that is empowering them to perform search work themselves. The challenge for the executive search industry is to step up the pace and digitize parts of the service offering. HR functions will want to cherry pick specific services that will complement their in-house capability. External search firms will need to be open-minded about how to earn their money. They will need to be transparent and accountable. They will need to offer more for less. Income will keep shifting away from commissions to retainer fees and even subscription fees for knowledge-based services.
Business Connect: How much do you rely upon Research and Development? What is the role of research in the growth of the company?
Neha: Research is a necessary part and parcel of the talent search. The research team is largely candidate facing and empowers the consulting team with various activities like – market mapping, candidate identification, sourcing, candidate development, candidate interviewing and assessment, reference checks, scientific assessments, reporting, and other related activities.
Business Connect: How difficult is it to remain relevant in this competitive world?
Neha: Executive search firms must be equipped not only to analyses talent constructs but to understand how they contribute to business success. Some leadership advisory firms have already moved away from a transactional approach and are adding value as long-term partners with a broader perspective.
The key is to help clients do what they can’t do themselves, whether through lack of expertise or resource, and to keep developing strategic advisory services that push the envelope. Even clients with relatively sophisticated in-house recruitment functions may only feel comfortable doing an executive search up to the point of finalizing a candidate long list. Beyond that, many will still appreciate external expertise on a range of issues such as benchmarking, coaching, attraction & retention and talent pool development.
Headhunting firms are finding new ways to expand their services beyond executive search by adding practice areas like board advisory, succession planning, assessments, and executive coaching. Disruption within the digital economy has led to the creation of leadership roles within various sectors.
Business Connect: What are the milestones of the company?
Neha: A near 100% success track record for all assignments mandated to us. We cannot disclose leadership hires done by Red Kite due to confidentiality clauses in our talent engagement contracts with the hotel groups at large but have handled notable leadership appointments across all major international and Indian hotel groups.
Red Kite is excited about its new product launch for hospitality recruitment in 2019. The company is open to evaluate VC funding though at this stage they remain self-funded. They have a premium space in the luxury hospitality industry in India and are the market leaders in this space. They do not make marketing pitches to garner business but are sought for the expertise they bring to the table.
Having said that, the future of the strengthened framework of the recruitments seems higher with tremendous potential bought by Red Kite, one of the best in the market.