It’s a seller’s market in luxury recruitment… if you have the skills to thrive in our ‘new normal’. To discover the hottest career opportunities, we spoke to Charlotte Vitoux, Managing Director in Switzerland for executive search and talent consultancy Morgan Philips.
Do you have the skills needed to create engaging customer journeys in a world where omnichannel is now the channel?
If so, we have some good news for you. Prepare to be the beneficiary of a ‘war for talent’ that’s raging within the luxury business as well as the wider corporate world.
“I don’t like the expression, but a war for talent is exactly what we find ourselves in,” says Charlotte Vitoux, who heads the Swiss operation of international executive search and talent consultancy Morgan Philips.
“Supply is simply not meeting demand for roles centered on data and digital. So the power is on the talent side and if you have what the industry needs you can ask for a lot – higher salary, more impressive job title, bigger team, more IT tools to work with, and so on.”
In reality, though, Charlotte is finding that the size of the paycheck is no longer the key consideration for prospective hires.
“Clients are telling us they want to work for an employer they can be proud of; with a manager from whom they can learn and take inspiration. The work/life balance is also crucial. Many people don’t want to go back to hours spent commuting each day; they want time for themselves and their families.”
Catch ’em, keep ’em
Get this ‘soft’ element of the employer brand right, and there are hard business benefits to be gained from luring the best talents, then making them feel valued enough to stick around. Bringing in new blood with new perspectives can also be key to mastering today’s more complex and multi-faceted customer relationships.
“The old world, with its certainties, is gone. Everything is evolving much faster and we simply don’t know what tomorrow will look like,” says Charlotte. “The omnichannel experience is absolutely crucial – from beginning to end of the customer journey. From the Instagram or TikTok influencer, to checking prices on ecommerce platforms, to actually buying the product in the flagship store. The brands that can join up this experience seamlessly will be the winners.”
As a self-confessed fan of the flagship store experience, Charlotte is convinced that this physical element of retail remains a key weapon in a luxury brand’s arsenal. And she agrees that this is a place where luxury and hospitality can combine to rewarding effect.
“Even though I’ve been working in a digital environment for 20 years I still love the in-store experience, especially at the luxury level. If I want to treat myself to a luxury item occasionally, I won’t buy it on my laptop. I will go to the store and accept the hospitality – maybe a cup of coffee or a glass of Champagne – and enjoy this warm experience. For me that’s really important.”
How to be employable
All this said, even in a seller’s market, the onus is on the individual to make themselves as employable as possible. Charlotte notes that entrepreneurial experience has increasing value in the corporate world, as does demonstrating an active brain by engaging in lifelong learning.
“Having a digital mindset is part of this, but also being able to say, ‘I’m doing this MOOC, studying this MBA, taking this training, or attending this conference’. All of this shows that you are ready to pick up new ideas and new skills – it’s very compelling for a prospective employer.”
And what of the next 12 months? How does Charlotte see the recruitment market panning out?
“One thing I can see is an explosion of independent talents – the so-called ‘slashers’ who take on multiple careers instead of sticking to one single position. These individuals will have a range of services to sell to different ‘customers’.
“If I take myself, for example, I am a company MD but I am also a business coach and a yoga teacher. So, as a slasher I could potentially work part time in a leadership role, spend a couple of days a week coaching and maybe one day teaching yoga. This won’t be for everyone, but I see it accelerating as a concept as people reevaluate their working lives.”
“The old world, with its certainties, is gone. Everything is evolving much faster and we simply don’t know what tomorrow will look like. The omnichannel experience is absolutely crucial – from beginning to end of the customer journey. From the Instagram or TikTok influencer, to checking prices on ecommerce platforms, to actually buying the product in the flagship store. The brands that can join up this experience seamlessly will be the winners.”
Charlotte also sees the international recruitment market becoming more ‘networked’; with roles increasingly being offered on recommendation rather than the more open tender approach we’ve witnessed in the past.
“All of us know good people in different professions; so recruiters are definitely going to be looking more to personal recommendation. There’s simply a bigger element of trust that comes with this personal knowledge. It means we can all become recruiters and enjoy the potential to earn a reward for our successful recommendations.
“It should also encourage people to be themselves. You’re a trusted recommendation, so forget about playing a role and pretending to be someone you are not. Put everything on the table and be honest.”
- To discover more about Morgan Philips, visit the website
Main image: metamorworks/Getty
Mulberry Store launch party: Luca V. Teuchmann/Stringer/Getty
Be wise, specialize
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