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Around the world, our 250 000 employees in AccorHotels brand hotels share the same dedication to customer service.

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18/05/2017

Meet Fabrice Tessier, VP School Relations & Partnerships

Meet Fabrice Tessier, VP School Relations & Partnerships

Fabrice Tessier's career at AccorHotels is impressive! Now VP School Relations & Partnerships, he shares his vision of the Group's appealing power to students.

Tell us about your career with AccorHotels!

I have had a long career but have never been bored for one moment throughout the years. The common thread has always been the hotel industry. Why, you ask? For the human adventure which is played out in hotels. I have worked in neighbouring activities for quite a while, such as in the restaurant service of a train, the financial department of a business and many more, but it is the taste for organisation and welcoming people that has always fascinated me!

Another essential aspect of my career has been international travel. I have been lucky enough to have had experiences all over the world which have made me what I am today. Through the intense moments I have experienced at first hand I have discovered totally different cultures which have helped me to grow and develop.

The third ingredient for the complete mix is human resources. It took me some time to find my way but when I looked more closely into the question of education and human beings at work, I knew at once that it was for me! Thanks to AccorHotels I have had more than ten different jobs in this field, in a variety of foreign countries and in the hotel industry which is dear to me. I have always been happiest when these three elements were combined.

 

As VP School Relations & Partnerships what are your everyday challenges?

It is in the DNA of AccorHotels to welcome the world, including young people. But the real challenge is to mobilise the whole Group to devote some time to young students. In our Group the leaders are all recruiters and they are our first customers, even if they are in-house. They let us know their recruitment requirements for tomorrow. Then it is up to us to find the rare gems who share our values.

A large part of our mission is to decide in which schools we will find the best candidates to meet the expectations of our hotels and headquarters.

Then comes the field phase where we meet the students who are our external customers. We listen to them to understand what motivates them and could create that positive spark to give them entry to the Group. These best practices are obviously to be shared with the different regions who can specify their particular needs. Getting young people off to good start in their careers by offering them an internship followed by their first work experience with us is the essence of our mission. All this takes a large dose of energy, innovation and determination!

 

For several years you have organised the international student contest Take Off!, the student Meet-Ups at the international headquarters and the innovative recruitment operation 48H Chrono. How do you feel about young people’s interest in Accor Hotels?

We open our doors to a lot of young hoteliers as well as digital, revenue management and marketing students who are keen to join a Group the same way that they would enter a start-up in terms of ease of integration, relations and flexibility. To make that happen we have to create as many opportunities for dialogue and contact as possible. That’s the aim of the Take Off! contest, for example, to question students about our strategic issues. By means of this challenge we discuss ideas on a local, regional and international level with more than 500 young people in 21 countries in not less than 77 schools. In addition to receiving and studying their ideas, this also helps us to identify potential future talents.

The students’ interest in the Group is growing and we see this every day. MeetUps is a good example because it attracts more and more Millennials. During this quarterly event, our directors explain how AccorHotels has developed, its transformation, its major strategic evolutions… all of which young people find appealing. We are a company from the old economy which positions itself in the new one. Let’s just say that we surprise and interest a range of students from different backgrounds. But we do not hesitate to look at ourselves objectively because some of our jobs need to be enhanced.

 

Training and recruiting young talents is crucial for the Group’s future. What is your approach to this?

We must build upon our success and highlight our professionalism and values by making our opportunities more visible. We need to give the keys to a maximum number of young people so that they can discover what we have to offer each of them. How can we establish a positive relationship? By meeting their expectations, and that starts by systematically replying to job applications. Then, by developing the mentoring system and making their first experience with us as valuable as possible through internships and traineeships. Without forgetting the surprises and fun which should also be part of the experience!

When they leave, the Voice Of Students tool enables students to give us feedback on their experience as interns or trainees with us so that we can improve it everywhere.

 

You have worked all over the world. How does international mobility become a source of fulfilment in a career?

It is THE essential condition in our work which is composed of openness, service and diversity. I have come out of it a different person, enriched and better able to understand other people’s problems. Curiosity and a receptive approach towards others are real strengths and at AccorHotels they are an integral part of the service spirit which brings success. International mobility has taught me to listen and to share differences.

A piece of advice? Don’t hesitate if you get the opportunity to go abroad, even if you are not yet sure how to approach it. You will soon learn!

Personally speaking, when I was offered an assistant manager’s job in Moroni, in the Comoros archipelago, I accepted without a moment’s hesitation. It was only after the interview that I looked at a map to see where it was!

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