Warwick MBA Consulting At LVMH
Hasan Hussain talks about the social media challenges facing the luxury goods company
Warwick Business School MBA Hasan Hussain has just completed his MBA project at Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton more commonly known as LVMH. I spoke to him about how he believes social media is going to change the face of recruitment.
LVMH is a luxury goods conglomerate that manages many subsidiaries which are some of the world’s most famous brands such as; TAG Heuer, Marc Jacobs, Fendi, Givenchy, Belvedere to name but a few. Hasan, 30, was working on a marketing strategy project for the Senior Vice President of Human Resources for LVMH in Asia Pacific, Nauman Hasan an Insead MBA alumni.
Hasan’s project was focused on recommending a social media strategy focusing on the impact of social media on talent sourcing to sustain growth in regions such as China and Singapore. He explains his task was “analysing and exploiting the synergies between various social media tools and platforms to increase employer branding and recommending a social media strategy for talent sourcing to meet growth challenges and enhance employer brand.”
How do you go about landing an internship at LVMH, Hasan explains that “at Warwick in your final term you do a dissertation which is based on a project, some people do research projects whilst others pitch for consultancy projects within companies. Warwick Business School have companies that apply to have MBA students consult for them.” Hasan contacted the Vice President of HR personally, targeting LVMH through LinkedIn. He presented the ideas he had and was not concerned whether or not he was paid for the project, he “just wanted to work with senior people.”
What are the human resources challenges that Hasan found LVMH were facing? “It is the same as for any other company. For all companies that are looking to seek and attract the best talent the way companies interact has changed. There are now referral schemes, the rise of LinkedIn and other social networks.”
The playing field has changed, perhaps irrevocably, and the interaction between company and potential employee is now largely cyber.
In relation to LVMH the challenge is to find the best talent and retain them. For this to happen employees need to have a sense of autonomy so they feel part of the company. At LVMH it is a much decentralised system and each brand manages recruitment themselves.
Hasan had a few things to examine; “what kind of messages are the company sending out? I spoke to HR people, branding people in France and Asia Pacific.” Hasan also looked into some of the best practices currently at work in Asia Pacific which he believes is Accenture who are attracting the best talent.
It soon became apparent that social media is imperative to a company’s recruitment success but not everyone knows how to implement change.
As LVMH is not strictly a brand in itself and acts as an umbrella to many global brands, Hasan decided the best use of his time was to create a document for each brand to analyse and see how they can implement practices themselves. “The idea is that if a new brand joins LVMH there is a sort of prototype. A document of internal analysis, external analysis listing strategic gaps and what kind of changes they need to make within their organisation.”
As Europe’s economy is taking a bruising, LVMH are looking to the future in the high-growth markets of Asia Pacific. With China set to become the world’s largest market for luxury goods by 2020, analysts estimating they will account for 44% of global sales, the future of many companies rests on these markets.
LVMH are facing challenges in Asia Pacific as they experience growth as they must meet growth objectives. The company have to employ the right people to sustain the development of these expanding companies.
Hasan says “the digital boom in Hong Kong of applications, social media platforms all creates an ability for employers to communicate with the public far more.” In Hasan’s opinion the most important platform is LinkedIn which has grown tremendously to 120 million users in 200 countries. His theory is that the future of employment is LinkedIn, that everyone will have digital CVs and you will apply to jobs without sending a paper CV.
It is already true that many employers will have more than a cursory glance at the candidate’s online presence. And many employers actively look for talent on many social media platforms, these practices look set to grow.
On LinkedIn it is also possible to retain exclusivity perhaps not found on Twitter or Youtube, an important factor for a company thats value is based on image.
After graduating Hasan believes his future could be within the luxury goods industry but is more interested in the role of social media. His project after all could be applied to any industry. Most importantly he believes you have to look at your background, and with five years pre-MBA work experience at Fujitsu in a project management role, technology is an industry Hasan cannot ignore.
Hasan feels his Warwick MBA has been a real learning curve, “I am getting back on to the corporate ladder, I absolutely feel that I have a lot of value especially taking this project forward.”
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