Meet Gail Kenny, executive talent acquisition professional, focused on digital and tech roles within the travel, leisure and hospitality industry. Gail is co-founder of Gail Kenny Executive Recruitment Limited.
What are your superpoweres?
Energised by being proactive and passionate about everything I do, I work at a fast pace and have the ability to maintain focus under pressure. Attention to detail. Thoughtful, particularly when it comes to the team. Ability to assess a candidate’s character and to match this against organisations’ different cultures. Adaptability and an appetite to embrace new technology.
Some would say I am fierce, but I would counter that with courageous and bold – showing grit and determination when faced with challenges (Covid-19 and cancer would be my top two in 2020).
My mum always told me there is no such thing as can’t. I believe you cannot control everything in life – I learnt this the hard way this year with Breast Cancer. But you can choose how to respond to it, and that’s exactly what I did! I’ve kicked its ass.
How do your strengths play into the work you do?
I think my motivation and values inspire the team to perform at their optimum, as do my high standards and drive for excellence. I am energised by building long term, genuine relationships and am confident interacting with a wide range of people. As a professional networker, I am naturally interested in meeting and listening to new people, and with my inquisitive nature, this lends itself to creating new ideas and business opportunities.
Imagine your best hospitality / hotel experience – what does it look like?
My best holiday experience would be multifaceted and multi trip holiday with my family and close friends to a beach destination with lots of sports and spa activities (maybe the Body Hotel in St. Lucia) followed with a cultural city break, visiting art galleries, and taking in the history and architecture. After the year we have had, I crave some quality time together.
What brings you the greatest joy at work?
I gain great satisfaction by helping shape so many candidates careers and by assisting clients with their hiring needs in the travel industry. I also place high importance on flexible working, and encourage the team to be mindful of work life balance. Appreciating this has driven incredible loyalty and indeed productivity. I have the best team which makes me happy!
My advice for women in hospitality and travel-tech:
Ask a trusted leader to act as your mentor, somebody you respect. Work with this individual to identify ways in which you can develop a self improvement plan. Set targets so you can demonstrate a leaning curve.
Ensure the company has a focus on well-being within the workplace – do they promote job security, safety, flexible working, and that wellness is on their agenda.
Don’t be afraid to speak up and shout about your achievements, express your knowledge and your opinion. And it is really important to build a network – it can be really helpful at all stages of your career.
Andy finally, find a place where you make the difference and add value.