Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Cepeda

Javier Cepeda

Regional Vice President, LEVEL Furnished Living

In his role as regional vice president of LEVEL Furnished Living, Javier Cepeda leads the opening and overall brand growth strategy for the Downtown Los Angeles development. Overseeing the $200 million, 33-story tower that will open this summer 2015 in the city's South Park District, Mr. Cepeda keeps a keen eye on industry trends and business news to maintain a strong presence in today's competitive landscape. A proven leader with extensive hospitality experience, Mr. Cepeda leads his teams by setting clear expectations, realistic goals, capitalizing on growing market trends and establishing lasting business relationships. A seasoned veteran of the hospitality industry, Mr. Cepeda brings more than 15 years of relevant management, guest services, sales and communications experience to his current position. He previously worked in the operations department at both Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita and Four Seasons Resort Whistler before joining the LEVEL Furnished Living team in 2010. Since joining the LEVEL Furnished Living team, Mr. Cepeda has been an integral part of spearheading the opening of their flagship property in Vancouver, Canada and now looks forward to leading the Downtown Los Angeles property to similar success. Colombian born and raised, Mr. Cepeda has also lived in Dominican Republic, Mexico and Canada. He holds a Bachelor of Tourism and Hotel Management from Universidad Externado de Colombia. In 2010, he served as operations supervisor for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the non-profit organization responsible for planning, organizing, financing and staging the Games in Whistler, Canada. He is a 2015 recipient of the Tower of Excellence Award for Individual of the Year from the Corporate Housing Providers Association (CHPA). http://www.stayinglevel.com/los-angeles

Please visit http://www.stayinglevel.com for more information.

Mr. Cepeda can be contacted at 213-873-8400 or dtla@stayinglevel.com

Coming up in March 2020...

Human Resources: Confronting a Labor Shortage

With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in decades (3.7%), what has always been a perennial problem for human resource professionals - labor shortage - is now reaching acute levels of concern. It is getting harder to find and recruit qualified applicants. Even finding candidates with the skills to succeed in entry-level positions has become an issue. In addition, employee turnover rates remain extremely high in the hotel industry. As a result of these problems, hotel HR managers are having to rethink their recruitment strategies in order to hire the right talent for the right job. First, hotels have been forced to raise their wages and offer other appealing perks, as a way to attract qualified candidates. Secondly, HR managers are reassessing their interviewing techniques, focusing less on the answers they receive to questions and more on observable behavior. Part of this process includes role-playing during the interview, so that the recruiter can gauge how a candidate works through specific problems and interacts with other team members. Additionally, some HR managers are also creating internal talent pools as a way to address labor shortages. Instead of utilizing department resources to find new hires with specific skills for needed positions, hotels are cultivating talent pools internally and preparing their employees to assume leadership roles whenever the time comes. They are also placing greater emphasis on a company culture that is more performance-based, as a way to curb employee turnover, increase employee satisfaction, and assure higher levels of customer service. Finally, recognizing the importance of employee retention as a way to lessen the impact of a tight labor market, some HR managers are instituting generous reward programs in order to retain their top performers. The March Hotel Business Review will explore what some HR professionals are doing to address these and other issues in their departments.