Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Berman

Westley Berman

E-Commerce Manager, Kokua Hospitality

Westley Berman is the eCommerce Manager for Kokua Hospitality, a hotel management company based in Chicago, Illinois. Joining the company in 2010, Ms. Berman started as Kokua's social media and marketing coordinator and has been promoted various times to her current position. She leads Kokua Hospitality's eCommerce marketing efforts, currently overseeing a combination of six independent and branded hotels nationwide, including DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago Magnificent Mile, DoubleTree Suites Houston by Galleria, Inn of Chicago, Axiom Hotel, and Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach. She also oversees all social media, reputation management, website development, and creative marketing efforts for each hotel in addition to Kokua Hospitality. Ms. Berman's career began in the advertising industry at a multicultural marketing and advertising agency called the San Jose Group based in Chicago. She was primarily responsible for trafficking Hispanic TV, Radio, and Print ads for Magnum Insurance, Harley Davidson, AstraZeneca, Illinois Bureau of Tourism and American Family Insurance. Later on, she became Project Manager at Chicago's Young & Rubicam responsible for close-captioning Sears Kenmore and Craftsmen TV ads, Sears Home Appliance TV spots, and Sears LL Cool J apparel line. Ms. Berman graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Spanish and Integrated Strategic Communications from University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. She is an active brand representative or "Skimbassador" to theSkimm, a media company that has the fastest growing email newsletter responsible for transforming the morning routines and news consumptions for female professionals.

Ms. Berman can be contacted at 31264448004801 or westley.berman@kokuahospitality.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.