Editorial Board   

Ms. Healey

Marilyn Healey

President , Association for Convention Operations Management

Marilyn Healey was formerly President of the Association for Convention Operations Management (ACOM), an association dedicated to advancing the practice of convention services management in the meetings industry, and is also Senior Convention Services Manager at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach. Marilyn has 25 years of experience in the meeting planning and hospitality industry. A native of San Francisco, Marilyn began her career in 1980 as a Public Relations Manager for a non-profit organization in downtown Los Angeles, where she was responsible for coordinating annual meetings, special event fundraisers, and media events. In 1989, Marilyn moved over to the hospitality side of meeting planning and worked for Hyatt Hotels until 1995. From 1995 to 2000, Marilyn gained additional experience in the meetings industry, working for the Long Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, where she served as Convention Services and Registration Manager for 5 years. From 2000 to 2005, Marilyn served as Director of Meetings & Convention Services at the Hilton Long Beach Hotel and Conference Center, and then the Hyatt Orange County. An ACOM member since 1996, she received the ACOM Member of the Year Award in 2001, was past Chair of the ACOM Marketing and Communications Committee and Past President of ACOM's Southern California Chapter from 1998-1999.

Ms. Healey can be contacted at 562-491-1234 or Marilyn.Healey@Hyatt.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.