Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. O'Connor

Peter O'Connor

Academic Director, Institute de Management Hotelier Int.

Peter O'Connor is Chaired Professor of Digital Disruption at ESSEC Business School, France, where he also serves as Director of the MBA in Hospitality Management (IMHI), Europe's leading MBA program specializing in international hospitality management. Dr. O'Connor's primary research, teaching and consulting interests focus on the use of technology in the hospitality and tourism sectors. In addition to his textbooks on hospitality technology,

Dr. O'Connor has published articles in leading academic journals including the Journal of Marketing, Harvard Business Review, Tourism Management, the Cornell Quarterly and the International Journal of Hospitality Management. Dr. O'Connor also works with PhoCusWright Inc. as a senior analyst specializing in the hotel technology space, as well as serving as Editor-at-large of Hotel Analyst Distribution & Technology, a leading industry publication focused on the sector. In 2015, he launched the first MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) on Hotel Distribution (coursera.org/learn/hotel-distribution) which currently has over has over 9.500 active learners.

In addition to his academic duties, Dr. O'Connor also works with managers from a large variety of travel industry clients to help shape their electronic distribution and electronic marketing strategies. He is regularly quoted by the international press and consulted by investment companies and private equity firms on developments in the hotel technology arena.

Prior to joining Essec Business School, Dr. O'Connor was a lecturer at the Dublin Institute of Technology in Ireland. He has been a visiting researcher at the University of South Australia and held a visiting position at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration as well as worked in a variety of positions in the international hospitality industry in sectors ranging from luxury hotels to contract food services.

Please visit http://www.essec.fr for more information.

Mr. O'Connor can be contacted at +33 134433177 or oconnor@essec.fr

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.