Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Hepditch

Duane Hepditch

President & CEO, Guestfolio

Duane Hepditch is an innovator within the hospitality software industry. Seeing a void in the guest service transaction, Mr. Hepditch co-founded Guestfolio, the "world's leading hotel CRM” recognized by the World Travel Awards in 2014. His company is growing rapidly throughout North America, Europe and Asia and has the privilege to work with hotels such as Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, Brownsword Hotels, Six Senses Resorts & Spas and many other unique boutique and resort properties around the world. Mr. Hepditch's passion for travel and guest service motivated him to co-found Guestfolio in 2008 and in turn reach his goal to provide solutions for hoteliers so they may better service and learn from their guests throughout the travel journey. Guestfolio is a hotel marketing platform that drives guest engagement, retention and conversion throughout the travel journey. Mr. Hepditch's mission for Guestfolio is to personalize the travel experience for guests and provide insights and tools that build lasting brand loyalty for his customers. By working with hotels world-wide Guestfolio is able to capture valuable data on guest behaviour and trends and leverage that for his customers in ways they never thought were possible. Mr. Hepditch resides in Whistler British Columbia, Canada. He is the Chair of Whistler.com, a subsidiary of Tourism Whistler and was a board member of Tourism Whistler for 4 years. Whistler is one of the leading resort destinations of the world and was home of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. His role at Tourism Whistler was to represent the commercial group of companies within the resort and provide input on global advertising and marketing initiatives. Mr. Hepditch is passionate for business dialogue and small business incubation. He has owned and sold 2 internet related companies since 2000.

Mr. Hepditch can be contacted at 604-932-2510 or duane@guestfolio.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.