Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Khan

Shujaat Khan

Chief Concierge, The Capital Hilton

Then UICH Director of the Americas and a past President of Les Clefs d'Or USA, Shujaat Khan's hospitality career spans three decades. His career began at the Watergate Hotel as a Guest Service Agent. He was quickly promoted to Reservations Manager, Sales and Meetings Coordinator, Front Office Manager and Head Concierge. Currently, he is the Chief Concierge at the Capital Hilton Hotel, in Washington DC. Mr. Khan's dedication to hospitality excellence is demonstrated by his deep commitment to fostering growth and professionalism among Concierges. For over a decade, he has served on the Board of Directors for Les Clefs d'Or, USA. He was instrumental in developing a training program for Caribbean hospitality professionals. In 2006, Mr. Khan conducted "The Art of the Concierge," training classes in Antigua, Anguilla, St. Maarten and St. Barth. This year he is scheduled to conduct classes in DC, Miami and a few other US Cities. A recipient of multiple professional awards, Shujaat was named the "Hospitality Star of the Year 2006,"from the Hotel Association of the District of Columbia. Additionally, he has received multiple Spirit of Pride awards from the Hilton Hotel Corporation, and was named the Concierge of the Year. Shujaat had a cameo appearance with Clint Eastwood in the movie "Absolute Power," filmed at The Watergate Hotel. Recently, he performed a short role in "Sheer Madness," at the Kennedy Center. Mr. Khan has initiated many philanthropic endeavors to assist local, national and international charities. His selfless fundraising efforts have raised thousands of dollars to provide assistance to victims of international disasters and Concierges in need, through the Les Clefs d'Or Foundation and the Les Clefs d'Or Relief Fund. Married to Mrs. Linda Khan for 25 years, they are blessed to have two handsome sons. Sameer, the eldest son, is a proud Marine and attends college part time. The younger son, Salim, is graduating from WT Woodson this year, and will be attending the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Events at The George Mason University.

Mr. Khan can be contacted at 202-639-5712 or Shujaat.Khan@hilton.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.