Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Johnson

Brian Johnson

Managing Director, Loews Ventana Canyon Resort

Brian Johnson is the Managing Director of the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, the 398-room award-winning property nestled in the Santa Catalina Foothills in Tucson, Ariz. His extensive experience in the hotel industry includes serving as general manager of the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando, Fla., and various management roles in hotels including the Regent Las Vegas, Scottsdale Princess, Resort at Squaw Creek, Sheraton Grande Torrey Pines and several of the Sheraton Hotels on Harbor Island. Johnson received a Bachelor's Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, and an MBA in Business Administration with an Emphasis in Marketing from National University in San Diego, California. He currently serves as the Arizona representative for the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), and is a member of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council (SALC). He also is an executive board member of both the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association (AzLTA) and the Southern Arizona Lodging and Resort Association (SALARA). Amongst his many accolades are Hotel of the Year 2009 and General Manager of the Year 2008 from Loews Hotels and Resorts, Father of the Year from the Tucson Father's Day Council in 2007, and Hotelier of the Year 2006 award from the Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association.

Mr. Johnson can be contacted at 520-529-7900 or bjohnson@loewshotels.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.