Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Scott

Lester Scott

Managing Director, Carillon Miami Beach

International hotelier Lester Scott refuses to settle for anything less than extraordinary. Which is perfect, because that's exactly what Carillon Miami Beach needs - a leader who can extract every ounce of potential from an untapped North Beach property and create an unexpectedly exceptional product that rivals any on Miami Beach. Before arriving in Miami, a place that he says truly feels like home to him, Mr. Scott spent the last 10 years with Capella Hotel Group, the luxury hotel management group founded by Mr. Scott's mentor and dear friend, Mr. Hortz Schulze (the former President and CEO of Ritz-Carlton). Most recently, he oversaw $1 billion in hotel assets across five properties in China, while simultaneously assisting in the opening and development of new projects. Now, as Managing Director of the 110 all-suite Carillon Miami Beach hotel and its 580 residences, Mr. Scott has taken the reigns to rebrand and reignite the fire underneath an iconic landmark that has populated Miami's sands since 1958. He's ready to re-define the meaning of “luxury,” a word that to him, has become ubiquitous with false exaggerations or sterile atmospheres. “Luxury,” he says, “should be intuitive, personalized and whatever the customer wants it to be. Anything else is not true luxury.” Mr. Scott says that he was always destined for the hospitality business. Even as an inner-city kid from Missouri starting out in the housekeeping department at the Hyatt Regency, Kansas City, MO, he knew that this was his calling. Now, with a championed belt of Five-Star, Four-Diamond, top-rated properties on his resume, there's no sign of slowing him down. Maybe only to catch a game of golf or to watch The Royals or Chiefs play. Otherwise, it's full speed ahead as he carefully crafts his poised, emotion-evoking Carillon brand that, in due time, he'll be replicating globally. Never a dull moment for Lester Scott.

Please visit http://www.carillon.com for more information.

Mr. Scott can be contacted at 866-800-3858 or lester.scott@carillon.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.