Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Edwards

Ken Edwards

Owner and CEO, HMBookstore and Tristar Hotel Group

Ken Edwards is the Owner and CEO of HMBookstore.com and Tristar Hotel Group, where he leads strategic vision and directly oversees core business functions to ensure positive corporate performance. With over 25 years in the hotel industry developing, acquiring and providing management to properties throughout the U.S., Mr. Edwards has turned his decades of experience into innovative business initiatives leading to products and services for the hospitality industry. He speaks nationally on topics of expertise, including revenue management, cash management, multi-property management, sales and marketing, and food and beverage. While owning and operating properties, and providing training to hotel employees, Mr. Edwards recognized an unfulfilled need for effective employee training solutions in all areas of hospitality and hotel operations, for enhancing employee retention, managing costs, increasing revenue, and better customer service. As a result, he founded HMBookstore, an online Learning Management System (LMS) platform used worldwide that provides over 150 online educational training courses for hotel owners and operators, individuals pursuing a career in the hospitality industry, as well hospitality industry professionals looking to enhance their skills. Mr. Edwards received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Hotel Management from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; a nationally recognized hospitality university. His is also a graduate from the Culinary Institute of America, continuing education in the Food and Beverage field. Throughout his career, Mr. Edwards has owned 18 hotels and has been honored with Hotel of the Year by Radisson McDowell. He is a past Board of Director for IHG Hotel Owners, and has served on IHG Brand Committees as Direct Sales Committee-Chairman, Holiday Inn Committee and IHG Frequent Travel Committee-Priority Club.

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

Mr. Edwards can be contacted at 602-453-9901 or keunlv@aol.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.