Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Gutierrez

Raul Jose Gutierrez

Strategic Partner, ITALKRAFT

A sales and marketing maestro in his own right, Raul Gutierrez is widely regarded for his ability to direct the strategic development and management of flourishing businesses. He has flawlessly executed and successfully closed more than $300 million in sales for various organizations throughout his 20-year career in the construction industry. Mr. Gutierrez joined ITALKRAFT LLC in 2012, and manages the luxury kitchen, bathroom and closet brand's overall planning and strategy in relation to purchasing and product development. A savvy businessman, he negotiates long-term deals with raw material suppliers throughout the world, while simultaneously creating installation methods that ensure swift service and maximizes clients' investments. Through his extensive network of contacts with developers of luxury real estate projects and leading interior designers, Mr. Gutierrez has successfully gained ITALKRAFT access into some of the most coveted condominium and rental projects on the market. It is these personal and longstanding relationships that have aided Mr. Gutierrez in expanding the brand's reach into new markets, including Houston, New York, Chicago and Washington D.C. Adding to his extensive sales capabilities, Mr. Gutierrez opened and managed 18 branch offices in South America, Central America and the Caribbean while serving as a board member for several prestigious construction companies. By spearheading the construction of major airports, hospitals and hotels within these three markets, Mr. Gutierrez expanded these brands into new territories where they are now considered the best in the business. Mr. Gutierrez's career changed direction in 2007 when he decided to exclusively work with kitchens and produced $65 million in revenue. He is a native of Miami and returned to his home after graduating from the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. Mr. Gutierrez is heavily involved in the community and is dedicated to being an instrumental part of the city's continued growth.

Mr. Gutierrez can be contacted at 305-406-1301 or raul@italkraft.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.