Editorial Board   

Ms. Willis

Kalen Willis

Senior Interior Designer, Hatchett Hospitality

At Hatchett Hospitality, Kalen Willis specializes in interior design for the hotel industry, with responsibility for project design, pricing, and management. She works with franchisers and franchisees on a wide variety of hotel brands, styles, and themes - from economy to luxury, from resort to business conference, and from traditional to modern. Her approach to the design of a project is driven by the target audience and by the end-use of the space. She believes that beautiful surroundings enhance our state of mind and enrich our lives. Typically, Ms. Willis finds a signature piece that makes a statement and then builds around it - but she always remains flexible in her philosophy and her strategy because her only rule for design is that there are no rules. Away from the office, Ms. Willis volunteers with a variety of groups including Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity, animal shelters, and after school programs for children with special needs. Whether on the job or in the community, Kalen Willis lives her belief that it's a blessing to have the opportunity to make someone else's day a little bit better. A native of Carrollton, Texas, Ms. Willis earned a bachelor of interior design degree at Texas Tech University in Lubbock and is an allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). She was a NEWH (The Network of the Hospitality Industry) scholarship award winner and is now a member this group.

Ms. Willis can be contacted at 866-783-5980 or kalen.willis@hatchetthospitality.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.