Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Kasavana

Michael Kasavana

NAMA Endowed Professor, School of Hospitality Business, Michigan State University

Michael L. Kasavana is the NAMA Endowed Professor in the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University. His teaching and research efforts are sharply focused on information technology and transaction settlement systems for self-service and full-service applications in hotel, restaurant, club, and casino environments. Dr. Kasavana has authored or co-authored numerous books, including Managing Front Office Operations (Eighth Edition), Menu Engineering (Third Edition), and Managing Technology in the Hospitality Industry (Sixth Edition). In addition, he has written numerous academic journal and industry trade magazine articles as well as designed instructional and operational software products. He is an active industry consultant and popular seminar leader. Dr. Kasavana was selected the 2011 Industry Person of the Year by the National Automatic Merchandising Association and is an inductee of the HFTP International Technology Hall of Fame and recipient of the prestigious FS/TEC's Distinguished Achievements in Food Service Technology Award. In addition, he has garnered the coveted MSU Distinguished Faculty Award, MSU Broad College of Business Withrow Teacher-Scholar Award, MSU Academic Spartan of the Year Award, MSU Teacher-Scholar Award, and was in the inaugural class of NAMA Certified NCE5 executives. In addition to his academic responsibilities, Dr. Kasavana serves as the MSU Faculty Athletic Representative to the Big Ten, CCHA, and NCAA conferences and is Chair of the MSU Athletic Council. The Kasavana family also provided significant financial support to create the Kasavana/Schmidgall Faculty Research Endowment in the MSU School of Hospitality Business. Dr. Kasavana received his B.S. in Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration, his MBA in Finance, and his Ph.D. in Management Information Systems from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Mr. Kasavana can be contacted at 517-353-9211 or Kasavana@bus.msu.edu

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.