Editorial Board   

Mr. Kazmi

Saeed Kazmi

Chairman & CEO, Vertical Systems, Inc.

For almost 30 years, Saeed Kazmi has been developing innovative technologies that empower business to move in new directions. Today, he serves as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vertical Systems, Inc. (VSi), a Silicon Valley-based company he co-founded in 2001 to provide sophisticated solutions for the hospitality industry through a wide range of automated business centers, mobile applications, Wi-Fi hotspots, kiosks, and in-room products. Previously, he co-founded several firms that achieved important high-tech “firsts” including: • VPNet Technologies, the first company in the world to focus on virtual private networks (VPNs) • Semi-Custom Logic, Inc., which conceived and developed a mobile tablet PC with an embedded GPS unit plus also managed prototype development for IBM's micro-electronic graphics and data compression technology • VIA Technology, one of the first developers of fabless PC semiconductor products, notably PC chip-sets and microprocessors Mr. Kazmi earned an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at NED Engineering University in Karachi, Pakistan and a master's engineering degree at Oregon State University (OSU). In 2008, he was named to OSU's Academy of Distinguished Engineers. Mr. Kazmi has built a career that is part science, part art, and all innovation. In the process, he has gained a strong reputation for leaving the ordinary behind - both with the technologies he develops and the companies he directs. He can be reached by e-mail at skazmi@ver-sys.com for questions or comments.

Mr. Kazmi can be contacted at 408-752-8100 or skazmi@ver-sys.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.