Editorial Board   

Mr. Spelts

Larry Spelts

Director of Asset Management, Charlestowne Hotels

Larry Spelts, Director of Asset Management for Charlestowne Hotels, has spent his 25 year career focused in the independent boutique hotel and inn segment of the hospitality industry. He is a past president of the Charleston, SC Hotel & Motel Association and a former Charleston Travel Council Governor. Mr. Spelts began his career in the hospitality industry while attending the College of Charleston (SC) in the 1980's working in various positions from bellman to concierge. He took his first management position in 1990 at the 43 room Kings Courtyard Inn of Charming Inns of Charleston, with whom he went on to open new properties in 1992 and 1994 - all boutique, Four Diamond rated properties. In November 1994, Mr. Spelts accepted the general manager position at the 64 room Planters Inn of Charleston, SC. Mr. Spelts led redevelopment of the property and repositioned it as Charleston's first Relais & Châteaux. Ten years later he took a position with the world-renowned Carlyle Hotel in New York City, where he oversaw various renovation projects and served as the hotel manager. While in New York, Mr. Spelts earned an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business while working as an independent consultant that included engagements with a variety of boutique and lifestyle businesses from the Hotel Roger Williams to the Core Club and David Barton Gyms. Mr. Spelts joined Charlestowne Hotels in September of 2009.

Mr. Spelts can be contacted at 843-972-1428 or lspelts@charlestownehotels.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.