Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Khan

Shujaat Khan

Chief Concierge, The Capital Hilton

Then UICH Director of the Americas and a past President of Les Clefs d'Or USA, Shujaat Khan's hospitality career spans three decades. His career began at the Watergate Hotel as a Guest Service Agent. He was quickly promoted to Reservations Manager, Sales and Meetings Coordinator, Front Office Manager and Head Concierge. Currently, he is the Chief Concierge at the Capital Hilton Hotel, in Washington DC. Mr. Khan's dedication to hospitality excellence is demonstrated by his deep commitment to fostering growth and professionalism among Concierges. For over a decade, he has served on the Board of Directors for Les Clefs d'Or, USA. He was instrumental in developing a training program for Caribbean hospitality professionals. In 2006, Mr. Khan conducted "The Art of the Concierge," training classes in Antigua, Anguilla, St. Maarten and St. Barth. This year he is scheduled to conduct classes in DC, Miami and a few other US Cities. A recipient of multiple professional awards, Shujaat was named the "Hospitality Star of the Year 2006,"from the Hotel Association of the District of Columbia. Additionally, he has received multiple Spirit of Pride awards from the Hilton Hotel Corporation, and was named the Concierge of the Year. Shujaat had a cameo appearance with Clint Eastwood in the movie "Absolute Power," filmed at The Watergate Hotel. Recently, he performed a short role in "Sheer Madness," at the Kennedy Center. Mr. Khan has initiated many philanthropic endeavors to assist local, national and international charities. His selfless fundraising efforts have raised thousands of dollars to provide assistance to victims of international disasters and Concierges in need, through the Les Clefs d'Or Foundation and the Les Clefs d'Or Relief Fund. Married to Mrs. Linda Khan for 25 years, they are blessed to have two handsome sons. Sameer, the eldest son, is a proud Marine and attends college part time. The younger son, Salim, is graduating from WT Woodson this year, and will be attending the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Events at The George Mason University.

Mr. Khan can be contacted at 202-639-5712 or Shujaat.Khan@hilton.com

Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.