Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Bajouk

Simon Bajouk

Concierge, Ritz-Carlton Montreal

Simon Bajouk is a Concierge at the Ritz-Carlton Montreal. Mr. Bajouk has been a practicing concierge for over six years, beginning his career at Montreal's Marriott Hotel. This early position gave Mr. Bajouk the confidence and abilities he needed to pursue his career and empowered him to assist others in reaching success. With an education in Hotel Management from the University of Quebec in Montreal and his early experience in the hospitality industry, Mr. Bajouk has keenly developed his leadership and customer-focused skills. Being a member of the International Association Les Clefs d'Or for five years now, he has built a reputation for professionalism, thoroughness and commitment to guest service. Over the years, Mr. Bajouk has shared his talents with some of the most prestigious hotels in Montreal, among them Le St-Sulpice, the Loews Hotel Vogue, Hotel Le St-James and most recently, the Ritz-Carlton Montreal. Mr. Bajouk sees each of his many memorable moments as learning opportunities and building blocks for the methodology he uses to deliver world-class service. As an accomplished concierge, he is proud of his accomplishments and looks forward to sharing them along the way. On this note, with the aim of sharing his experience in the field of hospitality, and more specifically in the role of caretaker, Mr. Bajouk and his colleague developed and implemented a customized customer service training program. He describes this program as teaching customer service and communication so that trainees can master the art of guest satisfaction. Mr. Bajouk has now taught several of these courses and among his many students counts the employees of Bombardier Inc. The company's involvement with the Ritz-Carlton Montreal over time has led him to being involved in several fundraising and charitable events for organizations such as the Terry Fox Foundation, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, and the Ste-Justine Hospital.

Mr. Bajouk can be contacted at 514-842-4210 or concierge@ritzmontreal.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.