Editorial Board   Guest Author

Dr. Hawkins

Rebecca Hawkins

Managing Director, Responsible Hospitality Partnership

Rebecca Hawkins is the Managing Director of RHP Ltd, a Research Fellow of Oxford Brookes University and Visiting Professor to the International Centre for Responsible Tourism at Leeds Metropolitan University. A resource management specialist, with training in ISO 14001 implementation, Dr. Hawkins has managed a number of projects that combine the need to deliver sustainability initiatives alongside cost savings. Dr. Hawkins regularly provides training within hotel businesses and offers strategic consultancy to help senior executives in the sector design effective responsible business programs. Through RHP, she provides consulting services to a wide range of clients from across the hospitality and food service sectors. Her experience in the sector means that she has been asked to write or contribute to much of the guidance that is available to the sector on resource efficiency. She also regularly writes for the trade press. She has recently made input into UK energy and waste initiatives and has played a role in a major waste prevention initiative for the sector. She also works with many of the NGOs in the sector, for example, delivering some of the initial research about the credibility of different sustainable tourism certification initiatives and leading research into customer expectations of responsible business programs. Dr, Hawkins has recently published two books on responsible hospitality. One of these is recognized as “the complete handbook for corporate responsibility in the hospitality industry” and the other includes letters from 46 industry leaders about the importance of Green Growth.

Dr. Hawkins can be contacted at 44-1993-868392 or rebecca@rhpltd.net

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.