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Jason Ferrara

In this challenging economy, any kind of decision-making can be difficult, as the pressures to maintain your staff and profitability can be strained in ways you may not have expected. As a leader, some of your decisions regarding budgets may have to do with your recruiting strategies; and chances are you're trying to do more with less and figuring out how to spend the money you do have in the best ways as possible. To do that, you have to design the right recruiting mix. This article offers details on what vehicles can be used in these challenging times to create an effective and efficient recruitment plan. Read on...

Jason Ferrara

So what exactly is the difference between a passive jobseeker and an active jobseeker? Active jobseekers are those who are consistently applying for positions networking constantly and vigorously sending out their resumes. According to a recent CareerBuilder.com survey, 23 percent of hospitality workers identify themselves as active jobseekers. So what does all this mean to you, the hotel employer? In short, passive jobseekers make up a significant part of potential candidates, and therefore, are a critical component to your recruitment program. Read on...

Holly Stiel

Have you ever had an annual review and was surprised at the fact that your performance was not up to par? Have you ever given an annual review to a surprised and disappointed employee? All too often employees have no idea how their managers see them or what they can do to improve until it is too late. This practice of yearly or semi-yearly reviews that are subject to surprise is quite ineffective and uninspiring. Ongoing coaching is the perfect remedy. Many managers believe that they already coach, but all too often their idea of coaching is telling people what to do. Good coaching utilizes a specific set of questions and inspires self-discovery, resulting in employees taking personal responsibility for their behavior. Read on...

Jason Ferrara

Hotels offer an array of job opportunities for every level of worker; yet many people aren't aware of the benefits of working at a hotel and the career advancement prospects that exist. As the labor market tightens in the current economic downturn, attracting and capturing the right candidates for your open positions is crucial to your success. Effectively branding your hotel to jobseekers and potential candidates is one of the best tools in your pocket to achieve that success. Read on...

Michael Goldstein

We've equipped our stylish guest rooms with the most current, cutting-edge technology, provided unparalleled bedding made from the finest Egyptian cotton and luxurious spa-like guest baths and products. Yet all of those amenities and appointments can quickly dissipate in the eyes of our guests if they do not encounter employees who are responsive to their needs and sincerely hospitable. Simply put, it's paramount to remember that the most logical and practical way to outperform your competition is directly through your employees. They are the ambassadors for your hotel - and should be recruited and trained to complement and enhance your multi-million dollar assets. Read on...

Richard D. Hanks

When was the last time you had to do a negative performance review with one of your employees? I mean the kind where you are the bearer of bad news and have to lay down the law in a forceful manner? This type of performance review can be one of the most painful and yet delicate interactions that a manager can have with an employee. In this article, I address a simple, yet effective way to offset two of the more difficult issues related to this type of employee review. They are - (1) the subjective nature of the manager's "evidence" for change, and (2) the "selective memory" of most employees when presented with performance weaknesses. Read on...

Sanjay Nijhawan

Fail to look after your people, be they staff or customers, and you won't be around for long - whether you're selling shoes, diamond watches or burgers. In the hospitality industry duty of care, at a premium standard, for both staff and guests is what makes the difference between a good hotel and a great one. It is certainly true that the hotel business certainly has to go a step further when it comes to its 'people'. If anything, the emphasis on getting your employment and retention policies 'righter' than the rest is even more marked and important. Hotels are in a pretty unique position in that what they provide for customers in terms of experience is 100% in the hands of the team on the ground. And since you are running a 24-hour operation, it means genuine consistency of service is required throughout each guest's stay. Read on...

Kim Hehir

As the world's largest single industry, the hospitality industry as a whole continues to become more complex, competitive, global, and technological. As such, the industry struggles with a high percentage of low-skilled or unskilled workers and a scarcity of well-trained personnel at management levels. In this ever-changing environment, companies are looking for employees who will be successful in tomorrow's economy. These people should possess specialized job skills and should be able to think critically, communicate clearly, manage ethically and contribute to the community. Therefore, attention must be given to improving the level recruitment and training provided to potential managers, especially if they are responsible for delivering the experience demanded by the luxury traveler today. Read on...

Mike Paton

Today's hotel guest is more informed and demanding than ever. With dozens of choices at the fingertips of potential guests, how can your hotel rise above the crowd? To capture a bigger share of the market, your employees must focus on delivering more bang for the buck than your competition. Otherwise, guests decide where to stay primarily based on price and location. And that means you're nothing more than a commodity to most of your customers. Hotels with a guest-centered sales culture outperform competitors by building more value into every guest interaction. When your sales and service team is dedicated to providing a special experience for each traveler, you create preference and loyalty with your guests. And that helps you fill your hotel at a higher rate. Sounds simple, right? Anyone who's tried to build and maintain a sales culture knows it's not easy. But in working with more than 5,000 companies since 1986, we've found that it can be done by following three basic steps... Read on...

Jason Ferrara

The hospitality industry is in the business of making people feel at home when they're away from home. The employees decide whether the guests have a positive or negative experience and, either way, those guests will talk about it. That is why it is so critical that hotels and lodging facilities take measures today to ensure that they have those top performers on staff that will provide guests with an optimum experience and keep them coming back. According to a recent nationwide survey from CareerBuilder.com, nearly six-in-ten hospitality workers say they plan to leave their current jobs in pursuit of better opportunities by the end of 2005. To better understand the impetus behind this wake-up call for employers, let's take a closer look at what factors are driving dissatisfaction with their current positions. Read on...

Jason Ferrara

The US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that hospitality jobs will increase 17 percent through 2012; meanwhile, the industry's turnover rate was nearly twice that of all occupations last month. The magnitude of the industry's turnover is demonstrated by a recent nationwide survey by CareerBuilder.com. According to the survey, about 12 percent of hospitality workers plan to leave their jobs in the fourth quarter of 2005. Read on...

Robert Plotka

Rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of our nation's historic and pre-1936 buildings continue to be a hot trend in the real estate development industry, particularly as many American cities promote and encourage urban renewal projects in their downtown and historic areas. In most cases, it takes more than deep pockets and the divine inspiration of the developer to bring a historic building back to life. developers involved in rehabilitating historic buildings should promote teamwork, include experienced professionals, and expect the unexpected. A critical success factor is the developer's willingness and ability to assemble a strong team of experienced professionals to carry out the project. With a strong development team, the project may not only run more smoothly but also be perceived more favorably by investors and lenders while obtaining better terms in the process. Here are some helpful hints when selecting development team members for a historic rehabilitation tax credit project: Read on...

Jason Ferrara

Workplace diversity is hardly a new notion. The push for diversity gained prominence in the 1970s and 1980s as an influx of women entered the workforce. When EEOC reporting requirements emerged in the 1990s, the concept took on even greater importance. Today, embracing diversity means far more than creating more and equal opportunities for black and Hispanic workers. Diversity initiatives also benefit Asians, Native Americans, women, people with disabilities, and gay and lesbian workers. Read on...

Sandy Heydt

Raise your hand if you have had a bad boss. I am sure everyone reading this has raised both hands, and raised them pretty quickly! We often remember our bad bosses more readily than we do our good ones, because the experience was so unpleasant and disappointing. And sometimes we are so harmed by the experience it can take us a long time to get over it. Now think about the good bosses you have had. I hope you have had at least one in your career. Why were they good? Why was the experience working for them so invigorating and memorable? Wouldn't you like to create such an environment for anyone under your area of supervision? Read on...

Neale Redington

Despite millions of unemployed workers, there is an acute shortage of talent across industries. The hotel industry is no exception and with this industry growing at an exponential rate, the talent shortage hits especially hard. As more facilities are opening to tourists, hotels are in dire need of general managers to implement human resource strategies that build a foundation and reputation for a positive work environment, sales managers that are committed to the customer's needs, and housekeeping staff that understands and respects the importance of image - just to cite a few examples. Read on...

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Coming up in January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.