Session Spotlight: Attracting Talent | The Hotel Experience

NEW YORK – In Rebranding Hospitality: Attracting Talent to Return to Lodging, three panelists tackle the challenge of bringing employees back to hotels in an (almost) post-pandemic environment. Particularly as the hospitality industry enters recovery, labor concerns are prevalent. This session will reveal best practices as industry leaders unpack their experiences and successes in recruiting talent back to the hotel industry.

HX: The News sat down with panelist Lisa Lombardo, chief people and culture officer at HDG Hotels to preview a session that is sure to be of interest to many attendees when HX: The Hotel Experience Powered by AAHOA convenes Nov. 14-15 at the Javits Center in New York.

HX: The News: Prior to the pandemic, there were considerable labor concerns. How does that situation differ from the situation we have now?
Lisa Lombardo: The volume dial on what is really a similar conversation has been turned way up and is being heard and related to by more audiences. Before, the dialog was an intra-industry dialog. Now, you have more people paying attention – including legislators – to how the labor shortage is impacting micro and macro economies – from small businesses, local communities, all the way to state and federal levels.

HX: The News: Among hoteliers, what is the biggest misconception (if any) about attracting talent?
Lombardo: A misconception, and maybe it’s not a “mis”, is that people don’t want to return to hospitality. I’ve seen the stats, and I’m not PollyAnna-ing this. Even if that’s grounded in reality, let’s not perpetuate that sentiment. Let’s change the conversation.

HX: The News: What are one or two of the “best practices” to attract talent back to the hotel industry?
Lombardo: Make sure those looking for summer, seasonal, or part-time work—your high school and college students—understand that there are professionals in IT, human resources, communications, sales, public relations, and so on who all have hospitality in their resume. Ultimately, I’m hoping this conversation/panel discussion offers us all ideas and practices that can be taken back to our teams. It might also be a bit therapeutic for all of us in the room.