What are the recent technologies entering the HR space and how are they helping in your day-to-day operations?

Technology like the applicant tracking system (ATS) helps us in the recruitment process and assists in managing cost and compliance. There are companies that are international, and a few companies comply with local laws according to the scale of their systems, which are very intuitive and end-to-end. I am currently working with a small group and doing a preopening in Australia, which gives me an excellent opportunity to look for more local based systems. We have to learn about the relevant technology, what they can and can’t do, or if it’s feasible for all our colleagues to be involved with it on a dayto- day basis.

What are some challenges that you have to deal with in the preopening space in the hospitality industry?

One of the challenges that we face on a daily basis is that with preopening being critical to our company, we have to show that we have a stable recruitment strategy. We must know the local laws of the country we are recruiting from and understand the platforms with the most significant reach. It would be best if you were involved with the recruitment team from the start to take the lead from the ground level, particularly in whichever country you are recruiting candidates from. There is a lot of groundwork and preparation that goes into recruiting the best people, particularly with about 100-200 positions open, and we need to coordinate with the other departments.

You said that business strategies depend heavily on their workforce and the environment. How do you get HR initiatives to align with those strategies?

Our most prominent strategies are cost and headcount payroll. The HR division has always been seen as a cost department, focusing on retention strategy and working with other key managers and department heads around the hotel to retain staff. Based on how we recruit, grow, develop, and maintain the staff we bring into the organization, we can avoid the additional costs of having to keep training new staff. We have to ensure that we have a set budget and targets to reach. Also, we must research and understand the local market, utilize surveys, like the Mercer surveys, around the Asia Pacific, find out what our competitors are doing, and be creative at what we do.

“One of the challenges that we face on a daily basis is that with pre-opening being critical to our company, we have to show that we have a stable recruitment strategy.”

What strategies do you use to retain employees at your organization during the great resignation?

Having a great mentoring program within the organization is a great strategy to retain talent in the company since the newer generation is quick to be reactive with their work, progress, and how they value themselves. The mentoring program is essential because passionate and experienced individuals who want their industry to go in the right direction impart their knowledge to new people and have formal and informal conversations with each other. Training people entering the hospitality industry for the first time as soon as possible is also essential as we need more staff to serve our guests since the sector is returning quickly after the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the top talent will take over the company and industry one day, so building the right culture and understanding people’s needs is one of our strategies. The mentoring programs also help managers who want to develop and further their own skills. Further, cross-departmental mentoring helps everyone to appreciate different roles since one position won’t succeed without the other.

Do you have any advice that you would like to share with our readers or your peers?

With the current economic situation, the hospitality industry is thriving like never before. It is a people industry, and we have to be complacent with people who want to join the industry since very few people choose careers in hospitality. It is up to countries who wish to develop the industry more through programs via schools or partnerships. Schools should also teach students about the hospitality industry, so more people are aware of it.