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The Ultimate Guide to Hospitality Technology (2021)

by
Hotel Tech Report
6 days ago

Did you know the average small business uses 40 different software applications, and the average hotel uses around 20? In an ideal world, every system in your hotel’s tech stack would help you automate tasks, reduce costs, grow revenue, and deliver a five-star guest experience. But we understand that getting up-to-date on the myriad of technology solutions available to hotels can be daunting! Where do you even start? In this article, we’ll introduce you to each piece of the hotel technology landscape, from revenue management to reputation management and everything in between. Drawing on insights from over 10,000 hotel software reviews written by hoteliers across the globe, this article will also highlight some top software vendors in each category. For more detailed testimonials and additional software choices, you’ll want to click over to the full list of vendors. Let’s dive in!     9 Hotel Operations Software Tools that Drive Efficiency This category of software includes the most essential technology for hotel operations: checking guests in, reconciling accounts, handling payroll, and getting feedback from guests. Your hotel’s size and complexity will determine which systems you need; small, limited-service hotels might be fine with a PMS and a payment processor, but a large resort could benefit from each category of software. 1. Property management systems (PMS): The PMS is the central hub for hotel operations. In this system, staff can check guests in and out, create and manage reservations, pull financial reports, manage guest profiles, and more. According to user reviews and analysis of system functionality, the top PMSs are Cloudbeds, Clock, and HotelTime, though there are over a hundred more great systems on the market. 2. Staff collaboration tools: Hotel staff are scattered across different floors, buildings, and shifts, so a communication platform is necessary to keep everyone on the same page. Systems like hotelkit, Monscierge, and ALICE can replace analog methods like walkie-talkies and logbooks, plus they can track tasks, reduce manual errors, and increase efficiency. 3. Housekeeping and engineering software: These tools digitize the operations of your housekeeping and maintenance departments, with the ability to automate task assignment, monitor real-time status of rooms or issues, and track task completion. Top software in this category includes hotelkit, Flexkeeping, and ALICE. 4. Guest feedback and surveys: Do away with the paper comment cards and give guests a digital platform to voice their feedback, such as GuestRevu, TrustYou, or Revinate. Not only are these tech solutions easy for guests to use, but they also allow hoteliers to customize, automate, and analyze guest comments and complaints. 5. Accounting and reporting: If your hotel accepts payments from guests and issues payments to employees and vendors, then you’ll benefit from an accounting and reporting system like myDigitalOffice, M3, or Omniboost. A modern accounting system reveals opportunities to reduce costs and maximize revenue, plus makes your accounting team more efficient with automated reports and integrations with other on-site software. 6. Payments Processing: Most guests prefer to pay for their reservations with credit cards, but a payment processing system is necessary to get the funds from the guest’s card into your hotel’s bank account. Payment processors like Profitroom, Mews Payments, and Adyen charge a small processing fee, but they make getting paid as seamless as possible. 7. Labor management: Hotels have dozens, if not hundreds, of employees, so scheduling is no easy task. Software such as Hotel Effectiveness’ PerfectLabor™, M3, and UniFocus include forecasting, insight into labor costs, and integrations with payroll and timekeeping systems.  8. Meetings and events: Whether your hotel has one private dining room or several floors of ballrooms and breakout spaces, meetings and events software can support every step of the sales and planning process - and the event itself. Highly rated meetings and events software includes Proposales, Event Temple, and Blockbuster by Duetto. 9. F&B and point-of-sale systems: The pandemic accelerated demand for features like contactless menus and online ordering, so there has been a huge wave of innovation in the F&B software space. Vendors like RoomOrders, Bbot, and Oracle’s MICROS can help restaurants modernize their operations, cut costs, reduce reliance on delivery platforms, and strengthen relationships with customers.   7 Revenue Management Tech Systems that Improve Yield Strategy The goal of revenue management is to sell the right room to the right guest at the right price, and revenue managers leverage a variety of software to achieve their RevPAR goals. 1. Revenue management systems (RMS): The secret weapon of any revenue manager is the RMS; this system analyzes historical data, market supply and demand, and forecasts to recommend the rates most likely to maximize revenue and profitability. You might also hear revenue management software like IDeaS, Duetto’s Gamechanger, or Atomize referred to as “yield management systems” or “pricing engines.” 2. Channel managers: A channel manager is the link between a hotel’s property management system and distribution channels like Booking.com, Expedia, and the GDS. Channel managers such as SiteMinder, Cloudbeds’ myallocator, and D-EDGE’s Smart Channel Manager allow hoteliers to make changes in one system, their PMS, rather than managing rates on each channel individually. 3. Central reservation systems (CRS): Larger hotels or hotels that are part of a chain or group might use a CRS to centralize all bookings, whether they’re made by call center staff, the hotel’s own website, or a third-party channel. The CRS will then send reservations to the PMS for room assignments. Popular CRSs include Pegasus, Windsurfer, and GuestCentric CRS. 4. Rate shopping and market intelligence: A key to revenue management success is selling competitive rates, but how do you know what your competitors are selling? Rate shopping tools, like OTA Insight, Siteminder Insights, and D-EDGE RateScreener, do the heavy lifting for you and present competitor rates and market forecasts in user-friendly dashboards and reports. 5. Parity management: OTAs ask hotels to provide rate parity, meaning selling the same rate across all channels, and, as a hotelier, you don’t want OTAs to sell cheaper rates than your hotel’s website. Parity management tools, like OTA Insight, FornovaDI, and Triptease give hoteliers access to dashboards that monitor rates across all channels in real-time. 6. Business intelligence: Revenue managers love data, but sometimes all that data is too much for Excel to handle. Business intelligence tools offer better solutions for slicing, dicing, and visualising data through dashboards and reports suitable for studying historical performance or predicting the future. Top BI applications include OTA Insight, Scoreboard by Duetto, and ProfitSage. 7. Upselling Software: Driving incremental revenue per guest is possible with upselling tools that automate the entire process - and use profile data and historical trends to serve the most compelling, personalized offers to each guest, like room upgrades or F&B items. Tools like Oaky, EasyWay Smart Upselling, and GuestJoy also enable hoteliers to start the upselling process before the guest arrives on property.   9 Guest Experience Platforms to Improve Satisfaction Scores How do you create a five-star guest experience in the digital age? A plethora of systems exist to delight guests, from contactless check-in solutions to modern in-room entertainment. 1. Guest messaging: Messaging platforms allow hotels to communicate with guests via their preferred platform: text messaging, email, or even apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Top-rated systems like Monscierge, Whistle, and EasyWay support automated messaging and one central dashboard where staff can respond. 2. Keyless entry: Keyless entry software enables a guest to unlock their room or other secure areas like gyms or pools with a wave of their smartphone. Systems like Mobile Access by ASSA ABLOY, FLEXIPASS, and Openkey.co offer integrations with PMSs for a seamless arrival experience. 3. Guest apps: Digitize your in-room directory with a hotel app like ALICE, INTELITY, or Duve. These downloadable apps put everything guests need to know at their fingertips, from contact info and directions to room service menus and local recommendations.  4. Contactless check-in: In the wake of the pandemic, guests prefer a contactless arrival process, and software like EasyWay, Canary, and Duve make it easy for hotels to pivot to a fully digital check-in. Functionality includes ID scanning, digital registration cards, upselling, payment processing, and arrival time coordination. 5. In-room tablets: Just like the smartphone replaced our digital cameras and rolodexes, an in-room tablet can replace your rooms’ telephones, directories, room service menus, TV remotes, thermostats, and more. Tablet providers like SuitePad, Crave Interactive, and INTELITY are even proven to increase guest satisfaction and revenue. 6. Energy management: These systems have two goals: decrease your hotel’s energy costs and reduce your hotel’s environmental impact. Vendors like Verdant Energy Management Solutions, Telkonet, and EcoStruxure are designed with hotels in mind and seek to not only decrease costs, but also enhance the guest experience. 7. Guest room entertainment: Today’s guests want more than local cable channels on their guestroom TVs; systems like Monscierge ZAFIRO IPTV, and Sonifi provide interactive content and entertainment for all types of hotels, plus additional marketing and engagement opportunities you couldn’t get with traditional TV. 8. Mobile ordering/F&B: Bbot, RoomOrders, SABA F&B Ordering, and other systems provide an essential piece of technology for hotels and restaurants: mobile ordering. With this software, guests and customers can access menus, place orders, and pay from their smartphones, and F&B outlets can better manage order fulfillment and deliver an end-to-end contactless experience. 9. Hotel Wi-Fi: What was once a premium add-on is now an essential amenity at hotels, especially with a growing segment of travelers working remotely. To offer reliable high-speed internet access, hotels can partner with vendors like Cisco (Meraki), Percipia, or GuestTek that offer implementation services and ongoing support.   9 Marketing Tools to Lower Acquisition Costs and Drive Direct Bookings Of course, you don’t need any of the software listed above if nobody knows about your hotel! Marketing software allows you to tap into new audiences of guests and build relationships with your existing guest base. 1. Booking engines: For hoteliers seeking to increase direct business, a booking engine is essential. This software allows guests to book reservations on your hotel’s website by displaying rates and availability from your PMS, then integrating reservations into the PMS. Cloudbeds, Bookassist, and SiteMinder offer some of the best booking engines.  2. Reputation management: A reputation management tool helps you request, track, analyze, and respond to guest reviews across sites like Tripadvisor and Google and your own surveys. Some of the industry leaders are TrustYou, GuestRevu, and Revinate, and they can even assist in increasing guest review scores by revealing insights about guest sentiment. 3. Website builders and content management systems (CMS): Outsourcing your website design isn’t necessary with a CMS; these tools allow you to build, edit, and organize website pages and content, and they support integrations with booking engines, payment processors, widgets and more. Smart CMS by Bookassist, Profitroom, and Net Affinity are some of the top website builders. 4. Direct booking tools: If you want to increase direct bookings, then an app like Triptease, Hotelchamp, or TrustYou can boost the number of shoppers who complete bookings on your hotel’s website. These tools let you display personalized messages, snippets of guest reviews, price comparison widgets, and more - all of which give guests reasons to book direct instead of on an OTA. 5. Digital marketing agencies: Don’t have the time or resources to handle digital marketing in-house? A digital marketing agency can lend their expertise to help your hotel succeed in search engine marketing, social media, content creation, and PR. Bookassist, Avvio, and Net Affinity are some of the leaders in this space. 6. Social media tools: Whether you’re trying to build a new audience or stay in touch with past guests, social media is an important component of your hotel’s marketing strategy. Social media vendors like BCV, Sprout Social, and Travel Media Group can help you achieve your reach and engagement goals. 7. Metasearch and ad tech: Metasearch channels, like Google, Kayak, and Tripadvisor, are powerful drivers of traffic to your hotel website - if you leverage them effectively. These sites require special connectivity and a bidding strategy, and tools like Bookassist, Avvio, and Koddi will help you manage budgets, track attribution, and understand market dynamics. 8. Website live chat/chatbots: Potential guests shopping on your website want answers now - without needing to pick up the phone. A chatbot, like one from Asksuite, Quicktext, or Whistle, use artificial intelligence to answer guest questions quickly and accurately, plus capture leads and increase conversion on your website. 9. Hotel CRM: Your database of guest email addresses is a gold mine - if you can leverage it strategically. A CRM system, such as Revinate, Profitroom, and dailypoint 360, allows you to capture email addresses on your website, send automated messages throughout the guest’s journey, create segments of profiles with specific characteristics, and analyze open rates, click-through rates, and conversion.   F&B and MICE The food and beverage and meetings and events components of the hotel industry have their own technology solutions too. Whether you’re trying to streamline your room service offerings or support citywide conferences in a maze of meeting spaces, you can find software to help you execute any type of service or event. 1. Restaurant management: In order to run a restaurant smoothly, restaurateurs leverage point-of-sale software to manage stock in real-time, handle transactions, reserve tables, run reports, and more. Popular restaurant management software includes Vento ePOS, Oracle MICROS, and Lightspeed POS. 2. Mobile ordering and room service: Contactless service is the latest trend in F&B, but it seems likely to become the norm. Mobile ordering systems, such as Bbot, RoomOrders, and SABA F&B Ordering, allow restaurants to upload digital menus, accept online orders, and receive contactless payments, and customers can feel confident in more efficient service and accurate orders and bills. 3. Meetings and events intelligence: This category of software aims to help hoteliers maximize their meetings and events business by understanding market dynamics, uncovering insights about attendees, and optimizing pricing and space usage. Top meetings and events intelligence tools include Blockbuster by Duetto, IDeaS (SmartSpace), and Get Into More. 4. Group sourcing and RFP tools: Without software to assist, the RFP process is tedious. RFP software, such as Proposales, MeetingPackage, and Venuesuite, moves this process online and helps you to automate it, making all the back-and-forth more efficient and helping sales teams reach their goals. 5. Event management: Software doesn’t just help your sales team seal the deal, but also to plan and execute the event itself. Event Temple, Tripleseat, EVENTMACHINE, and others provide functionality to send proposals, get e-signatures, manage traces, communicate with clients, and create and edit BEOs and agendas.   Looking for more resources on hotel industry software? Download the free 2021 HotelTechIndex Market Leaders Report.

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9 Simple Tips to Becoming a Better Manager in 2021

by
Hotel Tech Report
2 months ago

“Love your staff.” That’s the secret to running a successful hotel according to the founder of the iconic One Aldwych in London. It’s great advice and an essential mantra for hospitality, which is a people business at its core and relies heavily on team members coordinating for a higher cause. That mantra is put to the test during downturns, such as the COVID pandemic or the financial crisis of 2008. Faced with uncertainty and economic headwinds, managers must balance the needs of the business with those of its people.  So it's understandable that you may be asking yourself, “How can I be a good manager?” and "what management skills do I need to succeed?" these are important questions and an indication that you're already well on your way to being an effective leader.  Questioning and learning is a key to managerial success in and of itself. Self-awareness and a desire to improve are two valuable traits in any manager. As you focus on improving your leadership skills during challenging times, here are 9 tips for becoming a better manager. 2021 has been incredibly difficult but there is a silver lining: you’ll be a stronger manager, with a whole new set of skills to build on moving forward. As you invest the time in building meaningful relationships with your colleagues, you’ll earn respect and loyalty that’s helpful in both good times and bad. Here are some questions we'll answer in this article: What learning tools and hospitality books are available to new managers? What steps can managers take to facilitate a stress-free work environment? What characteristics do the best managers in the world possess? How to hone decision-making abilities and communication skills Why motivating employees is hard work and how career development is key   1. Be honest and objective Always be honest with your staff! You don't want to sugarcoat things, hide from the truth, or seem aloof, evasive or uncaring. Your staff will see through any BS anyhow, so it’s best to be as honest as possible (without being mean).  At a time when stress and emotions run high, stay objective. It helps keep your head level and your approached even-handed. Dialing too deep into emotions can create an inconsistent experience for individual staff members. That breeds feelings of unfairness and resentment, as individuals feel they’re being treated differently. Avoid that and stay both objective and honest.   During performance reviews, for example, you may be tempted to hold in critical feedback, especially with your favorite colleagues.  Critical feedback helps employees develop new skills and facilitates goal setting that leads to progress in your teams professional lives (and personal lives!).  Effective management and being a team leader is all about communicating the hard news in an empathetic way while being honest and objective.  It's also critical to strategize the right times to communicate - for example, maybe team meetings are a bad place to call out team members for a lack of soft skills.   2. Get out of the office When times are tough, the last thing you want is for staff to think you’re hiding in your office. Get out into the hotel and stay connected with all aspects of the property. You’ll have a better understanding of the current mood and operational needs. This is called “Management By Walking Around (MBWA),” and it keeps you up front and visible with staff. You lead by example and show them that you’re active and engaged, rather than hidden away in the office.  Being visible is also a fantastic way to provide a top-notch guest experience. Greeting guests and being available to address comments or concerns keeps you in tune with their needs -- a personalized approach that encourages glowing reviews and builds your online reputation.  Remember that it’s not enough to just get out of the office: you also must interact with others to really catalyze the benefit, says Mark Hamister, CEO of the Hamister Hospitality Group: “Adding an "I" for Interaction to MBWA enabled us to finally encourage teamwork between management and staff, increase the number of informal problem-solving opportunities on a daily basis, and thereby produce immediate and creative solutions.”   3. Prioritize speed over precision Whether you realize it or not, your team takes cues from your confidence and posture. As their leader, you set the bar. Especially during times of crisis, when circumstances change often, you must be the fearless leader. You don’t have the luxury of rumination. So you must be decisive and prioritize speed over precision. Even if you have to fake it because you are freaking out inside, act fast and with conviction. See next point for a specific tactic that requires a good leader to be decisive.   4. Fire quickly and fairly Even if you have to fire people today, you may want to hire them once the downturn eases and demand returns. The last thing you want to do is leave a poor impression that scuttles employee loyalty. Do right by them, as you may want to bring former employees back rather than trying to find new staff. Furloughs may become temporary as the downturn drags on. And you may even need to fire employees that you recently brought back on. Firing is often the worst part of being a manager.  It's emotionally exhausting and extremely difficult. But don’t delay the inevitable, as making several rounds of smaller layoffs leads to lower morale. To minimize stress of an already difficult situation, fire quickly and fairly. Make an honest appraisal of what you need to do to keep the lights on and then make those decisions quickly. You also want to be fair and as transparent as possible about how these decisions were made. Avoid politics and personal preferences to avoid favoritism or ill-will. And always follow the traits above: Be objective, honest and helpful!   5. Listen, listen, listen! Great leaders are great listeners. They're able to listen, synthesize and act based on what they’ve learned. Listening is the foundation of hospitality, as it builds mutual understanding, meaningful relationships and memorable, experiences, says Gary Gutierrez of HRI Lodging in New Orleans: “For hoteliers, what’s most meaningful is creating positive, uplifting outcomes for human experiences and human relationships. Running a hotel, like life, is all about how you make people feel.” And it’s not just with guests; sometimes it's just about being a friendly ear for your team. You don't have to be a therapist but you certainly have to be there to listen. Oftentimes, that’s what your team needs most: a sympathetic ear.   6. Be available to your staff Micromanaging is the enemy.  Time management is key and delegating tasks to direct reports will free you up to create a better work environment for other team members.  Succesful managers make it crystal clear that you are a manager with an open door policy. Build trust with your staff by listening to their concerns and doing what you can to address them.  Of course, much of it will be out of your hands. So just listen and empathize.  Be there for your staff and they will have your back. Even in tough times, people know when they are treated fairly and with respect - and that makes a lasting impression.  Sometimes an open-door policy may not be enough to encourage employees to surface issues. Experiment with holding office hours, which are open to anyone and held at the same frequency (weekly, bi-weekly or monthly).  You also should offer anonymous channels of communication. Not everyone is comfortable with face to face conversations. To reduce gossip, prevent abuse and shorten the distance between you and your employees, make an anonymous feedback channel for your staff. Anonymity helps you build trust and address concerns quickly before they get out of control.   7. Embrace creativity, patiently A crisis is an ideal time to experiment and try new things. It pulls you out of the everyday routine and provides an organic opportunity to embrace creativity. Convene your staff and encourage them to brainstorm creative ways to both address the current crisis and build resilience for future ones. One of the corollary benefits to creativity is that it often engages your staff. Most people respond well to being asked to brainstorm ideas and contribute to the success of the organization. By unleashing your the creativity of your staff, you inspire and bring out the best, which also nurturing potential future leaders, says Paul Patiño of the Saguaro Palm Springs:  “The true challenge is being that leader that can move everyone in the same direction together and bring out the best in each person, inspiring them to be better versions than they already are. All great things take time, patience, and lots of love.”   8. Do more with less Hotels everywhere are trying to do more with less. There’s fewer bookings which means fewer staff.  Look for opportunities to economize your operational footprint and be as efficient as possible. If you can find room in the budget, invest in new technology that preserves service standards despite being short-staffed -- and reduces the burden on your small team overloaded with tasks. Roll your sleeves up and show your team but no task is too small. It’s all-hands-on-deck, so step up and lead by example. This behavior will build trust and motivate your staff, as well as create a “we’re all in this together” mindset.   9. Be helpful and humble Great managers aren't just good listeners and clear communicators, they're also helpful and go the extra mile to help their team at all costs. As a trusted resource, you show staff that you care and that it’s ok for them to bring their whole selves to work.  When you fire people, offer to write recommendation letters and do help them in their job search. When you discipline individuals, provide clear performance improvement tips that help them improve. When you walk around the property, be helpful to guests and staff - helpfulness is a form of hospitality, after all! You also must be humble. As someone in a position of authority, it’s easy to think that your position makes you the best person to solve the problem. But that leaves blindspots and leads to employees feeling disengaged at work. That’s not a good recipe for hospitality! To avoid this, leaders don’t just listen but also ask to lead with questions, says Joseph Kirtley, GM at Highgate Hotels: “Leaders often feel that we are supposed to have all the answers. In actuality, being a great leader takes humility, and asking the right questions. Opening yourself to the strengths and knowledge of those around you takes you to another level.” Did we miss any good tips? Let us know via live chat!  

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The 9 Most Futuristic High Tech Hotels in the World

by
Hotel Tech Report
5 months ago

The pandemic accelerated technological transformation across the hospitality industry. Contactless has become a must-have, fitness centers have gone virtual, guest communications have moved to mobile, and self-service has become standard. While some hotels found themselves rapidly deploying new technologies, other hotels have been playing the tech-long game for years. Here are some of the world’s most notable high-tech hotels. We've covered the tech strategies of great hotel groups like Viceroy and Noble House who implement everything from contactless check-in to digital concierge but this article focuses on some more wacky tech implementations with a bit of focus on form over function.  This list features some pretty cool hi-tech gadgets and hotel room amenities that go above and beyond the typical flat-screen tv.  Some of the cutting-edge technology on this list may off-put more traditional travelers but will undoubtedly hit the spot for tech-savvy millennials. Rather than layer technology onto the operation, these properties embed technology into the fabric of the operation, making it a focal point and key feature. Some use it as an Instagrammable moment at a specific location while others structure their entire brand around the tech-enabled guest experience. Either way, technology is front-and-center at these hotels.   Henn Na Hotel, Japan “The Robot Hotel” Tokyo has become the marquee high-tech hotel. The brand concept is “commitment to evolution,” which appears across its operation in the form of robots. Lots of robots! The brand claims to be the world’s first hotel staffed by robots -- and there’s really no disputing that, as guests are greeted by robots at the front desk. At one property, the front desk is even staffed by dinosaur robots and iPad kiosks, which is quite the experience.     Other high-tech features at some locations include a robot barista frothing lattes, espressos and teas, as well as a 360-degree VR space for guests to immerse themselves in virtual reality experiences. The hotel is also fully enabled with Wifi powered facial recognition, which eliminates the need for a hotel key altogether. Guests can access the property, and their individual guest rooms, seamlessly using biometrics. Very futuristic, indeed!   YOTEL, New York City The YOTEL brand has been synonymous with technology since it opened its doors near  Times Square. The showstopper was a massive robot arm dominating the lobby, providing automated luggage storage for guests (as well as safety deposit boxes to store valuables). The YOBOT also provides self-service check-in, which puts the brand far ahead of today’s contactless guest experience.   The rooms -- called cabins -- may be small, but YOTEL uses technology to deliver its promise to “give you everything you need, and nothing you don’t.” This includes Smart TVs so that guests can connect their own devices and choose their own entertainment. The guest rooms also use motorized beds as space-savers and motion-activated sensors for lighting and AC to reduce carbon emissions. It’s all about efficiency, delivering an outsized guest experience in even the smallest spaces.   Blow Up Hall 5050, Poland The Blow Up Hall 50/50 is an impressive mix of form and function. Designed by BAFTA-award-winning artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, the hotel combines a restaurant, bar, gallery, and hotel into a unique vibe. There are several digital art installations, including a commentary on surveillance capitalism embedded right within the lobby.    The property eliminates the traditional touchstones of the hotel experience: there’s no front desk. The guest’s smartphone provides access to the property, from check-in to room keys to staff communications. The phone also acts as a room finder: after opening the app, the assigned room lights up and the door unlocks automatically. It’s these small tech flourishes that reinforce the property’s sense of mystery and intrigue.   Hotel Zetta, San Francisco At the center of Silicon Valley, the centerpiece of Hotel Zetta is most definitely its virtual reality room in the lobby. Designed by a local tech startup (naturally), the VR cube gives guests a fully-immersive opportunity to experience virtual reality. There are also Nintendo Switch consoles and Oculus VR headsets available so guests can experience next-generation technology in the comfort of their rooms.      Other tech touchstones include a vintage Atari Pong table in the Zetta Suite, which is modernized to include both the classic game and a Bluetooth speaker to play personal playlists. Each guest room is also equipped with Alexa-enabled voice control in every room. Guests can order a meal from room service, set an alarm or learn about on-property dining specials.    Kameha Grand, Zurich The Kameha Grand isn’t one of those kitschy places that you’re embarrassed to stay at. Quite the opposite: the high-end “lifestyle hotel” is part of Marriott’s Autograph collection. And, with rooms designed by Marcel Wenders, it’s got all of the trappings of a luxury property. Rooms     Our favorite rooms are, of course, the Space Suites. It’s the most futuristic room type on this list because it quite literally connects to space. The in-room TV features a live feed from NASA TV so that you can fuel those space dreams. The atmospheric vibes will contribute to that dreamy feel, with “outer space furnishings have been designed down to the smallest detail with a floating bed, pictures of galaxies, hovering astronauts and models of rockets.” Far out!   Virgin Hotels  The Virgin Hotel brand has always been tech-forward and guest-centric. Even prior to the pandemic, the brand empowered guests to control their own experiences right from the palm of their hand. Now, those features are dramatically expanded to be even more contactless.     Named Lucy, the app allows guests to skip check-in, using their phone to select rooms and unlock doors. Guests can also use the app to order room service, adjust room temperature, control entertainment (in-room streaming and Apple Music), plan their trip around the city, or even follow custom exercise routines by Fitbod. Following on smartly with its brand promise, the app also offers three preset lighting modes for guestrooms:  Get Lit for full brightness, Get in the Mood for dimmed relaxation, and Do Not Disturb for sleep. By putting all of these elements together into a single interface, Virgin Hotels puts the guest in control.    25hours Hotels Another brand that’s focused on high-tech without losing high-touch hospitality is 25hours. Thanks to an in-house multidisciplinary think tank, the Extra Hour Lab, the brand experiments with new ways of engaging with guests, both through digital and analog channels. That balance plays out in Cologne, where the record store greets guests alongside    Perhaps that’s one aspect that distinguishes the futuristic, high-tech hotels: those that understand how to inject storytelling into the experience alongside the latest technology.   Cityhub A hybrid between a comfortable hotel and a convivial hostel, Cityhub is futuristic in both its technology and its approach to hospitality. It’s part of a new wave of brands that blend categories and use technology to enable a more social experience. The Cityhub brand has an app but it also takes a cue from Disney and offers RFID wristbands. These bands are used not only for check-in and property access, but also  at the bar, cafe or vending machines, where guests can serve themselves and charge their rooms. Without having to constantly pull out their phones, there’s a more personal element to the experience.     Each “hub” has its own customizable lighting, temperature and audio streaming, so guests can control their vibe. There’s also an on-property social network, giving guests a digital lobby to meet and plan real-world adventures.   The Atari Hotel, Las Vegas (coming soon!) A notable mention is the upcoming Atari Hotel in Las Vegas.  This property will blur the boundaries between hotel and immersive experience, building on Las Vegas’ long history of blending entertainment with hospitality. The experience is straight out of Blade Runner: bright lights, massive marquees, and an “everywhere you look” focus on gaming.    The Atari Hotel points to a far-more futuristic vision of hotels than anything else on the market today. It very well could be the first hospitality experience built just as much for the virtual world as for the physical one. Guests can host friends in their rooms for gaming marathons, with consoles, batteries, and spare controllers available for delivery. The Atari Hotel may redefine the category and establish a new mainstream travel trend: the gamer circuit. -- What are your favorite high-tech hotel amenities? Let us know if we missed any key ones like hotels with crazy underwater speakers, air conditioning activated by motion sensors, cool touchscreen applications, and more!

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100 Best Skills to Include on a Resume (With Examples)

by
Hotel Tech Report
6 months ago

Revising your resume or crafting a cover letter? Our list of 100+ best skills to include on a resume will help your application stand out to recruiters and hiring managers. The economy is moving quickly, so we compiled this list to highlight the most in-demand skills for today’s job market. We’ve organized the list by skill category so you can easily find the section most relevant to you: Communication and listening skills Customer service skills Interpersonal skills Technical and computer skills Leadership and management skills Communication and listening skills Hospitality industry employees can take advantage of constant opportunities to practice their communication and listening skills with guests, colleagues, and managers. And communication skills are some of the most in-demand skills for all industries, even outside of hospitality. Verbal communication: What did you say? Verbal communication isn’t just about talking, but clearly articulating the point you want to convey. Best practices when communicating verbally include avoiding filler words and jargon and using a strong, clear voice. In a hotel environment, front desk agents use verbal communication when checking guests in. Good verbal communication skills are especially important because these verbal interactions can make or break the guest experience. Written communication: Like verbal communication, the goal of written communication is to clearly communicate to an audience - but this time, the audience is reading your words instead of hearing them. You can practice written communication through writing emails, signage, memos, menus, reports, and more.  Phone skills: “Thank you for calling the Four Seasons New York, how can I assist you today?” If you’ve ever worked in a guest-facing role at a hotel or restaurant (or even a retail store), chances are you’ve answered a few phone calls! Good phone skills include speaking at an appropriate volume, being conscious of pauses, multi-tasking (pulling up the guest’s profile while holding a conversion, for example), and adjusting your tone to match that of the caller. When including “phone skills” on your resume, remember to quantify the number of calls you fielded. Remote communication: In the post-COVID business world, remote communication has become increasingly popular with many people working from home or in a socially distanced environment. If you’re a good remote communicator, you can keep your audience engaged over a video call, convey your message in a variety of formats (like sending your key points in an email and explaining them over a video call), and maintain rapport with clients or colleagues even if you aren’t sitting together in the same physical office. Public speaking: Mic check, 1, 2, 3… Public speaking is an essential skill for many roles that interface with guests, clients, or colleagues. Perhaps you’ve hosted an event, led a training session, or presented a business case to executives - these are all good examples of public speaking experience.  Constructive criticism: If you can provide constructive criticism in a strategic, polite way, your colleagues or clients will be more receptive to it. For instance, if you are training new front desk agents and your trainee isn’t speaking clearly enough, your constructive advice will help him deliver a better guest experience. Active listening: Communication isn’t only about sharing information with others, it’s also about listening. Active listening includes using body language and eye contact to show your focus on the speaker, like when you hold eye contact with a restaurant patron and orient your body to face them while they’re speaking. Asking questions: Another component of active listening is asking good questions - both to show your engagement and to probe for information you need. For instance, if you’re taking a reservation from a guest over the phone, asking targeted questions about the purpose of the guest’s trip or the type of room she wants can help you better meet the guest’s needs. Note-taking: It might seem simple, but note-taking is an extremely helpful and important skill, especially for roles that involve teamwork or interaction with clients or customers. You can hone your note-taking skills by taking notes during meetings or phone conversions. Nonverbal communication: The words that you speak are just part of your communication skills; nonverbal communication, or body language, can tell your audience just as much (or more!) about your message. Nonverbal communication involves your facial expression (like whether you’re smiling or not), body position, posture, hand gestures, and eye contact.  Bilingual or other language skills: Do you speak another language? Language skills are more and more in-demand as the world becomes more globalized. When including language skills on your resume, remember to include your level of fluency, certifications, or professional context (for example, if you spoke Spanish with your housekeeping employees as a housekeeping manager). Communication software: In today’s high-tech world, you need to have a solid grasp of communication software in addition to speaking, writing, and listening skills. If you’ve used communication software like Slack, Zoom, Skype, or others, you can highlight your expertise by noting it on your resume.  Customer service skills As the saying goes, you want to “know your customer,” but to be a good customer service professional, you need to master customer service skills first.  Emotional intelligence: Perhaps the customer service-related skill that is most transferable to other types of jobs is emotional intelligence. If you have high emotional intelligence, you can manage and control your own emotions and handle relationships with colleagues or clients with ease. For example, if you are in a stressful situation like a busy day of check-ins, emotional intelligence helps you stay calm and recognize if and when guests are getting upset so you can act accordingly. Problem solving: Like emotional intelligence, problem solving is another skill that is very in-demand no matter which industry you want to work in. If you’ve worked in a hospitality context, you probably have a slew of examples you can mention in interviews, like how you managed to deliver a good experience for a guest who booked the wrong room type or how you figured out a solution for restaurant patrons who showed up on a night that was fully booked. Conflict resolution: Similar to problem solving, resolving conflicts is another essential customer service skill. Conflicts are stressful, so your expertise in resolving them shows you can stay calm under pressure, remain objective, and avoid placing blame.  De-escalating skills: Have you ever needed to calm down a guest who was screaming, yelling, and making a scene in the lobby? If so, you can speak to your de-escalating skills, which would make you an asset to any organization that interfaces with the occasional difficult customer. Crisis management: In hotel and restaurant jobs, crises are bound to happen every once in a while. Any example from your own work experience can help you illustrate how you stayed calm and responsible during unexpected, serious events like medical emergencies. Sales skills: As a customer service professional, even if “sales” isn’t technically part of your role, you’re always selling your product or brand to your customers. As a front desk agent, for example, the experience you provide to your guests will influence them to choose your hotel again - or not.  Product knowledge: Customer service professionals are often the face of the business, since they’re usually the first ones to interact with customers. If you have strong product knowledge skills, you’re a fast learner and can become well acquainted with the product to answer customer questions or else direct customers to the correct department. Upselling: In some customer service roles, upselling is an opportunity to further flex your sales skills, make an impact on the business’s bottom line, and build stronger relationships with customers. As a hotel reservations agent, for example, you might include on your resume that you secured $50,000 in upsell revenue or increased the average reservation revenue by 8%. Negotiation: A component of any role that involves working with multiple parties is negotiation, which involves a combination of communication, listening, and sales skills. Negotiation examples are common in a sales context, like negotiating contracts for group room blocks, but also in situations like finding a solution for a guest who isn’t happy with their room or a diner who doesn’t like their meal. Persuasion: A key to influencing your guests or clients to accept your desired outcome is persuasion - but not in a manipulating way! If you’ve mastered persuasion, you can guide your client toward giving the OK by illustrating how your solution meets their needs so that when they agree, they feel totally satisfied with the outcome. Attention to detail: Customer service interactions are packed with little details from the correct spelling of the customer’s name to specific needs like allergies or birthday surprises. Attention to detail helps you ensure that no aspect of experience gets overlooked. Multitasking: In a customer service role, you’ll likely need to multitask, whether by taking notes during calls or operating multiple software apps at once. Demonstrating your multitasking skills shows that you’ll be ready to jump in from day one. Relationship building: Building rapport with guests or customers is a powerful way to deliver great customer service experiences. Engaging in small talk with customers or remembering a repeat guest’s name are simple but effective ways to build relationships and develop brand loyalty. Enthusiasm: Companies want their customer professionals to be excited about the product of service - if the employees aren’t jazzed up about what they’re selling, why would customers want to buy? Showing your enthusiastic personality is a great way to stand out. Confidence: Like enthusiasm, your confidence helps customers feel good about their customer service interaction. Confidence also helps you take risks, try new things, and flex your leadership skills. Business etiquette: Though at times manners might seem like a lost art in the 21st century, they’re still very important in customer service. Using simple words like “please” and “thank you” set you apart as a customer service professional who cares about conveying a good company image. Service orientation: You can learn many components of a customer service role, like information about the product, but it’s a lot harder to teach people to have a service-oriented attitude. If you have a service orientation, you aim to please and exceed customers’ expectations. Interpersonal skills In just about every job, you’ll need to work with other people on a regular basis, so interpersonal skills are essential to a successful career.  Teamwork: Working successfully with colleagues is a must for most roles in and out of the hospitality industry, so hiring managers are always looking for examples of how you’ve been a good team player.  Cross-functional collaboration: Besides working with your direct colleagues, you may need to work closely with people in other departments. Showing experience of cross-functional collaboration, like if you’ve been a housekeeping manager working closely with the maintenance department, is always a plus. Decision making: Your resume is not the place to mention analysis paralysis! Every role will require decision making, so hiring managers want to see that you can carefully weigh your options and come to the right conclusion. Organization: In order to work with colleagues or customers, you need to have your own responsibilities organized first. Organizational skills include time management, note-taking, punctuality, and more. Responsibility: As you progress in your career, you’ll be trusted with increasing levels of responsibility. You’ll stand out among applicants if you can demonstrate that you’re responsible, like if you’ve owned up to a mistake or stayed late to complete a task you promised to finish. Punctuality: Nobody wants to work with someone who’s chronically late; punctuality is a fantastic way to show you value your colleagues’ or clients’ time. When you’re interviewing for a new role, make sure to show up on time for the interview! Dependability: In any team-oriented role, your team needs to know they can rely on you to show up and work hard. Dependability is crucial to being a good team player; for example, if you’ve never forgotten to show up to a shift, you can include “dependable” on your resume.  Flexibility: Even the best laid plans can fall through, and being flexible is an important quality for any role. For instance, you might need to cover a team member’s tasks if they get sick unexpectedly. Creativity: Do you like to think outside of the box? Creativity doesn’t just mean being artistic; creative thinking helps you come up with new solutions to problems or try initiatives to bring the business to the next level.  Adaptability: Like flexibility, adaptability means you’re comfortable with change, but if you’re adaptable, you can easily shift to a new way of doing things. For instance, a shift to a remote work environment requires significant adaptability! Patience: If you’ve worked in any guest- or customer-facing role, then you know patience is crucial to your success. You can practice being patient by remaining calm and positive when things don’t move as quickly as you’d like - like traffic, slow WiFi, or even those last couple restaurant patrons who linger for hours. Confidentiality: In a hospitality context, you’re often trusted with sensitive information. Confidentiality means you can not only keep a secret, but also determine which information must be treated with extra care. Communication: Among the most important interpersonal skills is communication; without good communication skills, it’s nearly impossible to work well with others! Communication skills include written, verbal, and nonverbal elements, plus skills like active listening and public speaking. Teaching or training skills: Roles with more responsibility often include a training or teaching component, such as training new front desk agents. If you’ve had any sort of teaching experience, be sure to include on your resume the context and the number of people you trained. Collaboration: In many jobs, you’ll need to collaborate with others on a project, an event, or something similar. Collaboration involves dividing responsibility, holding each other accountable, and completing one integrated product. Networking: It might be painful at first, but networking is an extremely useful skill - it might even help you land your next job! A good networker knows what they want to gain from each interaction, has an elevator pitch prepared, sends follow-ups, and stays in touch with connections. Technical and computer skills Many jobs require not only soft skills like communication and customer service skills, but also specific technical skills. Showing your technical or computer expertise on your resume will help you be a more competitive applicant. Microsoft Office: As one of the most popular software suites in the business world, Microsoft Office experience is often requested on job descriptions. Microsoft Office expertise usually includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. You may have used Microsoft PowerPoint to put training presentations together or Excel to analyze financial data. G-Suite: Like Microsoft Office, the Google suite of apps is a popular one in many industries. Since G-Suite apps are designed for cloud-based collaboration, remote companies or jobs that involve a lot of teamwork might prefer G-Suite experience over Microsoft Office. G-Suite includes Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and more.  Email management: How many unread emails are in your inbox? Email management skills can involve not only just reading and sorting emails, but also managing a shared inbox and composing emails for optimum readability. Spreadsheets: If you see life in columns and rows, then your spreadsheet skills are worthy of inclusion on your resume. You may want to mention specific and relevant details about your spreadsheet expertise, like in which context you used them and the types of formulas you mastered. Data analysis: Analytical experience can vary by industry and type of role, so if you’ve had any relevant experience, it’s important to clearly describe what you did with as much quantification as possible. For example, maybe you used Excel to analyze the cost and revenue projections to decide whether or not to purchase a new airport shuttle bus for your hotel. Database management: As more business work to wrangle big data, database management can be an attractive skill. If you’ve had experience with data validation or writing reports or queries, don’t forget to include that experience on your resume. Programming languages: If you’re applying for programming roles, then mentioning your handle of programming languages, like Python or Java, is crucial. If you’re currently learning a programming language, you can mention that too, though be honest about your level of expertise. Web design: Simply including “web design” on your resume isn’t enough; hiring managers want to see concrete examples of websites, apps, or software that you’ve built. Include key details like the number of app downloads or monthly website visits. Website building: Even if you don’t know how to code, you might have built websites before! Experience using content management systems or website builders is still worthy of a mention, and be sure to quantify your experience in terms of number of websites built or number of website visitors. Adobe Photoshop/InDesign: Similar to listing your expertise in G-Suite or programming languages, mentioning your experience with Adobe’s suite of software can also show your preparedness for a role in design-related fields. Systems administration: Another valuable IT-related skill is systems administration, which involves being the manager and subject matter expert for a software application or system within an organization. For instance, if you were the administrator for your hotel’s property management system. Troubleshooting: In any tech-oriented role, you’ll need to know how to troubleshoot effectively. You can demonstrate your troubleshooting skills by approaching a problem systematically and identifying issues and solutions. Expertise in specific software applications: As a hotel or restaurant employee, you may have had experience with specific systems, like HotSOS or SynXis, for example. Noting your expertise on applications for relevant roles will help you stand out among applicants who have never used those systems. Marketing skills Looking for a new marketing role? You may want to include these skills on your resume or develop them to become a more competitive candidate. Search engine optimization: Do you know how to do keyword research or write a good meta description? SEO is a great skill to include on your resume when applying to marketing roles. Remember to mention any relevant statistics from SEO responsibilities you’ve had in the past.  Search engine marketing: In addition to optimizing your performance in search results, you may also have had experience with paid SEM, like Google Ads. Be sure to include your budget, return on ad spend, or any other relevant stats. Pay-per-click marketing: Like SEM and SEO, experience with PPC marketing can help you stand out among candidates for digital marketing roles. For example, if you’ve used Expedia TravelAds or Tripadvisor Sponsored Campaigns in a hotel context, your experience can make you an attractive applicant for other digital marketing jobs. Email marketing: As more and more business shifts online, email marketing is a powerful way to keep in touch with customers. Showing your expertise with email marketing tools like Mailchimp and Constant Contact is especially relevant today. Content management systems: Some marketing roles look for candidates with experience using content management systems such as Wordpress or Contentful. Remember to note your level of expertise and the specific system you’ve used. A/B testing: A savvy marketer will test two strategies to see which one performs better. Examples of A/B testing to include on your resume could include experimenting with subject lines in an email newsletter or uploading different featured photos on your restaurant website. Customer relationship management: Every business wants to generate more repeat business, so CRM is an attractive skill for marketing roles. If you have CRM experience, also include the system you’ve used, like Salesforce. Social media: Do you know how to leverage tweets, pins, and posts in a business context? Show off your social media skills by including engagement statistics and follower growth on your resume.  Branding: If you’ve started a business from scratch or worked in a start-up, you might have experience creating a brand, like selecting a name, logo, color scheme, and voice. Hiring managers looking for branding experience might want to see a portfolio of examples of your work. Sales and financial skills Skills in the sales and finance sectors are often transferable to other industries. For example, if you’ve worked as a sales manager at a hotel, you could be a competitive applicant to a sales position at a software or retail company. Lead generation: How can you sell something if you have no leads? Lead generation is one of the first steps in the sales process, and it involves scraping databases or the internet for potential customers, like gathering a list of contact info for all nearby restaurants for outreach about your new restaurant POS app. Lead qualification: After generating leads, you need to sort out the leads that have high potential. Lead qualification is another skill hiring managers will look for to show that you use strategy in the sales process. Prospecting: Once you have your leads list, the prospecting process involves regularly communicating with your leads to ensure your product is always top of mind, even if they aren’t ready to commit. Contracting: Ready to seal the deal? Contracting typically involves negotiation and attention to detail, though today’s contracts are most likely signed via digital apps like DocuSign instead of an old school pen and paper. Event planning: Whether you’ve planned small company gatherings or red-carpet galas, event planning is an attractive skill to include on your resume. Make sure to mention how many events you’ve planned and the number of attendees - and you get bonus points if you’ve planned virtual events on digital platforms! Revenue management: Selling the right room at the right price to the right customer is the goal of hotel revenue managers, so demonstrating your success through RevPAR increases or direct share growth is a good best practice when applying for revenue management roles. If you’ve had any experience using revenue management systems such as IDeAS, be sure to note that as well. Central reservations systems: Hotels, tour operators, event venues, and more often use central reservation systems to organize their bookings and client information. When experience using a CRS is relevant, don’t forget to mention the specific system you’ve used. Online travel agencies: Do you know the ins and outs of OTA extranets? When applying for marketing or revenue management roles at hotels or short-term rental companies, mentioning your OTA experience can give you a leg up compared to someone brand new to the industry. Point of sale systems: If you have experience in a retail or hospitality context, you may have had experience using POS software, which can be relevant to include on your resume when applying to similar positions. Cash handling: Although many businesses are becoming cashless, showing your cash handling experience can show that you’re a responsible, trustworthy employee. Accounting: Depending on your accounting experience, you may want to include accounting skills on your resume, which could involve accounting software (such as QuickBooks), familiarity with local regulations, attention to detail, and analytical skills. Profit and loss statements: Perhaps your accounting experience includes creating or analyzing P&L statements, like if you’ve prepared P&Ls for hotel owners and executives.  Financial modelling: Along with analyzing actualized financial numbers, if you’ve done any financial modelling or forecasting, these experiences are also relevant when applying to finance roles. Be sure to note your level of proficiency in Excel or other database software. Cost management: Your application to any finance role can also include your experience with cost management, whether that includes familiarity with direct or indirect costs, math skills, or financial software. PCI compliance: Any handling of sensitive data like credit card numbers must comply with industry standards, and your resume should reflect your knowledge of those guidelines. As a front desk agent, for example, you may have completed PCI compliance training or a course about similar standards, which can be an asset to your resume.  Leadership and management skills As you continue along your career path, you might work up to leadership positions. But holding a “manager” role doesn’t automatically mean you’re an effective leader; these leadership and management skills will help you earn respect from your direct reports and deliver the results you want. Mentorship: Even if you haven’t held a formal management role yet, you can still demonstrate your leadership skills through informal mentorship programs, volunteer activities, or professional relationships that have a mentorship component. Team building: As a leader in an organization, you’ll be expected to build and maintain a cohesive team. Your resume should mention your team building skills, such as examples like increasing employee satisfaction scores or leading team events. Team communication: Besides standard verbal and written communication skills, a great leader should have experience communicating with a large team audience. Perhaps you’ve led weekly meetings for your department or sent memos to all employees at your company. Presentation skills: Communicating with a large internal or external audience might include presentations, and if you have notable presentation experience, it’s worth a mention on your resume. Note the setting and audience of your presentations, such as quarterly business review presentations with the executive team and hotel owners. Meeting facilitation: Besides leading presentations, managers often lead meetings with employees, colleagues, and other internal or external stakeholders. Demonstrating your ability to keep meetings organized, on track, and productive is a great way to prove your management skills. Time management: As a manager, you’ll have constant demands on your time. Time management is crucial to success, and even if it’s not the most buzz-worthy skill, it’s one that can mean the difference between a good and a great manager. Set limits on the number of meetings per day, schedule deep work blocks, and make sure to take time away from work to recharge. Project management: When leading initiatives, managers are often responsible for keeping the project on track. Project management skills include planning each step of the project, assigning responsibilities to each team member, scheduling regular follow-ups, and securing resources. Organizational planning: Especially in small companies or start-ups, managers are responsible for building teams and hiring new employees. A much-needed skill is organizational planning, which includes identifying skills or competencies that a new role can fill on your team. Interviewing: A key step in the hiring process is interviewing, and solid interview skills are essential to success as a hiring manager. On your resume, you can mention how many employees you’ve hired and what their retention rate is. Performance tracking: Employees need regular feedback to continue delivering excellent work, and managers must manage performance through regular check-ins and performance reviews. For example, sales managers might have bi-weekly meetings with the Director of Sales, who helps each sales manager stay on track toward their quarterly goals. Task delegation: Although it can be difficult to relinquish control of projects at first, delegation is a crucial skill for managers to use their time most effectively. As a Director of Rooms, for instance, you might set a goal to increase guest review scores but leave your Front Office Manager in charge of launching an initiative to achieve it. Prioritization: Along with delegating tasks, a good manager can prioritize between the most important tasks and the ones that are less urgent. For example, a restaurant manager might prioritize hiring additional staff leading up to the busy summer season over a fun but less urgent menu redesign project. Scheduling: In industries like hospitality and retail, managers are often responsible for setting their employees’ schedules. A great manager will treat employees fairly and equally when handling time-off requests and shift preferences. Managing cross-functional teams: Managers may also have the opportunity to oversee employees with different work functions and expertise. These cross-functional relationships require the manager to flex her skills to work best with each employee. Risk-taking: Any business endeavor includes at least some degree of risk, like when deciding to try a new idea or even hire a new employee. Managers aren’t afraid to take calculated risks and they know how to evaluate situations to minimize possible consequences. Budgeting: Many leadership roles oversee not only employees, but also budgets. On your resume, you can highlight your budgeting experience by mentioning the size of your annual budget or by how much you decreased operating costs, for example. Forecasting: If you’ve studied historical data to predict what may happen in the future, then you’ve started to build forecasting skills. If you have forecasting experience, you should include the context and the impact of your predictions on the business. Industry certifications: Have you earned any hospitality (or other) industry certifications, such as CRME or CHIA? These certifications add credibility to your resume and set you apart as an expert in your field. Did we miss any key skills to include on a resume? Let us know!

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The 10 Best Places to Work in Hotel Tech 2021

by
Hotel Tech Report
8 months ago

Each year Hotel Tech Report surveys thousands of industry insiders to find the best hotel tech jobs and employers globally. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the hotel industry.  The World Travel and Tourism Council predicts that 121 million of the 330 million jobs tied to tourism around the world will be lost in 2020.  Despite existential challenges, hotels and their vendors have proven resilient in the face of the biggest challenge ever posed to the hospitality industry by working together. But there’s always opportunity in crisis.  The pandemic has advanced digitization in the global economy by at least 5 years according to most experts.  Hotels that already had adopted technology like contactless check-in and guest messaging software have had a massive advantage since the pandemic broke out and the importance of technology for running a successful hotel business will continue to rise over the coming years meaning that demand for hotel technology talent will grow with it. Here at Hotel Tech Report, we’ve interviewed countless hoteliers about their journeys from being hoteliers into lucrative technology careers like Del Ross, Marco Benvenuti, Sameer Umar, and Kevin Brown. For hoteliers furloughed on the sidelines, there is an unprecedented opportunity to pivot into a technology career leveraging skills and knowledge from hospitality experience.   But which hotel tech companies should you apply to? Every year we do the hard work for you and survey thousands of hotel tech professionals to find the best companies to work for in the hospitality industry. We ask respondents to rate their employers from 1-10 on these key variables:  Work-life balance Personal development opportunities Gender equality Confidence in company direction Values alignment 2021 Bonus Question: Rate your firm’s COVD-19 crisis response Hotel Tech Report creates this list each year for two reasons: (1) to help industry professionals find the best hospitality tech jobs and (2) to help hotel tech buyers understand that it’s just as important to partner with great organizations as it is to find great software tools and products. Vendor culture is important to every aspect of a vendor relationship: Product: Great workplaces attract the best talent who make the best products Customer Support: Happy client reps give better service and stay around longer developing deeper relationships. Sales: When a sales team has high turnover, innovation gets strangled because there isn’t enough cash coming in the door to invest in innovation. Our 10 Best Places to Work in Hotel Tech list features companies who foster wonderful work environments for employees.  In return, those employees deliver incredible products and services to clients. Without further adieu here are 2021’s 10 Best Places to Work in Hotel Tech…     10. Siteminder (TIE) Right before the coronavirus pandemic broke out, industry leader Siteminder reached an incredible milestone earning itself unicorn status.  Under the stewardship of CEO Sankar Narayan the firm quickly composed itself when the pandemic broke out and began rolling out initiatives to support both employees and customers like its World Hotel Index sharing real-time data with the industry when historical data just wouldn’t cut it.  Siteminder has an internal slack channel called #stayingsocial dedicated strictly to team members having a social communal space in the age of remote work.  This is pretty typical for a small startup but much rarer in the world of 700 employee behemoths.  The great part about working at a large startup-like Siteminder is that there’s almost limitless upward mobility according to one employee working in operations at the firm, “They allow me opportunities to take on more responsibilities that are even beyond my scope to develop my skills and prep me up for bigger roles. They also give leadership training to enhance to continue developing my capabilities.”  If you’re looking for a fast-paced global startup on a world domination path - then you should absolutely be dropping a resume at Siteminder.  The best part is that they’ve got offices all around the world so even if you prefer the WFH life your colleagues shouldn’t be too far away no matter where you call home.     10. Atomize (TIE) This is Atomize’s first time making Hotel Tech Report’s annual Best Places to Work list but we doubt it will be their last.  In true Swedish fashion Atomize rates amongst the highest on the list for gender equality with a 50% ratio of men to women on its leadership team.  Atomize also rates very highly for culture alignment with a score of 97.8%.  Perhaps the biggest standout for Atomize was how highly employees rated the firm’s COVID-19 response and support for clients during a crisis.  “Everyone from finance to product development has chipped in to try to support clients. We have for instance developed a relief-program for those that are hurting really bad, we have updated the product to amend for the large drop in occupancy for hotels, etc,” one Atomize executive told Hotel Tech Report.  Atomize made it through COVID-19 without a single layoff which is a testament to the longevity of the business and its and commitment to team members.  During the crisis Atomize stayed calm, launched the 2.0 version of their core RMS product, and even found time to bring the team together for a BBQ this summer during a slow down in transmission rates.     9. Hotel Effectiveness Georgia (the U.S. state not the country) based Hotel Effectiveness is in the business of helping hotel owners more efficiently manage labor but the question is: how well do they manage their own labor? It turns out they do a pretty darned good job at fostering internal culture.  Prior to the pandemic labor costs were the biggest focus area for most hotel ownership and management groups - despite the shift in focus Hotel Effectiveness managed to grow through the pandemic all while placing a heavy emphasis on quality of life for employees.  Team members cite a high percentage of employees being groomed from junior roles into leadership positions, flexible PTO programs, and strong opportunities for women.  PTO is great but Hotel Effectiveness management goes one step further where they encourage team members to completely unplug and not even check email during their vacation.  Adding icing to the cake, employees raved about the firm’s response to COVID-19 where it was able to grow without any layoffs needed.  One engineer raved about the Company’s COVID-19 response, “Hotel Effectiveness immediately shifted priorities specifically to address the changing needs of our clients. Hotel Effectiveness provided new guidance materials, payment options, and built new features (such as Daily Wellness Check-In) under tight deadlines to meet the new needs of our customers.”     8. EasyWay Big congrats to the first-ever Israeli startup to make this list!  If you’ve ever been to Tel Aviv or the Start-up Nation (Israel), perhaps a job interview with EasyWay is the excuse you needed to visit one of the most amazing cities in the world packed with beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and a foodie scene that’s truly in a league of its own.  EasyWay is the quintessential startup with a mentality that so long as you hit your KPIs - the rest of your life is totally flexible.  An EasyWay executive’s quote to Hotel Tech Report about the last 12-months at the company says it all, “The work around the clock in the COVID-19 time was crazy.  We have developed so much stuff, that I almost miss this period. We've learned a lot from that, and staid on our feet! The rest of the team was great and it really gave me confidence in my own abilities.  If you're the kind of person who likes to work hard and play hard - you’d be wise to check out EasyWay’s open positions.      7. Asksuite This is Asksuite’s second year making the list and true to their commercial team’s motto “rockets don’t have reverse”, even a pandemic couldn’t slow down this high flying Brazilian startup.  Florianopolis may not be a hotel tech hub (yet) but the Asksuite team has access to lessons in language, hospitality and other training to upskill their way into global domination.  During the pandemic, leaders have made themselves available for 1:1 meetings to support all colleagues and perhaps it’s this close communication that leads Asksuite employees to rate 98% confidence in the future success of the firm.  Asksuite employees frequently cite an onboarding process that makes all team members feel like a part of the family in short order.     6. RoomRaccoon Despite the pandemic RoomRaccoon doubled the firm’s headcount in 2020 and achieved a major milestone in reaching 1,000 clients.  Employees frequently cite similar aspects of the culture as differentiators like their annual international week at the Netherlands headquarters and an inclusive onboarding program.  One employee within the marketing department told Hotel Tech Report, “This year RoomRaccoon decided to start hiring more new colleagues against the market trend of furlough and letting people go. To smoothen the onboarding process of our new hires we've created an E-learning program and two intensive onboarding weeks. So far we've onboarded 15 new hires since July 2020 that immediately are getting results. Something I'm really proud of!”  If you’re looking for an ambitious organization with a strong remote culture and complementary annual trips to the Netherlands - don’t hesitate and check out open listings at RoomRaccoon.     5. Alliants The Alliants story is the cure to the common venture funded business gone wrong story.  Alliants built the business developing custom software for ultra luxury hotel brands like Four Season and Jumeirah before ever dipping their toes into the SaaS world.  That means they’ve got killer products, an eye for design and engineering to back it up.  Starting in a consultative role for luxury brands has afforded Alliants a luxury not many early stage SaaS products have - cash flow.  How would this impact you when you apply for a role there?  Alliants employees are given a $5,000 stipend to invest in their own education and training.  Whether it’s a paid marketing course or intro to Ruby on Rails - at Alliants you will be able to create your own journey and take control of your destiny.  Have you ever had a boss block your calendar so people can’t book meetings with you? Well, Alliants employees have.  During winter months with less daylight, CEO Tristan Gadsby blocked the entire team’s calendars from 11:30am - 1:30pm to encourage team members to get outside, walk or simply catch some rays.  If that doesn’t sell you I don’t know what will.     4. ALICE This ain’t ALICE’s first rodeo, well it’s their fourth if we want to be precise about it.  ALICE has made Hotel Tech Report’s Best Places to Work list 4 years in a row (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021).  ALICE is an incredible place to work for former hoteliers because employees truly act as a strategic extension of their partner properties.  During the pandemic, ALICE quickly pivoted to rollout closure checklists and other free assets to help partners quickly reconfigure their operations for the new normal.  “The most memorable achievement while working at ALICE this past year was being able to provide support for our employees during the pandemic. The pandemic-related fatigue and anxiety impacted everyone and in different ways. We were able to provide support to our employees through group therapy sessions, health and wellness initiatives, increased one-on-one check-ins regarding fatigue, increased opportunities for learning and connection with one another virtually. I am so proud of how the leadership at ALICE has led us through the most difficult time in our industry's history, and with such care for both our customers, our industry as a whole, and our employees,” says one ALICE team member in an HR role.  Just as important as supporting clients through COVID-19 is supporting colleagues.  ALICE team members were constantly comforted that management understood the stress and challenges they were facing during this historic yet tragic year, encouraging an environment of transparency and honesty about how to cope with natural distractions from work in times of stress.     3. hotelkit Austria-based hotelkit is another repeat visitor on this list moving up from 4th to 3rd place.  Founded in 2012 by hotelier Marius Donhauser, hotelkit is a majority female-run business that’s growing rapidly but responsibly throughout Europe.  hotelkit’s team motto is “one team one dream” and while the team had to work remotely for a good portion of the year, colleagues are hopeful that 2021 will bring back the annual hotelkit Christmas party famous for great eats and poker.  Under Marius’ leadership, hotelkit has fostered a culture that feels like family so it’s no wonder that employees rate the culture so highly across every single vector.     2. Cloudbeds Cloudbeds may be the fastest-growing hotel tech company right now so while their headquarters are in sunny San Diego the Company has got Silicon Valley energy pumping through its veins.  Not to mention, Cloudbeds is extremely global with local managers in 40 countries. On March 11th (yes that’s right when COVID-19 took the world by storm) Cloudbeds announced the closing of an $80M funding round.  Cloudbeds employees tend to share two main things in common: (1) they are extremely performance-driven and (2) they LOVE to travel. One Cloudbeds employee within the operations department told Hotel Tech Report, “I managed to get promoted on my 1 anniversary day at Cloudbeds, I was so happy and everyone was so attentive to me during this process. Cloudbeds is an amazing company, full of amazing individuals, it's so nice to see the owners in our calls and engaged with us all at all times. I used to think I had worked at good companies, till I met Cloudbeds. This is where I want to stay and grow. It will be hard for any other company to take me from here.”  Cloudbeds has TONS of openings so make sure to browse their career page if you’re in the market.     1. Mews This is Mews’ 3rd year making the list ranking #2 in 2019 and #3 in 2020 - but this is their first year topping the list which is a testament to the strong culture at the firm.  Like most fast-growing companies, the pandemic wreaked havoc on projections and business plans for Mews leading to some difficult decisions needing to be made.  Mews not only came through what was maybe the darkest moment in the history of the hotel industry but came out stronger than ever before.  Mews leadership set a strong course for the business cutting expenses, reorganizing the team, rebranding, focusing on remote deployments, and even making an acquisition.  Quite a busy year - even if things had been normal.  Mews management has created one of those infectious startup cultures that can almost feel cult-like at times often intoxicating entire trade show floors (pre-COVID).  It’s not often that employees at an aggressive high-performance tier 1 venture-backed business get to see their founder dancing through a town hall (affectionately named Mews Con) in a silly costume.  Mews pivoted from hyper-growth mode into a sharp focus on profitability right-sizing the business and is poised to come out of the pandemic far stronger than it went in.  Lots of open roles to check out and we’re sure that list will continue to grow over the coming months.  

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Cloudbeds, SiteMinder & Room Raccoon Top People’s Choice Awards in the 2021 HotelTechAwards

by
Hotel Tech Report
8 months ago

Each year along with individual awards for the top-rated hotel software in each category, Hotel Tech Report recognizes the Top 10 most customer-centric global companies in the annual People's Choice Awards. The People's Choice Awards serve to honor and recognize companies who have balanced strong growth with a relentless focus on customer-centricity. The HotelTechAwards platform (by Hotel Tech Report) leverages real customer data to determine best of breed products and companies that help hoteliers grow their bottom lines. “The People’s Choice Award goes to a single company across all categories who demonstrates the strongest customer relationships during the HotelTechAwards.  Cloudbeds had more than 550 hotelier customers come out to share overwhelmingly positive feedback about Cloudbeds products in the midst of a global pandemic.  To have that kind of support from clients during the most challenging market in hotel history says all you need to know about Cloudbeds’ commitment to their partner properties,” says Hotel Tech Report CEO Jordan Hollander. Here’s the Official 2021 People’s Choice List: Cloudbeds SiteMinder RoomRaccoon Bookassist OTA Insight ALICE IDeaS Avvio Hoteltime hotelkit The key factors used to determine the annual People’s Choice Award include total verified customer reviews, geographic reach of reviews, and overall review sentiment and ratings. The best companies know that the most effective way to communicate their value proposition is to empower and amplify the voices of their happy customers.  The People’s Choice Award recognizes companies whose customers really value the relationship and partnership. “Twenty years ago we lived in a world where hoteliers just used one of the three or four technology systems out there and typically just ended up using whatever system they had heard of before.  Today there are thousands of SaaS choices in the market and dozens of great options available for most use cases but the market is moving so quickly that it’s hard for hoteliers to identify and keep track of the best products and companies.  This award honors the companies whose hotel customers are the most vocal advocates of their products to make that process easy,” says Hollander.   About the 2021 People's Choice Award The People's Choice Awards serve to honor and recognize companies who have balanced strong growth with a relentless focus on customer-centricity.  Early on as a startup, it’s easier for companies to maintain strong customer relationships with a limited customer base. But as a company grows its install base and scales globally, maintaining high customer satisfaction becomes increasingly more challenging.  Each year along with individual awards for the top-rated product in each category, Hotel Tech Report recognizes the top 10 most customer-centric global companies in the annual People's Choice Awards acknowledging the achievements of top innovators across all categories who embody the values, transparency, and customer-centricity that lie at the core of truly great companies. View Ranking Methodology>>

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Winners of the 2021 HotelTechAwards Announced

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Hotel Tech Report
8 months ago

Hotel Tech Report has announced winners in the 2021 HotelTechAwards, based on more than 10,000 hotel software product reviews contributed by verified hoteliers during the competition.  Winners are selected based on key performance metrics including product popularity, customer satisfaction, integration compatibility, customer support quality, and more.  Winning a HotelTechAward is the highest achievement in the hotel technology industry. “In the midst of a global pandemic, 318,466 hoteliers visited Hotel Tech Report from every corner of the globe contributing 10,227 verified new product reviews during the 3-month awards period to share insights about their favorite tech products to run and grow their businesses.  It has been inspiring to see this massive wave of hoteliers sharing technology insights and product recommendations,” says Jordan Hollander, CEO of Hotel Tech Report. “This is the most comprehensive dataset around hotelier preferences ever developed and it gives unprecedented insights into tech trends for hotels during a pivotal moment in history.  Winning a HotelTechAward is a huge feat with the 2021 competition being the most competitive year ever.  Every company on this list should be extremely proud of what they've contributed to the growth of the hotel industry.” During the HotelTechAwards, hoteliers from the world's leading hotel companies review the top tech products used at their hotels to increase operating efficiency, drive revenue, and improve the guest experience. This data is used to identify the best hotel tech products and organizations. "The HotelTechAwards  are the only prize in the industry that is completely and transparently customer-driven — it's the hoteliers that decide who is best, and it's their opinion that matters most." Gautam Lulla, CEO at Pegasus. "We at SiteMinder believe strongly in the essence of openness; it is what underpins the very core of what we stand for, and the HotelTechAwards, through the program's data-driven and transparent process, aligns firmly with this value.” - Sankar Narayan, CEO at SiteMinder “This honor has deep, personal meaning as it is decided upon by our clients and represents our passion and focus for providing the most sophisticated revenue technology and comprehensive support.” Dr. Ravi Mehrotra Founder at IDeaS “The HotelTechAwards are a powerful stamp of approval for any company to possess and for hoteliers to trust. We value the HotelTechAwards process, which collects thousands of verified reviews from around the world each year.” Alex Shashou, Co-Founder at ALICE “HotelTechReport is the leading platform for technology in the hotel industry, and its meticulous and impartial verification process makes this one of the most prestigious awards.” Moritz von Petersdorff-Campen, Co-Founder at SuitePad The competition spans core areas of hotel software & technology: marketing, revenue, operations, and guest experience. 2021 Voting included participation from major hotel groups including Four Seasons, Hilton, Marriott, Accor Hotels, Hyatt, Intercontinental, Rosewood, and thousands of independents. "We originally created the HotelTechAwards as a democratized way to help our fellow hoteliers quickly determine best of breed vendors based on data they can trust and the scope of the competition this year is a testament to how far the industry has come in the last decade.  The HotelTechAwards rating process is simple, transparent, and unbiased--judging is based on time tested ranking factors, publicly available data, and crowdsourced insights from verified hoteliers who have hands-on experience with each product.” The HotelTechAwards are often referred to as "the Grammys of Hotel Tech" and winners were selected from the top technology products around the world. The HotelTechAwards are the industry's only data-driven awards platform with winners determined not by a handful of judges or popularity votes but by a global community comprised of thousands of verified hotel technology users across more than 127 countries.   Best Hotel Software Companies List >>

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2021 HotelTechAwards Finalists Announced

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Hotel Tech Report
8 months ago

Hotel Tech Report has announced finalists in the 2021 HotelTechAwards, based on more than 10,000 hotel software product reviews from verified hoteliers during the competition.  Finalists are selected based on key performance metrics like product popularity, customer satisfaction, integration compatibility, customer support quality, and more.  Winning a HotelTechAward is the highest achievement in the hotel technology industry. “In the midst of a global pandemic, 318,466 hoteliers visited Hotel Tech Report from every corner of the globe contributing over 10,000 verified new product reviews during the 3-month awards period to share insights about their favorite software products.  It has been inspiring to see this massive wave of hoteliers sharing technology insights and product recommendations,” says Jordan Hollander, CEO of Hotel Tech Report. “This is the most comprehensive dataset around hotelier preferences ever developed and it gives unprecedented insights into tech trends for hotels during a pivotal moment in history.  Finaling in the HotelTechAwards is a reflection of quality every company on this list should be extremely proud of what they've contributed to the growth of the hotel industry.” Hotel Tech Report authenticates reviews through a strict verification process.  Further, companies are ranked based on pre-defined objective data variables to avoid the biases present in other human judged competitions. "Based on real and honest customer feedback, the HotelTechAwards really do provide the most transparent view on how technology is perceived and used across the industry,” says Sean Fitzpatrick, CEO at OTA Insight. The HotelTechAwards are often referred to as "the Grammys of Hotel Tech" and finalists are selected from more than 1,000 of the top technology products around the world. The HotelTechAwards are the industry's only data-driven awards platform with winners determined not by a handful of judges or popularity votes but by a global community comprised of thousands of verified hotel technology users across more than 120 countries.   -- Competition winners will be publicly announced on January 12th --   Best Guest Experience Technology Finalists Guest Messaging Software: Whistle, EasyWay, Monscierge Guest Room Tablets: SuitePad, INTELITY Guest Survey Software: TrustYou, Guestrevu, Revinate Hospitality TV Providers: Monscierge (Apple TV) Mobile Key: ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions, FLEXIPASS Mobile Ordering: Bbot, RoomOrders Hotel Guest Apps: ALICE, INTELITY, Wishbox   Best Operations Software Finalists Property Management Systems: Cloudbeds, Mews, Clock PMS+, HotelTime Staff Collaboration: hotelkit, Monscierge, ALICE Hotel Management Systems: RoomRaccoon, Cloudbeds Concierge Software: ALICE Cyber Security & Fraud Prevention: Canary Technologies, Sertifi Digital Signage: Monscierge Housekeeping Software: hotelkit, ALICE, Optii Marketplaces & Integrators: Hapi, Dailypoint Preventive Maintenance: hotelkit, ALICE, Transcendent Restaurant Management: HotelTime, Oracle MICROS POS Employee Engagement Software: hotelkit, Hotel Effectiveness, Beekeeper Contactless Check-in: EasyWay, Canary Technologies, Wishbox Spa Management: HotelTime   Best Revenue Management & Finance Software Finalists Revenue Management Systems: IDeaS, Duetto, Atomize Business Intelligence: OTA Insight, Duetto, ProfitSword Central Reservations Systems: Pegasus Channel Managers: SiteMinder, Cloudbeds, D-EDGE Parity Management: OTA Insight, RateGain Rate Shopping & Market Intelligence: OTA Insight, SiteMinder, RateGain Reporting & Accounting: M3, MyDigitalOffice Upselling Software: Oaky, GuestJoy, EasyWay   Best Marketing Tech Finalists Booking Engines: Cloudbeds, Bookassist, SiteMinder Hotel CRM & Email Marketing: Revinate, Profitroom, Dailypoint Digital Marketing Agencies: Bookassist, Avvio, Net Affinity Direct Booking Tools: Triptease, Hotelchamp Website Live Chat and Chatbot: Asksuite, Whistle Independent Loyalty Programs: The GuestBook Metasearch & Ad Tech: Bookassist, Avvio, Koddi Reputation Management: TrustYou, Guestrevu, Revinate Hotel Website Design: Bookassist, Avvio, Profitroom   Best Meetings & Events Tech Finalists Event Management Software: Event Temple Group Sourcing & RFP Software: MeetingPackage, Venuesuite Meetings Intelligence Software: Duetto, IDeaS Sales CRM: Event Temple, MeetingPackage  

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Consider this Before Getting a Hotel and Restaurant Management Degree

by
Hotel Tech Report
6 months ago

Choosing a career path is a big deal. And deciding whether or not to pursue a bachelor's degree is a major part of that career plan. So what to do during a pandemic --  especially when you’ve been considering getting a bachelor's degree in Hospitality Management (hotel and restaurant management)?  You’d be right to take a minute to consider whether or not pursuing a degree in hospitality is really worth it, given that hospitality has been hit especially hard by the pandemic and there are tons of low-cost online accreditations available today. There are a few key areas to explore, such as the outlook for the industry, what you’ll learn, and what marketable skills you’ll get from your investment in the degree. From there, you can make an educated decision about whether or not a hospitality degree is right for you.   Key Considerations When Deciding to Pursue a Hotel and Restaurant Management Degree Like anything in business (or life) there is a cost and a benefit calculation you'll need to make to decide which path to pursue.  The cost side of the equation includes both the direct expenses of higher education like tuition as well as the opportunity cost (i.e. how much money would you be making during those years if you went straight to work?).  Hospitality and tourism management school tuition varies widely based on pedigree (reputation of the school) and location.  A Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management from EHL costs around $206k (188 CHF) over 4 years including food and accommodation.  According to NerdWallet's student loan calculator a $200,000 loan with 5% interest and a 10-year term requires $2,121.31 in monthly payments.  That doesn't necessarily mean that you need to make $25,000 per year more from year 1 but you should expect that over the long run the difference in salary helps to more than offset the cost of a degree.  Let's use a stylized example to illustrate this point: you are considering whether to leave high school and go straight to becoming a hotel concierge to refine your skills and ultimately become a hotel manager.  The average full-time hotel concierge or guest services manager makes from $23,000-$38,000 per year.  Let's say, for simplicity, it will take you 10 years working your way up as a concierge before you can become a hotel manager without a degree.  During those 10-years you would make $300,000 using an average of $30,000 per year salary. Hotel managers typically make from $61,000-$200,000 per year. Now let's say that with a degree from EHL it would only take you 3-years as a concierge to become a hotel manager.  That means in years 1-4 you spend (-) $200,000 on education.  Then in years 5-7 you make $90,000.  Finally in years 8-10, you make $210,000.  In this scenario, you would have netted $100,000 in salary so all else equal you would be better off without the degree. This example is designed to stylize the decision-making process, not to tell you whether or not you should get a degree.  What if EHL grads make more as hotel managers than non-grads? Are there other long term benefits of a degree like the potential to move into higher-paying corporate management roles? Are there networking and alumni opportunities that must be factored in?  Will you get paid real-world experience with your degree or exposure to differentiated entrepreneurship coursework that are otherwise inaccessible to those without one?  Do you need the degree program to be eligible in the future for a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and unlock even higher salaries in the future?  Are there financial aid packages or scholarships available to lower your expense levels? The first step to answering this question is plotting out what you think the future looks like and then going out to validate your hypotheses by talking to real people who work in the hospitality business.  Ultimately this exercise will show you that there is no black and white answer, these calculations vary dramatically based on which segment of hospitality you aim to work in.  It probably doesn't make sense to attend EHL at full tuition in order to get into foodservice or entry-level guest service roles but it may be the only way to grow into a business management role VP level or higher at brands like Marriott and Hilton.   What’s The Outlook for Travel and Hospitality? The pandemic has put industry forecasts into disarray. What had been shaping up to be another strong year in a decade-long boom of travel and tourism turned into quite the opposite. Travel has flatlined and things are changing so fast that it’s hard to get a grasp on the industry’s future prospects.  One of the most reliable forecast sources is STR, which tracks the health of the hospitality industry. STR’s Data Insights Blog has been tracking the regional and global impact of COVID. The bad news is that STR predicts a long road ahead, with recovery back to 2019 levels not happening until 2023. That’s a long way away; but as we’ll see below, this long road to recovery can be an advantage to those just starting out in their careers.   The good news is that industry fundamentals remain strong. People love to travel. And, even though it’s likely that business travel will be slower to return (and may forever be changed), the industry’s gradual recovery provides ample opportunity for career advancement.   What Marketable Skills Will I Learn?  The value of a hospitality management degree lies not just in the future career opportunities but also and be marketable skills that you will learn. There are four core areas that a hospitality management program will cover:  Operations. First and foremost, you will learn the ins-and-outs of the business of hospitality. This includes all day-to-day aspects of hotel operations: checking guests in at the front desk, managing guest requests in the back of the house, scheduling staff,  Revenue. The business of running a hotel involves three key departments: sales, marketing, and revenue management. You’ll learn how each department contributes to a property’s topline revenue and bottom-line profitability. Increasingly, these departments are overlapping and so it’s helpful to have a grasp across all aspects of a hotel’s revenue-generating roles. People management. One of the most important skills for any hospitality professional on the management track is people and human resources. It’s a critical piece of any job in hotels because there are so many people to manage. You’ll learn about what it takes to manage a workforce, including performance management, hiring and training staff to meet service standards. Customer service. The essence of hospitality is customer service. This is the most practical skill that you will learn, as people skills will always come into handy. With the practical hands-on training of a Hospitality Management degree, you'll get  Leadership. Many college degrees struggle to include a hands-on component that teaches you real-world leadership. You can go through college for four years and end up without any practical experience. All of the best hospitality management programs include an internship component of part of the graduation requirements. This means that you will have hands-on experience in an actual business upon graduation. So even if you decide not to go into hospitality, you'll be able to translate your real work experience into conversation points for your job interviews.   What Can I Do with a Bachelors in Hotel and Restaurant Management?  The most obvious career path involves a role in hospitality. Your potential path with a hospitality management degree may include roles in a few different departments, such as: Operations: The operations of a hotel include the front desk, housekeeping, maintenance, and day-to-day management. Roles here include managing a department, such as the front-of-house or housekeeping, and culminate in a job as a general manager.  Revenue: Sales, marketing, and revenue management are responsible for generating business for the hotel. There are many roles here to consider:  Revenue manager,  HR: One of the core back-office functions at a hotel is HR. This could be both at the property level and corporate level. HR managers are responsible for people operations:  overseeing the hiring, firing, and performance management process so that everything is legal and according to company standards; handling employee complaints and generally being an advisor and resource to employees across the operation. Accounting: Another core back-office function is accounting. These employees are the ones that manage the financial inflows and outflows from property (or group of properties).  Most roles in this specialization require a further degree in accounting, so keep that in mind if you want to pursue a dual degree alongside hospitality management. Business Development/Finance: Business development involves finding locations for new hotels, evaluating the financial feasibility of acquiring existing hotels, and working on the financial side of the industry. Someone with a hospitality management degree working in business development has a very unique skill-set but maybe in high demand. Gaming: Casinos have a very unique footprint and require their own set of skills. Specializing in gaming can give you a competitive advantage in certain circumstances,  especially if you're interested in working in a hotel market with a heavy gaming component, such as Las Vegas. Also, if you are interested in gaming, it makes sense to strongly consider UNLV’s hospitality program! Food and beverage: Many properties have expensive food and beverage operations. There are many aspects to manage here, from room service and catering to individual outlets, which means that F&B offers many opportunities (both in and outside of hotel-affiliated outlets). The skills you learn from your degree in hospitality management are transferable to other areas as well. A graduate with a strong grasp of management, leadership, and operations will be well-positioned for other roles too. Some related roles to consider: Hospitality tech: Expertise in hospitality is in especially high demand with technology companies serving the industry.  You could translate your hospitality management degree into an entry-level role at one of these companies, which will put you on a career path in the technology industry. Account manager/sales manager. Sales and account management requires a lot of soft skills that you'll learn when you get a degree in hospitality. There are also many entry-level jobs in these two fields -- especially for those with strong sales and people skills.  HR. People management is an essential part of any company. Put your organizational and operations knowledge to work, alongside your interpersonal soft skills, in HR. Management training: Your degree is a signal that you are organized and capable of. You could also look for a role in a different industry that come on a management training track. Hospitality consultants: There are many firms that serve hotels and Hospitality brands as contractors and independent hospitality consultants. If you wanted to tackle a broader array of challenges for multiple clients, this could be a great choice for you. Event planning: Event planners don't necessarily have to be on staff at a conference center attached to a hotel. From independent wedding planners to corporate event specialists, you could put your hospitality knowledge to use as an event planner. See more in our in-depth guide to hospitality careers, including job descriptions, salaries, and more.   How Do I Choose a Hospitality Management Program? There's a lot at stake when you choose a hospitality management program. It’s a major investment. A few things to consider as you evaluate programs: Quality: First and foremost, make sure that you are going to a reputable school. A few of the most well-regarded are the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, Hotelschool The Hague, and the University of Nevada’s William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration. For a full list, check out the top hotel schools in our hospitality industry guide. Each school should be evaluated for the quality of instruction and access to industry leaders. You also want teachers that are practicing experts in their field, rather than relics of an industry long gone. Specialization: Next, look carefully at the program’s class offerings. Does the program offer the courses that you need for your career path? Do you see specializations that interest you? Remember that it is not just a general education that matters; you also want to get deep dives into the most marketable skills for today's economy. Make sure that you can get the type of education you need to position yourself for success. Network:  Major part of the investment is getting access to a quality Alumni network that can help you find jobs once you graduate. It might seem far away, but you’ll want to leverage the power of the university’s network when you're looking for a job. And also: a career office that can connect you to the best job opportunities. Some notable alumni from the top schools: Cornell: Andrew Tisch, head of Loews Hotels; Will Guidara, restaurateur of Eleven Madison Park and NoMad and TV personality Aida Mollenkamp.  UNLV: Marco Benvenuti, co-founder of hospitality tech company Duetto; hotel-casino mogul George Maloof; Bill Hornbuckle, president of MGM Resorts International; Celebrity Chef and Restauranteur Guy Fieri. EHL: Daisy Soros, philanthropist; Craig Claiborne, New York Times restaurant critic; Georges Plassat, businessman. Hotelschool: Joris Bijdendijk, Dutch celebrity chef; Marc Bolland, businessman and CEO of Marks and Spencer; Erik Tengen, founder and CEO of Oaky.   Cost: Finally, you want to make sure that the cost is worth it! Sticker shock is understandable, especially in the United States where college costs have skyrocketed. Look at the overall cost of the program tuition, as well as related cost-of-living, and measure against the income potential for your career. See next section, as this is usually a top criteria under consideration when deciding on a Hospitality Management program.   How much does a hospitality management degree cost? Out of the criteria listed above, cost is often one of the most important ones.  With the cost of fees and other non-tuition expenses, the total cost of a degree can get quite expensive. As a prospective student, you want to know that your degree will be a good investment. Here's a breakdown of the cost of the best hospitality management programs, followed by a quick calculation you can make to see your return on the investment. Cornell School of Hospitality. Undergraduates can expect to spend $58,586 (out of state) or $58,586 (in state) per year on tuition and around $16,000 on housing and dining. For a Cornell Master in Hospitality degree, expect to spend $87,879 for tuition and around $2,500 per month for books, fees and other living expenses. There are also several scholarships and financing options for those looking to fund the program with federal and private student loans. More on Cornell Hotel School tuition, financing and scholarships here (undergrad) and here (graduate). There’s also a useful financial aid calculator. EHL. The total cost of an undergraduate degree is 197,789 Swiss francs, including housing and health insurance. That cost is less if you are a Swiss citizen or are eligible for a subsidy: “only” 112,010 Swiss francs, also including housing. There are also scholarships for international students and Swiss citizens. More on EHL’s tuition and scholarships here. Hotelschool. One of the more affordable hospitality business schools, tuition for a bachelor's is 24,300 Euros per year for non-Europeans and just 10,360 Euros for Europeans. Other expenses are variable, depending on where you decide to live while on campus. International students can also apply for the Holland Scholarship for students outside of Europe who want to do a Bachelors or Masters in the Netherlands. More on the bachelor program’s costs for non-Europeans here and Europeans here.  University of Nevada. Annual undergraduate tuition costs at UNLV run $8,604 for residents and $24,258 for non-residents. Graduate tuition is $6,517 for residents and $22,171 for non-residents. Depending on whether students live with parents, on-campus or off-campus, non-tuition expenses range from $20,000 to $40,000 per year. For financing the degree, there are both federal and private loans available, as well as scholarships. More on tuition here, with this calculator to estimate total tuition and fees. Of course, the sticker price doesn't necessarily mean that you need to pay out-of-pocket. Each program offers financial aid and scholarships,  so you can take out a combination of loans and perhaps some “free” money to make the program tuition accessible to you, regardless of your personal financial situation. To calculate the return on your investment in a hospitality management degree, you need to first determine what your career path looks like. Review the average salary of hospitality jobs in our hotel industry guide and then calculate a 10% payback rate, a reasonable expectation on repayment. And then divide it by the cost of your degree to calculate how quickly your investment will be repaid. Since the goal of getting a degree is to earn a higher salary (and thus increase your lifetime earnings over your entire career), this helps you compare one program to another. This is just a rough estimate but it is a helpful calculation! ROI= (target role salary*.10)/cost of degree   For instance, let's say that you go to the University of Nevada as a non-resident undergrad and your target role is GM at a boutique hotel. Per our guide, the average salary of a hotel general manager is between $75,000 and $140,000. Take the midpoint of that as $100k, multiply by .10 (assuming that you use 10% of your salary to pay down loans) and divide by an estimated total cost 220,000 for a 4-year program. You get a payback period of 22 years. Of course, that doesn't include any amounts paid out of pocket, scholarships or interest costs. So you should adjust this comparative calculator accordingly, adjusting for your own interest and non-tuition costs.   So...Should I Get A Bachelor’s In Hospitality Management?  Ultimately, the decision is yours. While it may seem like a tough time to go into hospitality, we are bullish on the future of travel and hospitality, especially when the time frame is three to five years out.  So now could be the perfect time to get a degree in hospitality management, as you have two major advantages being early on in your hospitality career: your salary needs are lower and you have plenty of time for the industry to recover. You could take the time to earn your degree and really dive into a specialization that will remain competitive as the industry recovery unfolds. Then, right when you're ready to enter the workforce, you’ll be well-positioned. For instance, you may want to consider focusing on revenue management and marketing, which are marketable skills regardless of industry.  and then you will have more options upon graduation, so you could enter the management track and operations, revenue, or marketing.  Hotels will be doing more with less for the foreseeable future. So you just want to make yourself as competitive as possible if you choose to get a bachelor's in hospitality management. If you use your time earning a degree wisely, develop a broad base of soft skills around collaboration, communication, team building, and leadership, you'll be well-positioned to thrive!   Further Resources Want to learn more about the hospitality industry as you decide if a bachelor’s in hospitality management is right for you? Check out these resources: Our complete guide to the hospitality industry Our complete guide to the hotel management industry A deep dive into the various hospitality careers to consider Everything you need to know about hotel operations Exploring the revenue management career path  

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What is a Human Resources Information System (HRIS)?

by
Hotel Tech Report
10 months ago

Whether you're a boutique hotel manager or the owner of an expansive resort, your most important resource is your team members. How do you juggle payroll, paperwork, and performance reviews? Just as a PMS organizes everything related to your property operations, HRIS systems streamline your human resources operations, from benefits administration to HR systems reporting.  Modern HRIS systems are not just used by HR professionals but are so user friendly today that most have employee self-service software solutions that improve the employee experience. In this article, we’ll introduce you to this important software, explain the features it can offer, and explore the benefits your hotel can realize by implementing it. In just a few minutes, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions about your HR organization’s technology needs. With the proper technology partner, you can empower your employees to thrive at work and focus on what matters: providing a great guest experience.   HRIS Software or HRMS: What’s the Difference? A human resources information system, or HRIS, goes by many different names. You may also see it referred to as a human resource management system (HRMS), a talent management system (TMS), or a human capital management system (HCM). All of these acronyms stand for the same thing: a system that centralizes your human resources operations. These systems house your employee database, handle payroll, compile performance reviews, run reports and analytics, and more. Human resources staff use the system on a daily basis, while all employees and managers can access a portal as needed to view payroll information, clock in and out, and track their goals.   What Features Does an HRIS Offer? At a high level, an HRIS helps your human resources team do their jobs better, and it helps employees manage their payroll and performance. But what specific features will you find in an HRIS? Employee database: An HRIS holds your employee database; you can securely store employee information like birthdays, contact details, start date, compensation, contracts, and more for easy access within the system. Time tracking: Hourly employees, like housekeeping staff or restaurant servers, can clock in and out via a module in your HRIS. Integrated, digital timesheets decrease the potential for human error and allow you to analyze human resource data to optimize scheduling. Payroll: Your HRIS can automate the entire payroll process from managing compensation information to disbursing payments. Benefits: The HRIS makes benefits enrollment easy; employees can sign up or change policies in a self-service portal. Employee portal: Employees have access to a self-service dashboard in the HRIS where they can view and manage not only benefits, but also payroll or banking information, goals and performance, an employee database, time off requests, internal job openings, and more. Applicant tracking: Hotels hire frequently, and managing applicants is no easy task. An HRIS can streamline the application process both for the applicant and for your HR team. Some software vendors offer separate applicant tracking systems (ATS), but a comprehensive HRIS will include one. Onboarding and training: You can centralize the onboarding process for new employees in the HRIS to ensure consistency in every new team member’s first few days at your property. Your HRIS can also organize and monitor ongoing training for employees and managers. Performance management: An HRIS often includes functionality for setting goals, tracking performance, providing feedback, and recording notes from performance reviews.  Reporting: With so much data in one central system, the HRIS provides robust reporting features to help you better understand your employee demographics, scheduling needs, benefits use, and more. Some leading HRISs, like Workday and Oracle, include all of these features and more. If your hotel has specific HR software needs, you can also find vendors that provide just one or two of these services. For example, Greenhouse and Lever are applicant tracking systems, so they don’t provide payroll or benefits to hired employees.   Why Use an HRIS? It’s certainly possible to handle benefits and payroll without an HRIS, but that’s not the ideal way to run a human resources organization. Especially in the hospitality industry, where turnover is high and teams are large, an HRIS can deliver efficiency, transparency, and even cost savings. What benefits can you expect when you implement an HRIS? Automation of recurring tasks and data entry, such as payroll, employee records and contracts, so your HR team can spend time on more important and impactful projects. More efficient HR operations by offering self-service access to employees. Instead of contacting HR for assistance enrolling in benefits, checking payroll information, or requesting time off, employees can use the self-service portal. Employees will also appreciate having immediate access to these services. Accuracy across timesheets and payroll by eliminating the chance of human error. Secure storage for employee and financial information - much more secure than a filing cabinet! Digital storage is also less expensive and more eco-friendly than traditional paper employee files. Access to employee, tax, and legal documents to ensure compliance. The HRIS can store various forms of employee documentation, certifications, and contact information should you need it at any time. Clarity into human resource allocation. By analyzing timesheet data, you can optimize scheduling for hourly departments like housekeeping, front desk, and F&B. Happier employees and higher employee engagement. Through the performance management functionalities, managers can better coach and guide their direct reports toward their career goals, which can reduce turnover.   How Do You Choose the Right HRIS? Want to bring the benefits of an HRIS into your hotel's HR management process so that you can streamline employee data (and employee benefits) while improving decision making? Deciding to implement an HRIS is a relatively easy decision; deciding which HRIS can be difficult. When deliberating between the various systems available, it’s important to keep these criteria in mind: Cost - how much do you want to spend? Functionality - which features do you really need? Customer support - do you want hands-on, 24/7 support from the vendor? Industry expertise - while you don't necessarily need your HRIS to be fully customizable you'll want to make sure that it's built for the needs of your HR department.  Hospitality businesses typically have lots of shift labor and part time workers so you'll want to make sure that any system you choose has worked with hotel businesses before. With such a broad range of systems on the market, you’ll find there is also a wide variety in terms of cost and functionality. If you run a small independent hotel, you probably don’t need a system that offers a suite of features for global talent management. On the other hand, if you are deciding which system to implement on a brand or corporate level, then robust reporting tools and support for employees in multiple locations will be crucial. The best way to determine whether an HRIS is right for you is by signing up for a demo or a free trial. Did we miss any key features or benefits that an HRIS can provide? What systems do you recommend? Let us know!