NEWH - Fall 2021 - 12

GUEST PERSPECTIVE
just came off a decade-long streak with record profits of $70-80
billion annually. Unlike airlines such as Southwest and Delta and
other lower-margin service industries, no publicly traded hotel
management company has ever implemented an employee stock
ownership plan. To my knowledge, no private equity firm has
implemented a promote structure that gives hotel executive teams
compensation for increasing real estate value.
Still, contrary to conventional wisdom, accelerating diversity
does not require spending more money or increasing a hotel's
fixed cost structure. What it does require is cost innovation from
restructuring the talent acquisition process. The outcome of a new
process should be spending less money on the internal resources,
vendors, and search firms that are recycling the same candidates,
sell data as their business model, and increase employee turnover
which remains at 40-75 percent. Talent attracts talent. Diversity
also attracts diversity. The marginal costs of building a diverse
workforce should drop considerably if the diversity at managerial
levels is addressed up front.
4. The best way to reduce turnover and ensure fit is to use
assessments and personality tests.
To overturn this orthodoxy, stop using assessments and
personality tests.
Hotels should take a cue from colleges and universities and decrease
their reliance on standardized testing. In 2020, UCLA eliminated the
standardized testing requirement in their application and saw a 28
percent increase in applications for freshman seats compared to
the previous year. The campus also saw a historic increase in Black
applicants, rising 48 percent over last year, and significant gains
across all other racial and ethnic groups: 33 percent for Latinos,
35 percent for whites, 22 percent for Asian Americans, 34 percent
for Pacific Islanders, and 16 percent for American Indians. UCLA
campus officials also credited their long years of active recruitment
in underserved areas and community partnerships.
The lesson is clear: Even if standardized tests are not inherently
racially biased, they stand in the way of attracting diverse talent.
To be fair, test creators have never claimed to measure drive,
resilience, or human potential. At most, assessments should be
reserved for highly technical roles or to de-risk hiring candidates
from another industry.
Also, while we all look for that hospitality gene to make a hiring
decision, there is no correlation between a personality type and
elite talent even at the front-line. Personality tests that can easily be
used to wrongly label people and homogenize workplace cultures
should be dropped altogether.
5. There's already enough diversity in our industry. Let's just
steal talent from our direct competitors.
To overturn this orthodoxy, spend time scouting talent in other
service industries and testing new platforms.
Conventional wisdom says that with at least 4 million women and
minorities working in U.S. hotels prior to COVID-19, there is enough
supply of supervisor-ready talent to source or promote from within
the industry to make progress against stated diversity objectives.
Our analysis suggests otherwise: The quality and depth of the
diverse talent pool is a significant problem. For example, at the hotel
GM and director levels, including rooms and F&B (the two functions
that manage the most people and budgets), diversity drops by twothirds
compared to the front-line. According to our algorithm that
uses customer reviews, brand scores, and market difficulty to rank
the elite talent pool, only 15 percent of this smaller diverse talent pool
are ready to be promoted to these senior property-level positions.
In total, we estimate 2,000-3,000 minority candidates are ready for
promotion from within the hotel industry versus the 10,000 required
to fulfill the diversity objectives set by the hotel brands.
Accelerating diversity requires more than increasing pay or
incremental innovation. It requires experimentation to identify upand-coming
diverse talent in hotels as well as adjacent industries,
schools, and communities. Above all, breakthroughs will require new
scouting systems and new listening posts. CEOs should make it a
higher priority to establish their employer brand where more diverse
service leaders can be found. For example, the proportion of Black
mid-level managers in retail is 9 percent compared to 1.6 percent in
U.S. hotels. This is just one example of a more managerially diverse
industry that could be tapped by hoteliers to build a more diverse
talent pipeline.
The U.S. hotel industry, one of the greatest human meritocracies
on earth, is poised for a remarkable comeback, but there is much
work to be done. In the short term, 5-10 percent of the pre-COVID
talent has turned to the gig economy and other industries. A new
talent pool must be discovered and accelerated. The industry's
ability to improve service and meet its diversity goals will determine
the pace of recovery. Significant innovation in all dimensions of
human capital will be required to fend off substitutes like Airbnb
and more alternative employers such as Amazon and food delivery
apps. Hotel CEOs should begin by developing strategies to overturn
orthodoxies and allocate more resources to those courageous
enough to do so.
Alex Mirza is the founder and CEO of Mogul - Hospitality Engine,
a venture-backed technology company whose mission is to
perfect meritocracy and accelerate diversity. He is the former
CEO of Cachet Hotels and has over 25 years of experience as a
senior executive in hospitality and gaming.
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12 newh.org
http://www.newh.org

NEWH - Fall 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NEWH - Fall 2021

President's Letter
News
Guest Perspective
Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity
Who's Who
Conference RoundUp
Have You Seen
Scholarships
Scholarship Heroes
Interview
Sustainability Point of View
Q&A: Sarah Churchill
Q&A: Barry Sullivan
Q&A: Ben Wells
Cover Story
Project: Saltline Hotel
Project: ABA Restaurant Austin
Project: Un Diavolo Per Capello
Project: Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas
Chapter Highlights
Save The Date
New Members
Partner Profiles
Sponsor Index
NEWH - Fall 2021 - FC
NEWH - Fall 2021 - IFC
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 3
NEWH - Fall 2021 - President's Letter
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 5
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 6
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 7
NEWH - Fall 2021 - News
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 9
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Guest Perspective
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 11
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 12
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 13
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 15
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 16
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 17
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Who's Who
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 19
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 20
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 21
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 22
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 23
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 24
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 25
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 26
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 27
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Conference RoundUp
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 29
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Have You Seen
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 31
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 32
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 33
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 34
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 35
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 36
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 37
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 38
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 39
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Scholarships
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 41
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Scholarship Heroes
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 43
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Interview
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 45
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 46
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 47
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Sustainability Point of View
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 49
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 50
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 51
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Q&A: Sarah Churchill
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 53
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Q&A: Barry Sullivan
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 55
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Q&A: Ben Wells
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 57
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Cover Story
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 59
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Project: Saltline Hotel
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 61
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 62
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 63
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Project: ABA Restaurant Austin
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 65
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 66
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 67
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Project: Un Diavolo Per Capello
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 69
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 70
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 71
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Project: Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 73
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 74
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 75
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Chapter Highlights
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 77
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 78
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 79
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 80
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 81
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 82
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 83
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 84
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 85
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 86
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 87
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 88
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 89
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Save The Date
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 91
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 92
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 93
NEWH - Fall 2021 - New Members
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 95
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 96
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 97
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 98
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 99
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Partner Profiles
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 101
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 102
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 103
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 104
NEWH - Fall 2021 - 105
NEWH - Fall 2021 - Sponsor Index
NEWH - Fall 2021 - IBC
NEWH - Fall 2021 - BC
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