Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Johnson

Russell A. Johnson

President and CEO, Merchants Information Solutions

Russell A. Johnson, President & Chief Executive Officer of Merchants Information Solutions since 2004, a founding and accredited member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), is a respected thought-leader with over 9 years of experience within the employment screening industry. Mr. Johnson regularly advises organizations and industry groups nationwide on background screening best practices, and the direct positive impact of hiring the best candidates. Mr. Johnson holds a BS degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse and is an alumnus of the Graduate School of Bank Management from the University of Virginia. He has numerous business, educational, and professional affiliations and is a respected leader in the financial services industry. Currently Mr. Johnson serves as a board member and Vice-Chairman of the Executive Committee for the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation and Board Member and Secretary and Treasurer for the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. He is also a former member and chairman of the Board of Directors for Consumer Credit Counseling Services.

Mr. Johnson can be contacted at 602-744-3700 or rjohnson@merchantsinfo.com

Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.