Category: Recruiting

Road Warriors Tackle Recruiting During Pandemic

We’d like to thank our “Road Warriors”, Gustavo Orozco and Kelsey Jeffords, for the tireless commitment to their jobs and overall team success during the midst of a global pandemic. When our clients began to reopen their doors, Gustavo and Kelsey stepped up to support our Talent Acquisition group, putting their personal lives on hold to travel to multiple clients nationwide and deliver critical recruiting support at a pivotal time for TSC. With their assistance, we’ve been able to rehire nearly 2,000 associates. We recently caught up with our two “Road Warriors” on their journey providing assistance for the Talent Acquisition team throughout the country.

Female recruiter, Kelsey Jeffords and male recruiter, Gustavo Orozco.

How long have you been with The Service Companies?

Kelsey: I’ve been with the company in a staffing operations role since January 2014.

Gustavo: I’ve been with TSC since March 2018 and have always been involved in the company’s staffing operations.

What is your current role or what is the focus of your role?

Kelsey: Talent Acquisition. I recruit a variety of positions for our casino hotel clients in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Gustavo: Right before the pandemic I was a Strategic Operations Manager. In June I became a member of the Talent Acquisition team, traveling to and recruiting hospitality staff in Connecticut, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Seattle, San Francisco, South Lake Tahoe, and Reno.

What traits does a Road Warrior need to have? 

Kelsey: A Road Warrior should be willing to live life on the road, have strong work ethic, dedication, and lots of energy!

Gustavo: A willingness to travel frequently and the ability to efficiently perform your role from any location (airport, coffee shop, hotel lobby, car, etc…)

What’s been your biggest accomplishment or the most rewarding aspect of your new role?

Kelsey: The most rewarding part of this job is to be able to give others an opportunity to work. It’s always an accomplishment when the applicants that are hired are happy and able to provide for themselves and their families.

Gustavo: My biggest accomplishments have been seeing how my work impacts different parts of the nation. Establishing a better relationship in person with coworkers who I had only met through video before has been very rewarding. 

Any tips for traveling during COVID/a pandemic? 

Kelsey: Make sure to always wear your mask, especially when dealing with different people on a day-to-day basis. 

Gustavo: Enjoy the outdoors. If you’re traveling to a new place, keep your distance and stay safe. Being outdoors is a convenient way to do so.  I normally like to jog/hike outdoors when I visit a new city. 

Gustavo and Kelsey played critical roles in managing our talent pipeline with their recruiting efforts during one of TSC’s, and the nation’s, most unprecedented times. The dedication and teamwork that these two team members have displayed over the last 6 months is nothing short of outstanding.

Interested in joining our team? You can learn more about the various positions available at The Service Companies, including recruiting, operations, and business development positions, here.

Leaders in Service

Jessica Uriostegui

At The Service Companies, our associates are the key to providing a superior client experience. No matter the level, department or service segment, our dedicated associates allow us to perform at the highest level and cultivate a strong company culture. This is why we developed Leaders in Service, a series of interviews recognizing the high-performing associates, who have launched or continued their hospitality careers at our company. 

Jessica Uriostegui is The Service Companies’ Director of Field Talent Acquisition. She is responsible for the recruitment of associates at our Managed Services hotel, casino, and resort accounts across the country. 

What roles have you held at The Service Companies? How long have you been with us? Jessica Uriostegui

I have been with The Service Companies for 9 years. I started as an Operations Staffing Manager for our staffing accounts in South Florida. From there I moved on to Taskforce Manager, Accounts Manager in Arizona, Human Resource Manager for San Antonio, Regional Human Resource Manager for Texas, Regional Director of Talent Acquisition and now in my current role I am the Director of Field Talent Acquisition.

What does your job entail?

I lead the Field Talent Acquisition function in executing the full cycle strategy for attracting, sourcing, and selecting talent. I also monitor recruiter performance, activity and requisition by weekly reporting and metrics monitoring.

What do you love most about your position?

Interacting with all of our amazing teams and clients across the regions.

How do you stay motivated and how do you motivate your team? 

I think our best motivation in the talent field is being a pivotal part in placing associates within our departments, creating long term relationships and watching them grow and develop within the industry.

Outside of work, how do you spend your time? What are you passionate about and what do you enjoy doing? 

Outside of work my time is dedicated to my 4 amazing kids. Being a mom is what I am most passionate about. I enjoy spending time with my kids and supporting them in the sports or activities they are involved in.

What has been your biggest accomplishment while working at The Service Companies?

My biggest accomplishment was starting a job at The Service Companies completely outside my comfort zone and becoming one of the top performers in my region within the first year. Winning the first ever President’s Award was nice too!

What advice would you give those looking to launch their hospitality careers or considering joining our team?

Understand and research the industry and make sure you have a passion for hospitality because everything we do involves providing great customer service to our team and our clients.

Every day, people are starting their hospitality careers with The Service Companies. Join our team today to do the same! Apply here.

Read other posts in our Leaders in Service Series:

Case Study: Luxury Hotel Casino in Shreveport, LA

With price, guest reviews and star ratings having more influence in the consumer’s decision making process than brand attributes (according to PwC’s 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey), guest service scores are more important than ever. They can make the difference between a sold out hotel, casino or resort, and one struggling to sell rooms. Read below how The Service Companies utilized its turn-key housekeeping services to shift guest service scores and improve the productivity of the housekeeping team at a luxury casino hotel in Shreveport, Louisiana.

 

Situation Overview

The Property is a hotel casino with over 600 guest rooms and suites located in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Property has an average room size of 413 square feet per room and is managed by a large American gaming corporation. With low guest satisfaction scores in the housekeeping category, the Property reached out to our team, which was successfully operating the environmental service departments of the public areas and casino, to take on and fully manage the housekeeping department.

 

Challenges

With a limited pool of hospitality professionals in Shreveport, the Property struggled to find quality labor to fill its housekeeping team. As a result, the Property was ranked last in housekeeping of the 40 properties in the parent corporation’s ranking scores.

The average time to clean each guest room was 35.6 minutes and the Property’s customer ranking score for housekeeping room cleanliness was 64.3% ‘A’. Due to the high levels of housekeeping complaints, guests chose to patronize other casinos, resulting in a loss of gaming revenue and an unsupportable situation.

 

Opening Process

Through the Property’s onsite management team, our leadership team worked with the Property’s General Manager to transition the in-house housekeeping department into a department fully managed by The Service Companies. We brought in a corporate lead to oversee the department transition and hired four housekeeping trainers, each handling a different aspect of the department. 59 Property employees transitioned to our team, leaving 28 open positions to fill within a 30-day period.

We inventoried and assumed equipment and uniforms. Standards and processes for the department were established and productivity was aligned with industry standards. Training was implemented to ensure productivity and quality standards would be maintained.

 

Results and Current State

Within one quarter of the transition, the leadership and staffing stabilized and the Property’s Room Cleanliness scores increased to 67.8% from 64.3%.

At the close of the 1st Quarter of 2019, the Property received a Room Cleanliness score of 77.2% “A”, which is 12.9 higher than the score prior to transition and 7.2 points higher than the brand benchmark. The current productivity average for a guest room attendant to turn a room is 25.2 minutes (a 29.2% reduction in cleaning time).

 

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Common Issues We See In Casinos

With over 1.1 million sq. ft. of gaming area under contract and over 15 years of experience providing services to the industry, we understand the unique challenges that commercial and Native American casinos and casino hotels face in their day to day cleaning operations:

  • The struggle to find legal labor due to low unemployment rates, rising wages, and the ongoing “War on Talent”
  • High workers’ compensation and general liability rates/expenditures/exposure
  • Valuable resources are spent managing relationships in union environments
  • Inefficiencies and lack of productivity in non-core departments
  • Maintaining a consistently high quality of service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • High energy usage

These challenges create a large cost burden for casinos, and one option to alleviate these issues is to partner with a well-capitalized service provider (see our previous article on what to take into consideration when selecting a vendor). Our team of seasoned industry experts established a diverse list of services that cater to the common needs of every casino resort.

The Service Companies is the premier provider to the casino industry. We offer managed services, staffing services, specialty services, and engineering services to casino properties across the nation. Backed by a large investment fund, we have the capital to support a casino’s stringent requirements and massive needs and have the years of experience driving productivity and providing solutions that reduce costs and energy.

As part of our commitment to service, our team takes full accountability of recruiting needs, compliance checks, and training to ensure success. To learn more, click on the links to our services above, or contact one of our industry experts at https://www.theservicecompanies.com/contact/.

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Why Should You Join The Service Companies?

When choosing a career, which of the following qualities are the most important to you?

  • Receiving hands-on training to prepare you for your new role
  • Competitive pay and benefits
  • A culture built on continuous training, employee recognition, mutual respect and strong work ethic
  • Opportunities for growth and advancement

Although each person ranks the above qualities differently, all four are key in achieving a happy and sustainable career. At The Service Companies, we not only invest in personal growth and training, but also the future of our associates. Here are just a few reasons why a career with The Service Companies may be right for you!

Training

Starting a new career can be intimidating. That is why we created a training and orientation program for the success of our new associates. Along with hands-on learning, each new team member is given access to our employee portal full of training guides and position checklists to ensure long-term success. Our new hires are also paired with a mentor during their 10-day training period to ensure effective learning on property.

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Benefits

Our associates work hard to make sure our clients and their guests receive the best possible service. To thank them for their hard work, we provide a complete employee benefits package that includes everything from medical insurance to short and long term disability and a 401k matching program. We also give associates enrolled at a college or university an opportunity to receive a yearly scholarship award and tuition reimbursement.

Culture and Associate Satisfaction

The Service Companies is the employer of choice for hourly associates. Our culture is based on recognition, respect and continuous learning. While we work hard, we also have fun. Our associates enjoy celebrations, weeklong events, contests, and friendly competitions year round. We also offer competitive wages and a safe and harmonious work environment.

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Growth and Advancement

As one of the fastest growing companies in the managed service industry, and the largest in the hospitality segment, there is a location and position that fits you! With customer locations spread across over 27 states and the Bahamas, and over 50% of our management positions being filled internally, now is the perfect time to join us and grow your career. To learn more about growth and advancement opportunities with The Service Companies, click here!

Whether you are a student, a recent graduate, U.S. Military Veteran, or just looking to launch your career, a job with The Service Companies is a great way for you to start making your impact on the hospitality industry!

Are you ready to join The Service Companies? Visit https://www.theservicecompanies.com/careers/ to apply now!

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Housekeeping Task Force Spotlight: Vladi Jones

After opening five new housekeeping accounts this summer, The Service Companies’ Heart of House Services department is growing faster than ever before. The success of The Service Companies’ managed services segment stems, in large part, from the training and leadership provided by our Task Force team to new associates and teams. Our Task Force associates travel to different destinations and assist with the operations of each account opening. Once training is finished and management positions are filled, Task Force members are given a new assignment in a different destination.

Task Force member Vladi Jones joined The Service Companies two months ago from a luxury hotel property in South Beach, Miami. During her time with us, she has already taken the lead on two hotel housekeeping  openings in Kentucky and the Bahamas; during her time in the Bahamas, she was also able to achieve a large increase in productivity for the property. Vladi is now working hard to complete another opening in South Beach. Her passion and hands on supervision makes Vladi a key member of the Task Force team.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born Slovakia and came to the UniteVladi Jones, housekeeping task forced States in 1991. In Slovakia, I was an elementary school teacher. To this day, it still gives me joy when I am able to teach someone something new. I did not speak any English, but I learned to overcome the challenge by not being afraid of making a mistake. Being a member of Task Force allows me to have a special bond with many people in our industry who, perhaps, have had some of the same challenges as I did many years ago. I am very passionate about cooking, gardening, boating and fishing! I also have two amazing kids, who are on their mission every day to make me a proud mom.

What is your professional background?

My professional background is in hospitality. In total, I have had 27 years of experience working in the Rooms Division. My hospitality journey started in 1991, where I started at a hotel property as a Laundry Attendant. Since then, I have had the opportunity to work in all areas and have held several leadership roles. I love working with housekeeping teams.

What led you to become a member of Task Force?

I saw Task Force as a great opportunity to work with many professionals who are as passionate about “housekeeping magic ” as I am.

What role do you play in The Service Companies’ property opening process? 

I have held lead roles during my last two assignments. I am now currently preparing for a new turn-key housekeeping account opening at a hotel in South Beach.

What have you learned during your time as a Task Force Member?

During my time as a Task Force Lead, I have had the opportunity to further develop my interpersonal skills. I have also learned more about the housekeeping operations in hotels and casino hotels. I went from a property with 1,800 rooms to a property with 162 rooms. The switch between two different properties within a short period of time has made me open minded, a quick thinker, and has given me the opportunity to utilize my expertise to solve problems and make the department more efficient.

What is your favorite thing about being a member of Task Force?

It allows me to work with many great individuals in different settings and each property has a different challenge.

What to consider when hiring newly displaced workers from Puerto Rico

As a result of Hurricane Maria, the United States, particularly Florida, has seen a large influx of Puerto Rican refugees looking for work. This could be great news for the hospitality industry which, with the unemployment rate reported at 4.1% in October and November and the difficulty securing workers through the H2B visa program, has struggled to find labor to fill housekeeping, public area cleaning and stewarding positions. What should the executive teams of hotels and casinos with understaffed departments be taking into consideration as they look to hire workers from this group of over 200,000 individuals?

First, hiring from this pool of workers is costly. Hotels and casinos must be aware that they will be incurring costs from the recruitment and onboarding processes as well as ongoing fees associated with insurance. Recruitment costs will include background checks, drug tests and e-verification in addition to travel costs to attend job fairs, and relocation and lodging fees for the new hires.

Once hired, these new associates go through the onboarding and training process. While this varies from property to property, at The Service Companies, each of our associates completes a 30-day training program for any of our fully managed services including housekeeping, EVS and Stewarding. The costs that result from training can be high. In 2016, in conjunction with Navigate Corporation, a premier management consulting firm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The Service Companies took a deep dive to understand the drivers of associate retention and engagement. During this study, we saw that onboarding a new associate could cost thousands of dollars. Depending on how short staffed a hotel or casino is, just the onboarding costs could quickly and easily surpass $10,000 with only a few new hires. On top of this, add the costs for medical and dental benefits, general liability and workers compensation insurance, which will continue throughout the associate’s tenure at the property.

It takes a well-capitalized company or property to be able to successfully hire workers that are newly displaced. Located across the country, The Service Companies, the one-stop-shop for managed, staffing and specialty services to the hospitality and gaming industry, is one of the few with the capital and experience (over 30 years) to take on this responsibility. With our turn-key housekeeping, public area/EVS cleaning and stewarding model, we assume full accountability of a hotel or casino’s most challenging departments, handling recruiting, background, drug and e-verification checks, training and insurance. No other company has the same resources, experience or nationwide presence. To learn more, visit www.theservicecompanies.com.