Tag: travel

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.

Thiesfeld’s Travel Tips

Our Senior Vice President of Sales, John Thiesfeld, spends more than one third of his year on the road. This makes John our most well-traveled team member and our go-to expert for travel advice. Whether you fly once a year, or multiple times a week, John’s 14 travel tips can turn even the most inexperienced flyer into a traveling connoisseur!

headshot of John Thiesfeld

Move away from checking a bag.

“It not only saves you time on departure, but you have everything you need if your flight gets canceled. This allows you to get on a different flight without worrying about your possessions.”

Sign up for TSA Pre ✓.

“It is worth every penny of the cost, even if you don’t fly often. Knowing you will rarely have a long wait for security is reassuring.”

Pack smart and be prepared.

“If you are traveling for business, pack your dress shirts and suits in the plastic bags from the dry cleaners. It keeps them fresh and less wrinkled. If you can, always have a bag packed with your regular travel items; this saves time and stress when a trip comes up last minute.”

Pack healthy snacks.

“Always keep healthy snacks in your carry-on bag. Though most airports sell healthy options, you can bring your own for a fraction of the cost”.

Charge electronics.

“Make sure to charge all electronics the night before your flight. Some airports are loaded with outlets, while others keep you searching.”

Sign up for an airline lounge membership.

“If you fly at least once per month, make sure to sign up for an airline lounge membership. They are a great place to re-charge before a flight. The flight attendants are able to do everything a gate agent can, and sometimes more if your flight gets delayed or cancelled.”

Stick with one hotel company / airline.

“Try to stick to one airline and hotel company. I know with so many travel options available, including Airbnb, it may seem silly, but the perks available (even at the lowest levels of some programs) are worth it.”

 

Sign up for frequent flyer programs

“Sign up for different airline’s frequent flyer programs, even if you are not sure if you will ever fly them. Being a member and downloading their respective apps can help you if your airline of choice is not available or if there is a problem with your flight. You can often find new flights on the app much faster than trying to call the airline and it is faster than going to the customer service counter.”

Book non-stop flights.

“If possible, make sure to book non-stop flights. Many times, the stress and potential problems that can occur with connection flights, especially those with a tight timeline, are not worth it.”

Take the early flight out.

“It is never fun to wake up at 4 am for the first flight out, but statistics don’t lie; the first flight of the day rarely gets cancelled or delayed. The first flight sets the tone, so the airline will do whatever it takes to get the plane out on time.”

A round trip ticket may not be the best option.

“Though a round trip flight may look easier to book, two one-way tickets may be cheaper. Also, if one of those flights gets cancelled, it is much easier for the airline to change one ticket, as opposed to the airline having to re-issue a round trip ticket.”

Print a boarding pass.

“There have been multiple occasions where the TSA processors were down or the actual check-in machines for the flight were inoperable. The only people allowed through were those with paper boarding passes.”

Exercise and explore the area.

“As a runner, I appreciate a well-equipped fitness center, but my preference is to run outside; it gives me a feel for the destination. If running isn’t your thing, get out of your hotel and walk around the neighborhood. Not only is it good for your health, but you never know what you may be missing!”

Smile and be kind.

“Travel can be stressful on both the traveler and the airline/hotel associates. Make sure to smile and be kind; it is always better than the alternative.”

 

Tips for Spring Break Travel

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With spring break travel approaching there are many dynamics to consider in order to best prepare your team. Since we have properties in all regions of the US, preparations vary based on weather, school schedules and other factors.

We have already begun speaking to our leaders in the field to prepare our teams for what will be happening one or two months from now.

Advance Planning

Advance Planning is critical when it comes to added stock of supplies, your staffing plan and seasonal uniform changes.

Get an earlier start on inventory of supplies. Since many of these may need additional budget approval and have longer lead times, you don’t want to find yourself running out of items such as; cribs, rollaway beds, room linen and pool towels.

If you haven’t begun pulling your extra pool and deck furniture out from storage for an inspection and deep cleaning, it is definitely that time. Even though resort properties may have a busy pool deck all year around, it is very common needing more to accommodate the spring break crowds.

As the temperatures begin to change, it is time to determine the appropriate spring HVAC “comfort” settings with your facilities team. We want the first impression at check-in to be a comfortable and welcoming experience. In addition, determine the best placement for your window treatments. As we welcome more sunlight during the winter months, keeping draperies closed a bit more will assist in cooling down the room during spring and into summer.

Review your uniform par levels for departments requiring a seasonal change. Ensure your associates are looking and feeling their best.

Staffing Plan

During these seasonal periods, the typical staffing plan will fail. Expect higher volume in all areas and plan accordingly. It is important for the leaders to communicate adjustments early so associates can make arrangements outside of work as well. Extra support will be needed in rooms, public areas, and food & beverage outlets to accommodate spring break travel. Some areas to consider;

  • More frequent public restroom checks and monitoring of high traffic areas
  • Providing extra support in the laundry department to expedite additional guest room, pool, and food & beverage linen demands
  • Accommodating additional food & beverage covers and extended outlet hours
  • Anticipate extended time needed in guest rooms. Since spring break typically has higher guest counts and a longer length of stay, this usually requires additional servicing time
  • For our resorts and coastal properties, ideal weather conditions usually prompt later checkouts, so if the weather is cooperating schedule staff accordingly for late services. I find starting some associates an hour later helps cover the late checkouts
  • Since we offer transportation for team members in many markets, this period may require more frequent stops

Many of our associates have children taking school breaks as well, so we try to be as accommodating as possible to allow them necessary time with their families. Sometimes a slight shift on their schedule is a big help during this period.

Setting Your Team Up for Success

Just before the crowds arrive, everyone should be well informed on how they can best contribute to your operation. As we know, in order to be successful with the influx of transient business you must adjust your usual agenda and methods of cleaning.

Be sure your daily pre-shift meetings include these important reminders and everyone is well-informed of the special activities and events happening at the property and surrounding areas. Keep daily events posted and copies readily available for your staff members.

Prepare all the extras for multiple guests and families; items such as extra pillows, blankets, rollaways and cribs. Many of these requests come in during the afternoon and evening hours so be sure to have them “delivery ready” and staged in convenient locations.

Be proactive by delivering extra items during regular services to accommodate multiple guests. In addition to stocking items for guest requests, there are a few to consider as part of the daily service such as; increased linen pars, soap and shampoo. Also, be sure to stock extra paper products in public area closets.

Most importantly, don’t lose sight of your repeat customers that may be visiting during this period.

For many, this kicks off the start of a long spring break travel stretch throughout the spring and summer where families and more transient business visit your properties. It is important to continue discussing the unique needs of travelers during these periods.


The Service Companies’ unique turn-key model provides complete oversight of the housekeeping, public area, EVS, and stewarding departments, including accountability over the productivity, operations and success of the departments. These services allow hotel, casino and resort customers to focus on driving revenues. To learn how The Service Companies’ turn-key model can help your property, contact us.