Court Williams is Chief Executive Officer of HVS Executive Search based in New York and has over 33 years of retained Hospitality Executive Search experience within the Hotel, Restaurant, and Travel/Leisure industries. He also leads the global growth strategy for HVS Executive Search. Court directs his team in senior hospitality executive searches across all functional areas, including Operations, Human Resources, Sales/Marketing, Finance, Real Estate, Franchise Development, Technology, and Supply Chain/Logistics, working with clients in the private equity, hotel management, restaurant, hotel investment/REITS, and leisure venue industries. Court is on the Advisory Board of Shift One and remains an active Cornell alumnus through student coaching with Cornell University’s Hospitality Leadership Development Institute. Court began his career in the restaurant industry after graduating from Cornell’s Hotel School, gaining multi-unit operational experience prior to launching a career in Human Resources/Recruiting. Having gained experience in executive recruitment from the brand side, the desire to work with a broader range of hospitality clients led Court to a career in retained executive search beginning in 1990. Court and his wife reside in both Connecticut and Vermont and have two young adult children. He enjoys boating, skiing, fly-fishing in Vermont, traveling, and food/wine.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated hospitality’s shift towards remote work, challenging the sector to adapt roles for remote environments, ranging from customer service to event planning. While remote work offers advantages for both employers and employees, it also presents multiple challenges for them. Companies must balance attracting younger talent with the limitations of remote work, identify roles suitable for remote settings, and invest in the infrastructure necessary to support this model.
In recent years, hotel food and beverage (F&B) services have evolved from being an afterthought to a cornerstone of the guest experience and a significant revenue generator. These services now captivate travelers with innovative concepts, enticing menus, and immersive dining experiences. Breakfast, in particular, has emerged as the king of F&B offerings, capturing the hearts and palates of guests worldwide and becoming a deciding factor for travelers seeking hotels that go above and beyond.
As the pandemic eases, the hospitality industry faces multiple challenges in recruiting talented employees. This situation is likely to result in some exciting hiring trends in 2022, including a stronger focus on technology use and the overall employee experience. Organizations will have to deploy innovative solutions to attract the human capital they need in this competitive environment.
The hospitality industry has seen a decrease in staff as many people have found alternate career paths as a result of the impacts of COVID-19. The hospitality industry needs to re-focus their efforts to meet future staffing requirements in order to see an increase in demand for hospitality industry seekers.
HVS Executive Search executives reached out to hospitality employers across US, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa to understand the current employer sentiment as the industry embarks the recovery zone. The objective of the survey was to “check the pulse” and address the unified response that is critical for the hospitality industry at this stage.
COVID-19 has affected the hospitality and tourism industries in a number of ways, and hotel food and beverage operations is one of the most affected areas. A decline in travel, low occupancy rates, and guests shifting to either cooking at home or preferring drive-thru, curbside, and delivery over eating out has led to hotel F&B rapidly evolving and adjusting their models. Hotels are marketing their eateries to locals, offering contactless food delivery, and enhancing gift card sales.
In an ideal world, the restaurant industry would reopen after the Covid-19 pandemic to hordes of diners hungry to make up for lost time. The reality, however, is that a large percentage of former customers simply won’t have money to spend dining out.