Following the success of the inaugural revenue management roundtable in February 2018, the demand to reconvene later in the year was clearly apparent. Many of the senior and most influential professionals from within the sector demanded another opportunity to meet with peers, colleagues and competitors to discuss how to enhance the sector so that it’s importance could be further embedded.
Like the first meeting, this was held at another outstanding venue; The Langham Hotel in London’s Marylebone. This five-star venue would be our host for the roundtable and then through a wonderful, enjoyable lunch.
Whilst there were some returning Directors of Revenue, there were also some new faces to welcome. This offered a different, unexpected dynamic resulting in a wider combination of hotel brands with professionals representing them who had differing number of years’ service to call on. As the conversation ebbed and flowed, this dynamic would add depth and insight to the agenda points. All corners of the hotel and hospitality sector were clearly well-represented. With national budget hotels, international luxury and individual venues all present, this roundtable event offered the opportunity for a unified industry voice.
Addressing the elephant in the room
How do graduates start their career in revenue management? How do they develop? This subject dominated the conversation throughout the day; it was clearly on everyone’s minds.
“….how does a graduate get experience when a hotel won’t offer jobs to the raw exuberance and willingness of the presenting students?”
Whilst no colleagues from airlines or the industry were present at this meeting, there was enough understanding from hotels with regard to how airlines productively and effectively manage the careers of graduate Revenue Managers. There are many synergies between airlines and hotels – recruiting graduates is one area where hotels have possibly been sloppy in the past.
Release the pressure on General Managers
However, by looking into this more closely, General Managers are caught in the crossfire. There is plenty of demand for revenue management professionals throughout the length and breadth of the country, but they must have experience. Nevertheless, how does a graduate get experience when a hotel won’t offer jobs to the raw exuberance and willingness of the presented students?
General Managers are under pressure, they have short-term needs, yet are not applying a long-term vision. Some of the senior Board members understand that failing to prepare for the future is creating its own problems. They are starting to address this, but not in overwhelming numbers – it has to be said. Succession planning is one of the key areas that will suffer if students/graduates/the inexperienced are not being recruited.
Does HR know what revenue management does?
MRK Associates are proud to be the leading agency in the UK offering recruitment solutions in revenue management. However, many hotels manage their recruitment needs via direct resourcing. We respect this.
Many of the roundtable participants complained that HR might not totally understand the challenges, complexities or the market, so when there is a need to recruit, they don’t fully understand what is required from the recruit. This is frustrating as time and effort is wasted seeing the wrong candidates. However it was also mentioned that this is improving very quickly from the position 3+ years ago.
Can people still transition to revenue management?
Previously we outlined how, as a silo, revenue management was very difficult to access if you had been in any other department. You couldn’t “just give it a go,” experience was expected, and high standards demanded. Recently, however, we’ve seen increasing commerciality of the reservations department which escalates it to the radar of revenue management who “talk the same language.” We’re still a few years away from a seamless pathway, but the door is ajar.
Is Artificial Intelligence the future of revenue management?
As we’ve witnessed, revenue management teams are becoming more commercially savvy and their voices on the commercial strategy of the hotels are becoming louder and more defined. Their value is enhancing every day.
Revenue managers and their teams are processing the mountains of data to ensure maximum occupancy and optimum prices are received to help the venue drive future growth, demand and status. Artificial Intelligence is being viewed as a driver of hotels in the future, ramping up profitability, managing sustainability and enhancing value. Yet, it is not in a position to replace humans. There is still plenty of development required to get to where technology and humans can work in harness, let alone technology ruling the department completely.
The future for revenue management might involve Artificial intelligence, but that time is still a long way away.
The conversation continued long into the evening
We’re pleased to say that after the formalities of the meeting at The Langham ended, the conversation moved to a different location in London where the conviviality continued and debate, talking points and conversation was non-stop. There was a real drive to continue to discuss a way forward.
When back at our desks the next day, one national hotel chain approached us about developing the narrative, so they are in pole position to attract revenue management graduates – they recognise they are the future.
MRK Associates feel that the second roundtable built on the ground-breaking nature of the inaugural meeting in February. There’s a willingness and a desire from revenue management professionals to make these meetings a success. This formula is working.
About MRK Associates
MRK Associates is the only recruitment business in the UK with a dedicated Revenue/Yield Management/Pricing division sitting alongside two other main business units – Finance/Accountancy and Office Support. Consisting of specialist consultants, the Revenue/Management market has witnessed substantial recent growth across numerous industry sectors, but none more so than in Hotels. The types of vacancies in which we specialise are:
- Revenue Analyst, (Cluster) Revenue Manager, Director/Head of Revenue
- Pricing Analyst, Manager and Director
- Yield Analyst, Manager and Director
- Data Analyst and Business Intelligence
In a skill-deficient market place where experienced individuals are at a premium, MRK has proved successful in sourcing the right talent and opening the market up for these specialist individuals.
We also partner with the recently launched and only Revenue Management/Pricing sector specific job board in the world: www.revenuemanagementjobs.com