Revenue Optimization Best Practices on Developing and Retaining Talent

Within the hospitality industry, the need for attracting, developing, and engaging commercial talent has been felt across the board. Among leaders within sales, marketing, and revenue optimization, talent-related issues have been rated highly in polls conducted by HSMAI, and many are still figuring out how to rebuild and reenergize their teams.

During the recent HSMAI Hotel Management Company Chief Revenue Officer Virtual Executive Roundtable, leaders in revenue management identified the following as the top three challenges facing commercial talent today:

  1. Poaching from other industries
  2. Compensation and benefits
  3. Availability of qualified candidates already in the industry

In the new talent and work landscape of their corporate teams, these three themes were identified as top priorities among this group:

  1. Mental health and well-being of employees
  2. Doing more with less
  3. Technology implications

When it comes to current team size and job openings, 39% of the polled revenue leaders said their team size has stayed the same, while 33% said it has decreased less than 25%. Seventy-eight percent said they have no current openings on their team.


The group also shared a plethora of best practices and tactics that they’re using to develop, recruit, and retain talent.

On developing talent:

  • Focus on constant training, including weekly one-on-ones, all-discipline team calls, monthly training, and other revenue-specific learning opportunities.
  • Show a clear career path and where people can go over time.
  • One roundtable member discussed hiring revenue generation specialists as an entry-level position with a specific development program where they work for regional directors. In about 18 months, they’re ready to be a revenue leader.
  • Another said within their company, revenue team members need to have five to six years’ experience, as the team manages eight hotels on average. They’re put through junior training, working side by side with the RM team. It takes 18 months to get through program, and they ramp up two hotels at time until they reach the eight hotels.

On recruiting talent:

  • Retain the talent you have, identify the bench strength within the organization, and make sure they’re getting the exposure they need to grow.
  • Lead with what the company’s strengths are such as a positive work environment, career pathing, flexibility, etc. You can recruit based on what you do for your people once they land with you.
  • Look internally. One group member discussed how they’ve seen several internal general managers interested in coming to revenue positions.

On retaining talent:

  • One group member discussed a work-life benefit that partially reimburses employees for vacation with family.
  • Create flexible work environments that offer hybrid or virtual opportunities.
  • Foster a positive culture and reinforce the team and organization’s vision.
  • Focus on challenging and enriching the team. Allow them to participate in different committees. Recognize them in front of their peers. Make sure they are heard.

Categories: Revenue Management
Insight Type: Articles, Best Practices