Skills-Based Hiring: A Primer

Our friends at General Assembly recently published a policy briefing worthy of a read by every business. Here are a few of the most salient points.

Explosive job growth in high-tech fields is creating unprecedented opportunity for social and economic mobility. But it also creates unprecedented risk of exacerbating income gaps and inequality if new categories of jobs exclude a generation of talent because they didn’t attend the right schools or have the right initial job experiences. Skills-based hiring isn’t about abandoning the college degree, but it is about using data to identify job candidates that can succeed, without regard to signals like college ranking or social networks. Innovate+Educate defines skills-based hiring as “the act of incorporating a tangible and objective measure of skills and skill level into the hiring process.” It’s not a new idea, but it’s a powerful one.

Building “a global community of individuals empowered to pursue the work they love” starts with developing the skills and competencies to launch a career. It’s about cultivating the talent that exists in unexpected places, and creating a more diverse workforce that draws upon our nation’s collective skills and perspectives. But it also means addressing the “last mile” challenge of bridging education and employment that leads to diversity gaps in high-growth fields and hybrid jobs.

Large employers know that a more diverse workforce is a more talented workforce, but often struggle to identify candidates from diverse social and educational backgrounds. The use of predictive analytics in the hiring process is in its infancy. As a result, employers often fall back on sorting mechanisms like college rank or degree that make the hiring process manageable—but risk excluding hidden talent.

“Employers are the most important piece of the skills-based hiring puzzle,” said Jamai Blivin, founder and CEO of Innovate+Educate. “Employer demand has the power to impact every other component of the ecosystem, from which competencies job-seekers must demonstrate, to the process by which they can do so.”

Skills-based hiring is particularly relevant to technology jobs, where skills (quality of code, for example) are easier to assess. It is no surprise that investors have been drawn to skills-based hiring startups focused on technology skills. In fact, VC funding for recruiting technology startups was $219 million in 2014, double the investments seen in 2009.

“Employers are eager to use practical assessments because they are strong predictors of success on the job,” said Kieran Luke, General Manager of Credentials at General Assembly.

Assessments for workplace competencies allow employers to more quickly identify individuals with important skills, saving time and money. According to a report by Innovate+Educate, skills-based hiring practices can lead to reductions in turnover (25-75% improvement), reductions in time-to-hire (50-70% improvement), reductions in cost-to-hire (70% improvement), and reductions in time needed to train employees (50% improvement).

Read the Article

Learn More

On the Road to Progress


Over the last few weeks, our team has been on the road meeting with various clients, partners and industry groups. The common theme: how we can work together to solve the nation’s skills gap through a better, more qualified workforce.

Maryland Hospitality and Lodging Association

We are proud to support the hotel and lodging industry in the region. Co-founders Mike Knapp and Jason Green recently met with American Hospitality and Lodging Association President Katherine Lugar for their Legislative Wrap-Up. The Association provides advocacy, information and recognition to advance the interests of the lodging industry in Maryland. The industry had another banner year in the Greater DC region, and feel fortunate that our platform is being used to source candidates into jobs and careers in the area. More >>

Arizona State University GSV Summit

As our award for winning the Employment Technology Explosion pitch competition at 2015 Innovate-Education Conference, SkillSmart was invited to present at the ASU-GSV conference last month in San Diego. Jason presented at the three-day, fast-passed amalgam of start-ups, emerging companies, large philanthropy and venture capital. In addition to incredible contacts, SkillSmart was honored to be showcased as one of the companies to watch out for in the workforce/talent development technology space. More >>

Columbia University

John Dillow was invited to participate in a panel discussion at Columbia University on Solutions to Post-Incarceration Employment and Entrepreneurship: The Role of Businesses and Universities. He shared how the SkillSmart platform can be a tool for the re-entry community. SkillSmart’s platform can be used to identify skills acquired by those seeking employment as well as identify appropriate and beneficial training that leads to employment in the community. More >>

Bay Path University Women’s Leadership Conference

Mike attended the 21st Annual Bay Path University Women’s Leadership Conference in Springfield, MA. More than 2,200 hundred attendees participated in the conversation relating to “what does it mean to thrive?” Keynote speakers included headliners like Marlee Matlin and Arianna Huffington, and perhaps lesser known (but not for long), Veronika Scott from The Empowerment Plan in Detroit. It was a great opportunity to talk with the attendees and community about SkillSmart and how we can help job seekers and employers thrive by focusing on skills needed to be successful. More >>

Learn More

Meet the company behind MGM Springfield’s online job portal

MGM Springfield

by Dan Glaun,

In 2013, Mike Knapp, a former council president in Montgomery County, Maryland, and Jason Green, a White House counsel, launched SkillSmart, a business they hoped would change how companies and communities connect workers with job openings.

Now, SkillSmart is on the front lines of one of MGM Springfield’s most anticipated promises: To hire 3,000 workers once the downtown Springfield casino opens in September 2018.

“It’s unique to Springfield. What we’ve been doing for the last two months is reaching out to community based organizations,” Knapp said in an interview. “We’re trying to tie those in so it’s not just a tool that individuals can use.”

MGM Springfield recently launched its online job platform, using SkillSmart as its platform. While applications will not be open until 2018, jobseekers can create profiles and see how they match up with about 80 positions, from the casino floor to administrative offices.

“What we do is we really break down that job description to 15, 16, 18 skills, that a job seeker can look at and say ‘Oh, I’ve done those things,’ ” Knapp said “The employer can much more readily assess what they can contribute to their organization.”

The MGM Springfield platform connects jobseekers with courses at local colleges like Holyoke Community College, Springfield Technical Community College and Greenfield Community College that are tailored to provide missing skills, Knapp said.

Read the Article   Download the Tear Sheet

Learn More

MGM Springfield launches online job portal

MGM Springfield's online job portal

by Dan Glaun,

MGM Springfield has launched an online job portal, allowing jobseekers to check how their skills match up with the thousands of positions that will be filled as the casino nears its Fall 2018 opening date.

The portal, viewable here, features listings ranging from card dealers to chefs to financial analysts. About 80 of the more than 100 anticipated job classifications are currently online, said MGM Springfield Director of Training and Workforce Development Marikate Murren.

And while applications are not yet open, jobseekers can create profiles that will match their skills and experience to available positions, and link them to courses at local colleges that can make them stronger candidates. The goal, Murren said, is to allow workers to increase their job readiness for when MGM begins hiring an anticipated 3,000 employees in early 2018.

“This will tell people what the positions will be when we ramp up,” Murren said. “We’re letting people know, hey, this is what you’re going to need from a prerequisite perspective.”

The system, which is currently being used to actively fill positions at MGM’s National Harbor casino in Maryland, assigns a score for open jobs based on workers’ education, skills and life experience, Murren said. The company has partnered with local institutions like Holyoke Community College and Springfield Technical Community College to connect potential applicants with job training programs.

“Our hope is to raise the job readiness in general in Springfield,” Murren said.

Read More

Learn More

Transitioning from School to the Workplace


Unemployment among young college graduates

Navigating The Transition From School To The Workplace


Freshly minted graduates will soon take their degrees and set out into the workplace. But the path from college to career is not as obvious as it once was. Over the last few decades, unemployment among young college graduates has gone up while wages have gone down. Today, nearly half are underemployed. Add the burden of student debt and life post-graduation can seem pretty scary. A longtime chronicler of higher education says it doesn’t need to be that way. In a new book, he lays out a blue print for navigating the transition. A panel of experts joins him – and us – to discuss life after college.

The Diane Rehm Show invites four guests to discuss the transition and how recent graduates can navigate successfully in the workplace.

Guests Include:
Jeffrey Selingo regular contributor on higher education, the Washington Post; author, “There is Life After College: What Parents And Students Should Know About Navigating School To Prepare For The Jobs Of Tomorrow”
Anthony Carnevale director and research professor, Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University
Kristen Hamilton CEO and co-founder, Koru
Andy Chan vice president for innovation and career development, Wake Forest University

MS. KRISTEN HAMILTON: But, for example, I think what sits in the chasm between college and career really boils down to three things. It’s that they are missing relevant skills that are specific to jobs. But it’s, as Jeff said, it’s not just about those hard skills. It’s also about a set of experiences and a set of networks. And just even knowing that they need to network, right? Which is just this sort of idea that there’s this whole set of other impact skills and soft skills which really tend to be the most important things that they are lacking that helps them to make that transition. And so what we’re really done at Koru is we’ve taken the employer view. We really tried to understand what is it that employers need for our early-career hires? And we try to communicate that to college graduates. We try to help employers select people based on those right things. And then we also try to help those college graduates to really gain those things to land in jobs that they will love.

Listen to the discussion

Learn More

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SkillSmart and Saylor Academy Announce Skills-Based Training Partnership


Joint effort to reduce the skills gap by equipping job seekers with 
skills matched to in-demand jobs

Germantown, MD – April 20, 2016 – SkillSmart and Saylor Academy announced today that they are partnering to accelerate skills-based learning and employment opportunities. Together, SkillSmart’s skills matching algorithm and Saylor Academy’s cost-effective training platform will streamline the pathway from education to employment for job seekers.

Ninety percent of employers believe that graduates lack the skills they need, while nearly 50 percent of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed and saddled with significant debt, according to recent reports from the Hay Group and the New York Federal Reserve. Recognizing that matching skills to employment opportunities yields the most successful workforce outcomes, SkillSmart will direct job seekers to Saylor Academy for courses and training opportunities that build the skillsets needed for specific job opportunities. The students of Saylor Academy will use the SkillSmart platform to identify and apply to employment opportunities relevant to the skills and credentials they’ve earned.

“We’re happy to introduce this new partnership with Saylor Academy; it enables job seekers using SkillSmart to more easily find valuable courses at virtually no cost,” said Mike Knapp, CEO of SkillSmart. “Together we will continue to address the workforce skills gap and create a more talented workforce.”

SkillSmart is committed to empowering individuals and employers to maximize their potential by identifying and matching the skills necessary for success. Saylor Academy is dedicated to maintaining open access to learning opportunities while reducing the cost of training and education that provide requisite credentials for the workforce.

The SkillSmart/Saylor Academy partnership has begun benefiting both employers and job seekers in the greater National Harbor, MD region. Currently, several job openings at MGM Resorts National Harbor, hosted on the SkillSmart platform, require skills that can be obtained via Saylor Academy’s courses in business, finance, accounting and human resources.

“Through this partnership, job seekers will be able to develop the skills that are in demand through Saylor Academy, and our students will be able to match to viable employment opportunities,” said Jeff Davidson, Director of Strategic Relationships for Saylor Academy. “Open Education Resources like our courses can be deployed to address skills gaps in many sectors, we just need employers and funders to come together to make it happen,” he added.

Users can log on or create a SkillSmart profile at to review open opportunities and available training.


For more information,, (240) 498-4492.

About SkillSmart
SkillSmart addresses the skills gap by transforming the talent development pipeline. By using skills to connect employers, job seekers, and educators, SkillSmart creates the transparency to match qualified applicants to employment opportunities and create a qualified talent pipeline. SkillSmart helps job seekers become better qualified through the understanding of the skills they have and the skills they need for certain positions. For employers, SkillSmart helps them identify new talent, and nurture and grow existing talent. For educators, SkillSmart helps them develop curriculum that meets the in-demand skills needs of regional industries. For more information about SkillSmart, visit the company’s website at
About Saylor Academy
The Saylor Academy is a nonprofit academy that provides tuition-free courses fully online. Individuals can start whenever they want, work at their own pace and earn free certificates for all courses and tuition-free college credit for select courses. Saylor Academy’s mission is to provide educational resources, learning technologies, and open access to credentials and other learning opportunities. For more information about Saylor Academy, visit the website at


Learn More

Middle Skills for the Middle Class

middle class workers

For generations, the middle class has played a central role in the American economy – promoting the development of human capital through skilled workers and creating stability within political and economic institutions. However, despite its significance, the middle class has been shrinking steadily since 1971; it is at its lowest point in history. While the middle class shrank, the opposite held true of the lower and upper classes. Now, for the first time, the upper and lower economic tiers combined are now equal in size to the middle class.


A growing upper class without a continued strong middle class will lead to inequality on many levels outside of income alone, including family structure and education. The middle class is the foundation for the majority of jobs that comprise the domestic workforce.

There are tens of millions of middle-skill jobs in the United States today making up the largest segment of our labor market. Despite the presence of 5.4 million open positions nationwide, we are experiencing the highest unemployment or underemployment rate among our young people in history, including those with a college degree.

Read more about how the decline of the middle class can be reversed.

Download the White Paper

Learn More

A New Year of Empowering Employers and Job Seekers

Positive attitude to empower employers and job seekers

As we kick off a new year, we want to wish everyone a fulfilling and prosperous 2016. We’re excited by both the challenges and opportunities we’ll face this year, and we’re encouraged by your continued interest and support of our mission to empower employers and job seekers to maximize their potential.

The Community Impact

At the start of 2016, we have over 5,000 people using SkillSmart, actively building their profiles, understanding how their skills match a myriad of hospitality jobs, and enhancing their skills to become more competitive for the opportunities they like. We have more than 70 courses listed from institutions like Prince Georges Community College, Montgomery College, the College of Southern Maryland and more.

2016 will be a big year for the National Capital Region as MGM Resorts International opens its new $1.2 billion facility in National Harbor. MGM Resorts National Harbor will hire more than 3,500 employees to create an experience to remember for their guests. This hiring process will kick off on January 21st with a career showcase at Martin’s Crosswinds in Greenbelt, MD.

We are pleased to support MGM Resorts National Harbor in this process by helping them identify job seekers with the right skills to make the new resort and casino as successful as possible.

If you or someone you know is interested in a career with MGM Resorts National Harbor, start your profile today!

Beyond the Capital

This year also means expansion beyond the Washington, DC region. SkillSmart will work in the Springfield, MA community to fill a number of job openings across employers. We’ll also build a workforce pipeline for future economic growth in the region.

Soon, we will announce a new partnership that brings SkillSmart to employers in other communities across the US. Our partnerships will improve hiring processes and build a stronger workforce that enhances our economic potential and performance.

Enhancing the Fit

We’ve been working hard to have our platform integrate dynamic features to enhance the fit between employers and job seekers. Early this year, we’ll launch new features and product offerings expand our offerings to employers and making it easier for our users to connect. Stay tuned for additional releases and updates!

We’re excited about the opportunities before us and are looking to accelerate our ability to meet the needs of our customers. We’ve started our first round of fundraising to develop new features and functionality more quickly to help our current and future customers find the right talent sooner.

More and more employers, job seekers and educators are recognizing the importance of skills to be successful. We have the platform that connects all the assets needed to make this happen.

We look forward to working with you in 2016, here’s to a great year ahead!

Learn More

Honoring our Veterans and Service Members

Veterans Day

Veterans Day was established in 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson to lift up those individuals who have donned the uniform and made countless sacrifices to protect and serve our country – and to ensure they receive the recognition, love and respect they so rightly deserve.

On this day, and every day, we can think of no better way to honor our service members than to provide them with a straightforward transition to civilian life with effective, comprehensive tools to make this process smooth and dignified.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

Over the last 15 years, service members have transitioned to civilian status at an exponential rate. More than 2.4 million Veterans have re-entered civilian life since 2000, and an additional 1 million are expected in the next 5 years. Astonishingly, over 500,000 Veterans are unemployed and 31% of employed Veterans report being underemployed or in low-wage jobs.

Unfortunately, there are countless anecdotes of Veterans who managed the equivalent of small cities during their service, yet when they transitioned to civilian life were only able to find employment in a low-wage, low-skilled job. This highlights a real and growing problem: the underutilization of our service members’ skillsets and the direct – and significant – economic loss it causes for the Veteran community and broader society.

While this reality isn’t due to any malicious intent, it has detrimental consequences nonetheless. Military duties don’t always translate directly, or clearly, into civilian life. The military has purposefully codified each branch, duty, and rank of service to ensure order, hierarchy and efficiency are maintained consistently throughout all divisions of our armed forces. Consequentially, our service members are well-versed in “military speak” but struggle to articulate the skills acquired during their service in a way that conveys to civilian terms.

Similarly, the vast majority of HR specialists are unfamiliar with military functions, practice and language. They struggle to identify how prior military service meets their business needs. It’s easy to understand why an HR specialist without military training may have difficulty knowing what duties an infantryman, for example, would have performed or how those experiences might help their business.

In response to this language challenge there have been significant efforts over the last few years to adopt something called a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) Translator, a tool designed to translate military skills and experience into civilian terms and covert military positions to civilian occupations. Service members enter their military branches and occupational codes into the Translator, which returns civilian job opportunities that match their military codes.

In theory, this is precisely what we want and what’s needed. Unfortunately, it’s quite rare for an MOS Translator to accurately capture a service member’s skill set, because they are generally built upon an aggregated data model like O*NET, which matches a military position to a particular occupational code. This way of matching a military position to a civilian job can fundamentally ignore the individual skills developed by an individual service member while serving our country – it looks to words and codes instead of people and skills.

Just as no two civilian jobs are performed exactly the same, no two military jobs are exactly the same despite their uniform codification. In the same way that a teacher in a rural school district might develop different skills than one in an urban setting, even though they’re both teachers, service members with the same position title but different assignments will develop different skills.

To prove this point, the SkillSmart team used a translator to search for a job in Ft. Meade, Maryland where a US Army Intelligence Analyst, better known as a 35M, might find a job. The search returned several entry-level security positions and a few code-based cyber positions, but unfortunately no positions were returned that were directly linked to this MOS. However, a quick search of the National Security Agency’s online career site returned open positions for Intelligence Analyst Development Program (IADP) – Entry Level at Ft Meade – which would be much more aligned with the skills developed by the analyst while in the Army.

This translator process often either underassumes the breadth of a service member’s skills or sometimes overassumes their skill development. Either instance can be a disservice to the service member leaving them frustrated and saying “that’s not what I did.”

This begs the question: What do our service members do and which skills do they develop? We think there are no better people to answer that question than the service members themselves.

Instead of trying to match a military code to a job title, it is more important to better understand what skills our individual service members have developed and identify where those skills may qualify them for existing civilian opportunities. To accomplish this, the SkillSmart platform starts with the skills that an employer is looking to hire. We work diligently with employers to break down their positions into the individual skills that comprise each position.

Once the process of working with employers to create a clearly defined list of “desired skills” is complete, these skills are presented to Veterans and prompt them to identify where they may have acquired and demonstrated a skill during their service. This process empowers service members to identify a specific skill and display how they’ve used it. For example, they may recall being responsible for inventory during a 12 month assignment during their time as an E-5 when seeing “inventory management” as a desired skill in a position of interest.

This process allows the HR specialist to identify the positions and skills needed, and allows the service member to provide valuable qualification information about their service.

In addition, this skills-based approach helps identify any skill gaps that service members might have for the opportunity they are seeking. Resources exist for transitioning service members to develop and advance their skills and training, whether during the 180 days allotted under the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), the GI bill or otherwise. At SkillSmart, we arm them with information about the skills employers want and the skills they need to acquire or improve, so they can be most efficient with these resources and reach their potential.

It is both a moral and economic imperative to ensure that the individuals who have served our nation are well served with the right tools to accelerate their transition to civilian life.

We need Veterans to be contributing members of the economic workforce. While national unemployment rates have declined, more than half (53%) of our Veterans enter a period of unemployment upon transitioning to civilian life with an average of almost 6 months without employment. Our economic outlook is brightest when this population is able to meaningful contribute.

Further, the American military is one of the most elite training institutions in the world spending billions of dollars on training its active service members annually. In the same way we think of our post-secondary education system as providing training to benefit the individual and society over a longer period of time, so too must we view the training provided to our elite military. Accordingly, it’s double the economic loss when a well-trained service member is unable to fully put their skills to work.

Lastly, there is a serious and immediate workforce demand that our service members could fill. There are currently six million open IT positions and a growing focus on cybersecurity, which is, arguably, the greatest economic threat to our country.

Veterans are uniquely situated to transfer their skills into these and other open civilian positions or engage in additional skills development to pursue these positions. They are an untapped resource that once tapped will have great benefit to them individually, our economy and our national security.

To all the Veterans, we thank you for your tremendous service. It is now our duty to honor your efforts with more than words, we must give you the tools to be as successful as civilians as you were as soldiers.


Symantec Cyber Career Connection (SC3) and its Commitment to Veteran Hiring

Cybersecurity giant Symantec has added Per Scholas to its Cyber Career Connection (SC3) effort. The Symantec Cyber Career Connection (SC3) is a collaborative effort to address the global workforce gap in cybersecurity that was launched in 2014 at the Clinton Global Initiative America summer meeting. The program provides underserved young adults and military veterans with targeted education, training and certifications that position them to fill in-demand cybersecurity jobs and enter long-term careers.

Through the SC3 cybersecurity program, Per Scholas will provide military veterans its tuition-free training in IT support and cybersecurity. The offering is four months and leads participants to complete the CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications along with entry-level employment assistance into cybersecurity with Per Scholas corporate partners. Launching in 2016, this course offering will be available in the National Capital Region.

The National Capital Region (NCR) had more than 23,000 job postings for cybersecurity in 2013, and 2015 projections show this number grew to 33,000, the most nationally. Per Scholas will expedite the transition of our military veterans into this in-demand industry and help address these job needs.

Learn More

Partner Spotlight featuring Metropolitan Hospitality Group

SkillSmart and Metropolitan Hospitality Group partnership

As we launch SkillSmart with our first hospitality client, MGM National Harbor, we wanted to explore the industry further, specifically how its workforce gets its start and the potential for job growth and career advancement.

As part of our Spotlight Series, we talked with Matthew Carlin, President of the Metropolitan Hospitality Group (MHG) to get his take on the opportunities within the broad industry of hospitality. MHG is the parent company to many popular dining establishments in the Washington, DC area including Circa, Open Road, Trio Grill and Merrifield Beer & Wine.


SkillSmart (SS): How did you get your start in the hospitality industry?

Matthew Carlin (MC): One of my first jobs in high school was at a small, local pizzeria and I loved it. I worked there for years during my summer breaks in college and eventually started managing the restaurant.

(SS): What opportunities do you see for young people in the hospitality industry today?

(MC): The hospitality space has really evolved in the last five years. Today, we see a much more educated consumer who is focused on local, sustainable and quality products. The popularity of the cooking and restaurant shows has created a greater awareness about the talent and creativity required to be great in this industry. The opportunities are endless. You can transition your work with much more flexibility today – someone can go from becoming a brew master to running an entire distillery or from becoming a chef or bartender to managing and leading a restaurant.

(SS): What are the biggest misconceptions about the hospitality industry?

(MC): Years ago the industry wasn’t deemed as desirable as it is today and wasn’t viewed as a field that could become a career growth potential. Today, it’s the opposite. The industry is especially desirable in this area (Metro DC) with the explosion of every phase of hospitality from restaurants to brewing to distilleries to vineyards to hotels. With hospitality, there’s really no one, singular career path – it is open ended, with someone entering the industry having more control over their own career path than ever before just by working hard, being reliable and expanding their skill sets.

(SS): What are the biggest challenges to ensuring students are career-ready for the hospitality industry?

(MC): Many of the younger managers we hire are challenged with the skills it takes to lead a team and understanding the financial metrics required to help run a small business. When they enter formal studies for hospitality, they may not get the training for the soft skills needed to manage and lead, or the hard skills such as accounting basics. With management, especially, we rely on a slew of skills to ensure our consumers are getting the best service possible. That includes hospitality, of course, but it also includes knowing how to motivate your team, the financial understanding to make decisions on behalf of the restaurant, bar, etc.

(SS): Do you have any advice for hospitality organizations that are looking to grow or strengthen their workforce?

(MC): Hire the smartest people who have the flexibility to grow and adapt their skill sets, and to understand what skills are needed in which areas or positions. If you know that, you can be more targeted in your recruiting or training.

(SS): What are the skills you look for most?

(MC): Intelligent and purpose-driven people. Of all the successful hires we’ve had, we’ve identified that these two traits translate into someone who can learn on the job, increase their knowledge base and skill set, and who are motivated to want to climb the ladder, so to speak. We’re able to help them advance by outlining a clear plan of where we see their skill sets taking them within our group and talking with them about how they think they can get there. Again, it comes back to flexibility of our workers being able to grow and adapt their skill sets.

(SS): What challenges do you experience in hiring workforce?

(MC): Finding great people is a challenge. The market can seem flooded with people looking for jobs, it can be a challenge to identify which of those people actually have the skills we need.

(SS): What challenges do you experience in retaining your workforce?

(MC): Like every industry, growing and challenging the best and brightest workers in order to keep them engaged.

(SS): What role do you see educators/trainers playing in producing the ideal workforce?

(MC): Ultimately, we all become educators, trainers and coaches at work, teaching and mentoring our staff. The ideal workforce would be made up of great leaders with integrated leadership training between all levels of the workforce. As I mentioned, some of our managers struggle with financial metrics. Educators should play a role in all industries – not just hospitality – by incorporating ways to create a more financially astute student base. Those students, no matter high school or college educated, may very well end up working in hospitality. Having tactical applications of financial metrics could help them immensely. That’s just one example.

(SS): One challenge we hear is that there aren’t career promotion opportunities in hospitality, do you agree?

(MC): The hospitality space is growing exponentially as the world moves faster and people get busier. Great and growing companies will always have career promotion opportunities. Hospitality makes up a large percentage of the American workforce, and as it continues to grow, it will need more managers, leaders, etc. My own story is a great example – I went from working at that little pizza restaurant while on breaks from school and transitioned to managing it.

(SS): Hospitality is experiencing growth in the DC area, why do you think that is?

(MC): DC has always been fertile ground for hospitality growth as the nation’s capital. Not only do we have a growing population, especially with more private sectors coming to the region, we have a steady stream of tourism from year to year. To me, the growth of hospitality took a little longer than expected, but DC is mentioned with the likes of New York and San Francisco. That’s pretty incredible.

Learn More