Marriott CEO Anthony Capuano on Attracting Talent to the Hotel Industry

Originally published on LinkedIn. Marriott International is a Fair360, formerly DiversityInc Hall of Fame company. 


The hotel industry has seen its ups and downs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and with more people leaving their jobs to pursue other opportunities or leaving the workforce altogether, companies have had to find new ways to attract talent.

In a video interview with LinkedIn Editor In Chief Daniel Roth, Marriott International President and CEO Anthony Capuano said his company is encouraged by the drops seen in unemployment recently. And in terms of how Marriott has been affected by the Great Reshuffle or Great Resignation, Capuano said it depends on the country and the market a hotel is located in, but it is also affecting the company in “two very distinct ways.”

He first touched on Marriott’s above property-level associates or those in regional offices or its corporate headquarters. For those employees, the company has had to embrace that “office work is evolving and changing.”

“I don’t know that we’ll ever get back to Monday through Friday in the office every day,” he said.

While that may be true, he said the company still believes in-person interactions among its employees “strengthen and nurture” Marriott’s culture while allowing for mentoring and creativity and collaboration.

For associates at the property level, you can’t really work remotely when you work in the hotel industry, Capuano said. The company recognizes that the view of the travel and tourism industry as a place to grow a career “has been shaken a little bit by the events of the last two years,” he said. It is Marriott’s job and the job of other companies in the hospitality industry to “do everything we can to refresh our narrative and remind folks” that the hotel industry is amazing, fun and a good place to build a career.

Capuano said the loss of jobs seen over the course of the pandemic has led to the employment of nearly 50,000 new associates at Marriott. Many of these new hires don’t have experience working in hotels or the service industry, which is why Marriott’s in-person and online training programs are so important.

Capuano added that Marriott has a “terrific toolbox of developmental tools” to help people who have an interest in joining the hospitality industry get over the learning curve.