Redefining the Hospitality Workplace: Jacaruso Leads the Hotel Industry’s Next Generation of Employers
In many ways, Jacaruso Enterprises is redefining the hospitality workplace. As a hotel sales outsourcing business, Jacaruso offers comprehensive sales solutions for hotels in order to increase the productivity and profitability of hotels and their sales staff. But, along the way, the company has developed a unique business model and workplace culture in its own right that is, not surprisingly, attracting some of the industry’s top talent.
From offering high salaries to remote, work-from-home options, Jacaruso is one of the few employers in the hospitality space that provides its team members with the kind of flexibility they want (and enjoy in other industries) while also allowing them to build successful career paths in a highly supportive company culture.
Not surprisingly, Jacaruso has become one of the most sought after and fastest growing hospitality employers in the industry since its founding by CEO Toni Jacaruso in 2007. By 2017, the company generated $8 million in revenue, an achievement that earned Jacaruso a profile in Forbes and, in both 2017 and 2018, a spot on Inc. 5000’s Fastest Growing Companies in America list.
“We’ve doubled in size every year for the last three years,” Jacaruso said. “The growth is unprecedented as our leads, sales, marketing and even human resources are all in acceleration mode.”
(Pictured Left: Toni Jacaruso, CEO & Founder)
As the founder and CEO, Jacaruso takes a hands-on approach to leadership and has her finger eternally on the pulse of the hospitality industry, for both her clients and her team members. She understands that group reservations and negotiated rates are key components of successful hotels across the U.S., Canada and Latin America, and she arms her employees with the resources and education they need to drive high-volume results for their hotel clients.
She also realizes that the era of sales staff dressing up and working on-site at the hotel property every day is long past for many companies. To respond to this evolving business landscape, she has built an innovative employer model and brand that stands out in the hospitality industry and, as a result, is attracting some of the best hotel talent around the country.
Why do hospitality professionals love working at Jacaruso?
“We have 1% voluntary turnover because when we hire someone, we hire the whole person,” Jacaruso explained. “We hire their family, their lifestyle and what they want from their career path. But our turnover is also low because our selection rate is low.”
JE doesn’t suffer the hospitality industry’s traditional attrition rates because, as the company has entered its own 2.0 growth phase, it has adopted an innovative next-generation approach to employment that is not often found in the industry. Here are some of the top reasons employees love working for Jacaruso:
- JE staff work remotely, typically from home
- All JE team members come together twice each year for multi-day company meetings
- The starting salary for a regional sales director is $65,000
- Medical, dental and vision benefits are fully covered by the company
- A 401k plan is offered
- An incentive program is also available
- Jacaruso offers extensive on-the-job training, support, mentorship, and education
"Your last first day ever"
It’s little surprise that the Jacaruso motto is “Welcome to Your Last First Day Ever.” The organization invests the time to seek out candidates with a minimum of three years of on-property experience in hotel sales with a global brand. Candidates to Jacaruso jobs also need to share the JE "mindset."
“We’re looking for a cultural fit, and that cannot be overstated,” Jacaruso said. “We look for the world’s best hotel sales professionals, but their personalities are just as important as their ability to secure reservations.”
Jacaruso looks for candidates who have the right sales profile, but who are also team players, creative thinkers, and problem-solvers and who can demonstrate customer service excellence by going above and beyond for their clients. Successful Jacaruso team members are kind, quick to laugh and willing to embrace the company’s training program.
“Our values as a company are to do what you love, and hopefully you love hotel sales,” Jacaruso explained. “We can get you up to speed on a brand, but we’re looking for people who are attracted to and who want our message – and that’s definitely been resonating with the talent we hire because people don’t leave.”
Jacaruso University offers training and education for employees
JE University officially launched in January of this year, and this immersion program takes new hires through 100 hours of the company’s practices and policies pertaining to job responsibilities and team dynamics, as well as client, owner and partner relations (in addition to the suite of communication tools that are in place to keep this home-based workforce in regular contact with each other and with clients).
Leadership training is also available for JE team members who want to further advance their careers within the organization, and staff members are regularly encouraged to apply for open positions or proactively vocalize their professional interests. Once in this training program, they will take part in mentoring and ongoing education sessions. “We don’t want to rely on what people were taught prior to joining JE,” Jacaruso explained. “We want to teach people how to be dynamic leaders in whatever role they’re in.”
JE works closely with its own team members to determine their professional goals as individuals. For example, one regional sales director recently completed a degree in human resources and wanted to begin a career along that path. So JE moved her into an HR position. “That’s a good example of how we utilized a staff member’s individual career goals and passion for a job that also fit our needs,” Jacaruso said.
The training programs come at a time when JE’s staffing levels are rapidly growing, as is its corporate structure. Jacaruso noted that as the company continues to grow, it’s important that opportunities exist for those team members who want to grow with it. “Career growth in our organization is never limited to a traditional organizational chart,” she added. “There are positions that grow organically.”
“Do what you love, with people you love, and help others – that’s Jacaruso.”
Learn about Jacaruso's open positions here.
(Sponsored by Jacaruso Enterprises)