The Embassy Suites hotel is in the heart of downtown Buffalo, near popular destinations including KeyBank Center, the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center and Canalside. That makes this Hilton property an ideal overnight option for visitors to the city’s packed calendar of professional sports games, conferences, hockey tournaments, concerts, festivals and events.
For Bob Karmazyn, the hotel’s general manager, these festivities invite an influx of out-of-towners — and the challenges that come with adequate staffing to provide the ultimate City of Good Neighbors guest experience.
The need for team members can fluctuate quickly when playoff wins bring a last-minute rush for rooms, or when Buffalo’s notorious weather cancels events and the hotel reservations that come with them. During Embassy Suites’ busiest summer and holiday seasons, Karmazyn says he has more than enough work to go around.
“We could hire full-time people for 40-plus hours a week and have plenty of work and availability,” he explains. “But finding folks who are able to be employed in that kind of market can be difficult to find. When we don’t have enough people, it makes it difficult to operate and provide great service to our guests and has a draining effect on current team members.”
With the needs of both guests and current staff in mind, Karmazyn handles recruitment through a variety of hiring platforms, each with its own pros and cons, plus programs with local universities and incentive-based staff referrals. When he began working with Joblio in the fall of 2023, Karmazyn says, the positive benefits were obvious.
“Joblio brings individuals to our business who want to work and be here,” says Karmazyn, who’s been in the hospitality industry for nearly 20 years. “That’s been the biggest advantage.”
“They’re not recommending people who just need the job or are looking for something temporary,” he added. “Their applicants are looking for permanent employment with benefits in a stable environment. It’s hard to find that individual these days.”
Thanks to a positive working environment, generous benefits, and a supportive culture, Embassy Suites doesn’t experience the kind of staff turnover that’s common in hospitality. Instead, solid retention means that team members stay on board for years — making it even more important that new additions are a good fit for the long haul.
So far, Karmazyn has hired four full-time employees from Joblio, all of whom have become integral parts of his team.
“They’ve been a great fit,” he says. “They love their job, they show up, and they’re willing to learn new things. They’re consistent in the high standards they uphold.”
As new employees are needed, Karmazyn says he’ll be turning to Joblio first.
“The speed in which Joblio was able to recommend individuals and allow us to interview when we had openings, and the amount of applications we received were both surprising,” Karmazyn says. “I’m pretty well staffed now because of it, and I know I have a trusted partner when I do need new associates on board later on.”