For Marriott and Hilton, the future may not be in the United States

1 week ago by James Mattone in Trends

Two of the world's largest hotel chains — Hilton Hotels & Resorts ($NYSE:HLT) and Marriott International ($NASDAQ:MAR) — are in the throes of their annual new-year hiring sprees. But, according to the location text data within these postings, these jobs are mostly international, and in the case of Marriott, international hiring is growing faster than domestic.

Marriott, with over 6,900 properties across its flagship, Westin, Starwood, and dozens of other brands, had 19,328 individual job openings listed on its website on March 7. There were 16,837 job postings for the company on January 1, marking an overall increase of 14.79% year-to-date.

In 2018, this increase from January 1 to March 7 was at 21.25%. Over the last 23 months, Marriott has seen its job listings page double the number of listings per day.

But where are these jobs? While some are in the United States, most are overseas. On March 7, there were 5,245 jobs listed with the position's location stated as being in America (which was filtered by sorting data that had the "USA" keyword in the listing's location text). This pattern is also a lot more cyclical than the hiring pattern for intenational jobs.

The cyclical nature of listings dipping in January and rising in the spring is tied to American job postings. But actual growth appears to be international when it comes to job creation.

This international focus on hiring is curious as both companies have most of their hotel properties in the United States.

Meanwhile, Hilton, a company that has 5,284 properties as of December 2017, had 4,756 individual job postings on March 6. On January 1, it had 4,220 postings, which makes for an increase of 12.70%. Last year, this increase was at 16.22%, and it was at 11.61% the year prior.

The domestic-international split for Hilton was at 1,724 to 3,032 on March 6. Unlike Hilton, there isn't a clear difference between the USA and International job cycles.

These two hiring patterns comes as the recent countrywide job report revealed that the leisure and hospitality industry stagnating in terms of job growth in February. As multinational hospitality companies, it's reasonable to understand that Hilton and Marriott want to build and staff hotels in places people want to get away to. But, as seen in both graphs, it seems that those places aren't so much in the U.S.

This international focus on hiring is curious as both companies have most of their hotel properties in the United States. In Marriott's latest K-10 filing, it listed 5,106 properties in North America (including Canada, which had over 250 of these locations). The other 1,800 were abroad. For Hilton, its K-10 for fiscal year 2017 shows that it has 4,295 properties in the United States and 989 elsewhere.

Is it because staffing has no vacancy in the United States? Possibly. Is it because both companies want to focus outside the country to attract people to unique destinations? Another possibility. But as data shows, Hilton and Marriott are putting most of its job openings in places outside the country during a time where the fears about another economic slowdown are growing.

James Mattone

James is the Associate Editor at Thinknum Media, and he has an interest in video games, music, and tech news. You can find him on Twitter @TheJamesMattone.

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