Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

3 Skills to Look for in Hospitality Employees

3 Skills to Look for in Hospitality EmployeesIf you’ve ever held a job in the hospitality industry, then you know it’s not an easy job.  You must juggle many different things at once, all while wearing a smile on your face and staying pleasant. 

It takes a special kind of talent to work and be successful in the hospitality industry, which means managers must be extra cautious in their hiring process.  There are three key items that should be looked at when interviewing talent in hospitality.

1. Communication

When working in hospitality, your employees must have clear communication skills.  Oftentimes, employees will need to speak with customers or guests, providing instructions, directions, or simply telling them how much they owe on a bill.  If your employee is unable to clearly communicate and be understood, your customers will quickly become frustrated.  The last thing you want is a frustrated customer or a customer who wrote down incorrect directions due to miscommunication.

2. Attitude

Employees in hospitality must have a cheerful disposition, even on bad days and in difficult situations.  When disaster strikes, your employee needs to be calm and positive.  Many times your employee will be faced with negative or awkward situations and they must smile and stay calm.  There is no room for short tempers or rude attitudes in the hospitality industry.

3. Juggler

Hospitality employees must not only communicate clearly with a smile on their face, but they must be able to do these things while also juggling many other tasks.  Answering phones, dealing with customers face to face, and responding to customers online are just several of the many tasks hospitality employees may find themselves juggling at any given time.  Multi-tasking is key in this industry, as well as speed and accuracy.  Being able to juggle many things at once, quickly and accurately is an important skill that must not be overlooked.

How do you interview for these skills? 

You will want to schedule multiple interviews so that you can observe actions and personality outside of that first interview.  Planning to have follow up interviews in a different location is one way to see the candidate in a more relaxed atmosphere, which tends to bring out their true personality.  This could be as simple as a coffee shop or a lunch meeting.  Observe how the candidate acts towards the waiter.  Pay attention to attitude and communication.

You can also check for these skills through references.  Make sure you speak with 2 to 3 previous managers or supervisors that the candidate reported to in the past.  Ask questions surrounding the candidate’s ability to handle difficult situations, manage multiple tasks at once, and their communication skills.

By ensuring your interview process is thorough and focused around these 3 key skills, you will have a better chance at hiring a successful hospitality employee.

What are some traits you look for in hospitality employees?  Please share your tips below.

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Julia Weeks

Julia is a skilled Recruiter with over 8 years of experience in sourcing, interviewing, and hiring within many industries globally. She works closely with hiring managers and job seekers to understand needs and desires, while offering guidance and ensuring the right fit. When not recruiting or writing, Julia enjoys spending time outside cycling, taking her dog for walks, or honing her sailing skills.