A job in the hospitality industry is unlike any other. As opposed to other businesses where products can be produced in a factory and standardized, the real “product” in a hospitality position is being produced in the same moment it is being consumed–a hotel is selling much more than just a room, they are selling all guest interaction with their employees. As such, it is vital that a business hires right from the very beginning.
Aside from prior experience, there are three qualities that all recruiters are looking for, which a candidate must possess to be a successful worker in the hospitality industry. These three—professionalism, hospitality, and leadership—are further explained below.
As a hotel employee, it is your duty to blend with the image that the hotel is trying to sell. In most cases, this requires all employees to take on a professional business demeanor. This does not only mean keeping your uniform washed and ironed, and your hair and makeup classy, but this also applies in more personal and intricate ways. It is important that an employee consistently radiate a professional attitude through both their body language and workplace language, using correct grammar, standing up straight, and only speaking of appropriate subject matters.
The namesake of the industry is arguably the most important quality that an employee should possess. Hospitality entails many qualities and characteristics, but it is simple to determine whether or not someone is being hospitable. Hospitality, in its purest form, is the act of going out of the way to make someone feel at ease. An act of hospitality may be as simple as smiling and greeting a guest when they walk through the door, or taking note that it is their birthday and having a special treat sent up to their room. As a hotel sells both rooms and employees, it is important that their people are just as comforting as their pillows—that is the concept behind hiring on the principle of hospitality.
Making a truly memorable experience often requires an employee to overstep the boundaries of their contract. A good employee will always go the extra mile to meet or exceed the needs of guests, which in some cases might go as far as overstepping company policy. He or she needs to be able to determine when this action is appropriate. For example, if a guest needs to print off a flight ticket and the business-center computer is down, the front desk may decide to break policy and allow the guest into the back office to use that computer. However, it is important to note that leadership does not always have to be a large undertaking—it could be as simple as picking up trash off of the ground. It may not be that employee’s job, but it contributes to the guest experience. Acts of leadership can take many forms, but are always appreciated.
In the end, it is easy to see how these three categories overlap and form vital components of a hotel employee’s personality. It is also easy to understand why recruiters place such value on professionalism, hospitality, and leadership.