Finding the right staff for your hotel can be challenging. As customer-facing employees, they will be the first point of contact your guests have with your hotel. They are crucial to making a good first impression and building up your reputation. Recruitment for these roles is therefore not something to be taken lightly or overlooked.

With one in 10 jobs globally being in the travel and tourism sector, there is no shortage of positions. Yet the industry is struggling to attract top talent, with employers blaming a shortage of skilled employees across the industry.

So what skills should you be looking for in your hospitality employees? While industry specific skills (including hotel operations and food service) may be key depending on the position, you’ll want the right mix of soft skills. Being in the industry for more than 15 years, and with our top team carrying dozens of years of experience, we’ve come across some of the best (and worst) hospitality employees.

Using this insight to help with your recruitment decisions, here are HotelREZ’s 5 tips on which skills you should be looking for as a hospitality employer:

1.) Excellent interpersonal skills

Interacting with different types of people is important in pretty much every job, but it is crucial in hospitality. You’re staff will likely meet a wide variety of guests and will always be required to adapt, think-fast and respond to a range of needs and priorities.

Whether it’s your front of house employees welcoming guests, receptionists checking them into their rooms, or waiting staff taking their restaurant order, a friendly and smiling face goes a long way. This is one of the most important skills required in the hospitality industry, and holds true for all levels of seniority.

Creating a mantra for your team can be a simple way to communicate this message of excellent customer service. We love the Ritz Carlton’s which is simply ‘We are ladies and gentlemen, serving ladies and gentlemen.’

2.) The ability to communicate effectively

Excellent communication skills are vital to ensure that your customers are happy. There is nothing worse than a staff member who is dismissive or rude towards a guest! Treating all guests and staff members with the utmost respect is therefore key to success in your customer facing roles.

This is one of the key skills you can certainly test during an interview or a mock exercise. Remember that good communication is a two-way street, so you’ll want to mirror the expected communication skills during your interactions with the team. This includes ensuring that all members of staff feel comfortable to ask questions, raise concerns or speak up when they’ve got an idea or suggestion.

3.) A multi-lingual team

Many of your customers will likely speak English, however in our industry we serve customers and clients from all over the world. By recruiting a multi-lingual team, you can provide a truly personalised service to guests in their own language, making them feel even more valued.

This can also help resolve any issues with booking enquiries, customer service and concierge services for foreign guests. At HotelREZ we cover over 12 languages in our account management and TelREZ CRO voice centre departments in the UK.

4.) Excellent team players

All hospitality jobs involve teamwork – from restaurant manager, to front of house staff and kitchen team members. This is because teamwork is essential to ensuring your guests receive the highest quality of services.

Being able to be a good team player should therefore be on your top in-demand skills. Collaborating with team members can also make your staff enjoy their work more, and as such provide a more friendly, welcoming approach to guests. By creating a supportive environment, any problems that arise can be resolved by your team pulling together to find the best solution.

5.) Attention to detail

We know it’s the little things that can often make a guests stay; a personalised welcome using a customer’s name, their favourite tea being served at breakfast, or the offer to call a cab when it’s raining outside. If you build a team of detail oriented staff, you’ll notice the increase in these little touchpoints that can make the difference in a guest returning and recommending your hotel.

Hospitality Employers: we’d love to hear from you

At HotelREZ, we’re proud to be one of the largest tailored representation companies connecting over 1,000 hotels and apartments with bookers worldwide. We provide distribution, representation, marketing and consultancy services to accommodations in over 40 countries and are always looking to add independent hotels, hotel groups and private label clients to our ever-growing portfolio.

If you want to find out more about how we help hotels stay independent and compete worldwide, have a look at our services or get in touch today.