Although COVID-19 resulted in wide-spread redundancies across many industries, the decline in international and national tourism has led to the Hospitality, Airline, Tourism & Leisure sectors to be some of the hardest hit. With social distancing measures here to stay and no concrete information on when the borders can safely re-open, it is likely these industries will be significantly suppressed for some time to come.
The direct impact of this is that there will be many hospitality professionals in the market for a new job and shrewd employers will see this as an opportunity to be capitalised. This highly capable pool of talented people will largely be untapped by competitors and will possess a crucial skill that is rarely found outside of customer-facing professionals: the ability to connect with humans at a superior level.
If you’re currently hiring or planning to hire someone for an administration, support, customer service, or sales role, former hospitality employees are more than ideal candidates. Here’s why:
They have great time management & adaptability
Hospitality staff are adept at managing their time, juggling multiple responsibilities, and adapting to shifting priorities while not letting it affect their performance or temperament.
They are capable communicators & can effectively manage expectations
Most people that work in Hospitality, Tourism & Leisure sectors are customer-facing and engage with clients and customers on a daily basis. As a result, they are often naturally gifted communicators who can adapt their communication style to suit the person they are engaging with. This skill can translate across to managing difficult or changing expectations.
They are adept at problem solving & improvisation
Customer-facing professionals are often faced with fluctuating requirements or sudden challenges to overcome. Thus, hospitality employees are taught very early on how to solve problems without needing to find clarity from others and to improvise when needed and think on their feet.
They have impeccable attention to detail
In an industry where the customer’s experience is crucially important, hospitality professionals understand that it is often the little details that can make the most impact. Therefore, experienced customer-facing candidates will usually have exceptional attention to detail and a knack for going above and beyond to impress and retain customers.
They have a strong work ethic and are resilient & humble
Finally, hospitality and other customer-facing professionals are highly resilient and humble individuals. When things do go wrong, they are often the first people disgruntled customers and clients engage with. They are highly trained to identify and defuse hostile situations and thrive in fast-paced and high-energy environments such as sales teams or customer service call centres.
How you can identify these qualities in candidates
The above skills are often not easily identifiable in a CV. If you are considering someone with a hospitality background for an administration, sales, customer service, or any other role, we advise picking up the phone and screening them. Giving the candidate the opportunity to explain times where they have used the above skills to reach a positive outcome will provide you with a better idea of their potential fit with your role.
It’s also worth mentioning that candidates who have worked in fast-paced and high-energy locations, such as cafes, restaurants, call centres, kitchens or indeed any public-facing places, can often find it easy to transition into a busy office or sales environment.
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