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Good interpersonal skills and attitude: Hotel industry wants people with passion to create memorable experiences

Hospitality employers are ramping up hiring efforts as tourism in Singapore rebounds

An illustration of the range of roles one can experience in the hotel industry. SOURCE: SPH MEDIA

The post-pandemic world heralds a new chapter for Singapore’s hospitality industry – and with it, a demand for fresh, new talents.

The past two years saw Singapore’s hotel workforce shrink by 25 to 30 per cent, notes Ms Margaret Heng, executive director of the Singapore Hotel Association (SHA) in an article on The Business Times.

Now, as travel rebounds from pandemic lows and visitor arrivals continue to rise, there is a high demand for tourism talents across all levels, she adds, prompting hotels to ramp up their hiring efforts. 

At the top of recruiters’ wish lists? Candidates with a positive attitude, good interpersonal skills and are customer-centric. As seen in the comic below, qualifications alone are not a key deciding factor. Hotels value individuals who have a passion to serve and help others.

If you have strong people skills, and are passionate about serving others, the hotel industry could be the right workplace for you. Find out what the industry has to offer here.

Finding suitable talents 

What makes an ideal candidate for the hotel industry?

According to Ms Lee Chia Wen, senior career consultant at Workforce Singapore (WSG), it’s all in the attitude. “The hotel industry is dynamic and people-oriented. A person who is positive, open to taking on new challenges, and enjoys working and interacting with people will be suitable,” she says.

Another key trait for prospective talents: good communication skills, especially in guest-facing roles such as concierges and guest service officers. In addition, the ever-evolving nature of the industry requires flexibility and openness on one’s part. 

“Environment conditions such as Covid-19 can suddenly happen and affect an entire industry,” says Ms Lee. “Therefore, with such uncertainty, jobseekers have to stay agile. Keep an open mind and pick up new skills and knowledge along the way when needed.”

Above all else, the hotel industry is “a business that brings happiness to the guests,” she notes. “It is important that employees are willing to go the extra mile for guests to create a pleasant stay experience for them.”

Kickstart your new career in the hotel industry

Before deciding if the hotel industry is suitable for you, Ms Lee advises individuals to first assess their career aspirations through identifying their career Values, Interests, Personality and Skills (VIPS).  

Values: Look for career options that best fit what you value and prioritise in a job – be it remuneration, work-life balance or recognition at work. 

Interest: If you prefer a particular type of activity or responsibility, match your interests to the role. This leads to increased job satisfaction and better work performance. 

Personality: Are you meticulous and a team player? Match your characteristics to your surrounding work environment to keep you motivated. 

Skills: Identify your industry-specific skills and how you can value-add to the job role.

Once you’ve established your VIPS, your job search can begin.

First, ensure your resume and online profiles are up to date by highlighting relevant skills that are in demand. “Many employers are proactively crawling professional social platforms and job portals like WSG’s MyCareersFuture to seek out suitable candidates,” says Ms Lee.

Utilise resources such as MyCareersFuture job portal and e2i’s Tourism Careers Hub, which offer job matching services to a wide range of hotel positions. Ms Lee also recommends participating in career fairs. WSG regularly organises industry-specific career fairs – both virtual and in-person – where jobseekers can meet, network and interview with prospective employers.

For those who need more support, WSG is a dedicated partner for every stage of their job search. “Our Career Ambassadors or Career Coaches at Careers Connect and SGUnited Jobs and Skills Centres will provide professional career advice to guide you in your job search journey,” says Ms Lee.

Jobseekers can head to Careers Connect to access WSG’s suite of services ranging from career workshops to networking sessions, industry talks, counselling programmes and even dedicated one-to-one career coaching.

The Career Conversion Programme (CCP) for Hotel Professionals is another resource which helps mid-career individuals to reskill for new jobs in the hotel industry, even those with no prior experience. The programme includes on-the-job training for the individual and provides employers with wage support.

With Singapore’s tourism forecasted to recover to pre-pandemic levels between 2023 and 2024, the hotel industry is ripe for growth – offering attractive opportunities for first-time jobseekers and mid-career switchers alike.
 
Beyond age, qualifications or competencies, Mr Gino Tan, country general manager of The Fullerton Hotels and Resorts, believes that ideal candidates must possess a unique trait. “People who join the hotel industry and will excel as leaders are those who genuinely serve from the heart,” he says.

“Their sincerity and commitment to service excellence are the foundation of success for the business and their careers in this industry.”

Ready, Reset, Go with WSG! Explore new opportunities and kickstart your new career today. Visit go.gov.sg/wsgexplorecareers-hotel-dst2 to find out more.

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