In the wake of COVID-19, several businesses have been forced to close shop. While most—if not all—industries were affected, it’s the employees from the hospitality and leisure industries that have borne the brunt. Together, they make up one-third of all job losses created by the pandemic in the U.S., even if they’re just 11% of the total workforce.
It’s been difficult for hotels and F&B businesses to stay afloat, with many having to let go of their employees. However, as the outlook for COVID-19 management is starting to look up, and vaccines have begun to roll out, establishments are gradually restarting in the “new normal.” This is good news for hospitality professionals who are looking to rejoin the workforce. Although, the competition for applicants may be even higher since there are a staggering number of people looking for new employment.
One way to be distinguished from a crowd of other hopefuls is by upskilling or re-skilling. According to John Lohr, director of development, school relations at global hospitality network Hosco: “That is the best possible thing that anyone can do right now: to position yourself with the right skills and the right knowledge to jump immediately back in the industry.” Due to the unique situation the hospitality industry finds itself in, it also requires a new set of skills from those looking to enter the industry.
A study conducted by Society for Human Resource Management revealed that 64% of employers find it difficult to find hires who have adequate critical thinking skills.
Good critical thinking requires you to look beyond the face value of things, and ask important questions. You can practice critical thinking by asking yourself the following questions:
What is happening and why is it happening?
What are the implications?
Who is affected?
Is this information accurate and verified?
Do I have all the necessary information? And if so, what’s the best course of action?
If you can show an employer this then you will put yourself ahead of the competition.
More than 57% of all travel reservations are made online every year, and increasingly more people rely on information they find online to help them make decisions when booking accommodation. This will only increase in the future once travel restrictions are lifted. With many people across the globe looking to travel, establishments will need to market themselves properly in order to stand out. A detailed article on preparing a 2021 hotel digital marketing strategy outlined key issues hoteliers should take note of. The article emphasized how hospitality establishments needed to take advantage of key digital marketing trends such as search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM).
With that in mind, those who have studied digital marketing at degree level or any other form of training are at an advantage due to their in-demand skills. If prospective hires can show that they come from a top institution and have a bachelor's in marketing, they will demonstrate that they have been taught in-demand skills such as SEO, content management, and multimedia. In fact, a survey done in 2018 revealed that 60% of companies hired a new digital marketer, proving how in-demand these skills are across many industries, and the hospitality and tourism sector is no different. Hospitality brands need workers who are technologically savvy and who are adept at using online platforms for marketing.
More than any other time, now is when the need for genuine human connection becomes the greatest. While this is an important skill for any industry, it is even more important now for hospitality professionals who interact with guests all the time. These are some of the most stressful and anxiety-inducing times for everyone, and you need to show that you have emotional intelligence to help both guests and employees feel at ease.
This is particularly true for those looking for a leadership position. Hospitality leadership needs to have the emotional intelligence to be more agile and ready for both returning norms and unexpected changes. A feature on hospitality leadership post-Covid explains that “this is the ideal moment for top executives to show strength, empathy and vision.” And as the article notes, if hospitality establishments want to survive then “companies and leaders with the sensitivity and emotional intelligence to address guest and employee concerns, with policies that demonstrate fairness and diversity, will fare best of all”.
New skills take constant and correct practice to master, and we can help you shape up for the future by working with you on our convenient skill-building platform!
Written by Teresa Kessinger for bookingninjas.com