Skills and Experience: What to Look For

When it comes to hiring your hospitality team, it can be difficult to narrow down specific qualities that you should be looking for. As industry leaders with over 11 years of hospitality recruitment behind us, BENCHMARQUE has honed in on the perfect balance of what to look for in terms of skills and experience.

Here, we outline the best way to strategically hire your hospitality dream team, while maintaining the integrity and success of your operation or venue. 


The Skills

While you shouldn’t expect your team members to have all of the hospitality skills right off the bat, having the expectation that your staff possess basic hospitality skills should be the norm. So what are these basic skills?

  1. Carrying three plates
  2. Pouring wine
  3. Tray service
  4. Excellent communication skills


These are the most basic of hospitality skills. Your new employee doesn’t need to be an expert at any of these skills, but having some general knowledge is key when it comes to onboarding new team members.


Beyond the basics, we’ve found that other skills are certainly an added bonus. However, the focus should not be on the skills of your team members. Soft skills, on the other hand, are something that we recommend focusing on, no matter what role your hospitality venue is hiring.


The Soft Skills 

Unlike the technical hospitality skills that can be easily taught and shaped, soft skills relate to attitude and intuition and make the difference between an adequate candidate and an ideal candidate.

So which soft skills should you be focusing on? Here are our top five picks to help cultivate a productive and healthy work environment, where hospitality teams can reach their full potential.

  1. Positive work ethic and behaviour
  2. A friendly and approachable personality
  3. Ability to work efficiently under pressure
  4. Great communication
  5. Having the mindfulness of compassion and empathy for perspective taking


The Experience

While more experience is generally preferred when it comes to any given hospitality role, a case can be made for each side, especially when hiring for more junior roles.

If a candidate has an abundance of hospitality experience, they are likely confident in their technical and soft skills. They should undoubtedly have a functional understanding of how hospitality venues operate. If they have been in the hospitality industry for a while, they have likely become comfortable in their role and know how they perform their best.


The Lack of Experience

On the other hand, a candidate with little to no hospitality experience will require more time for training and guidance. Making the time to invest in your new team member with regular check-ins and feedback. This will leave your new employee feeling valued and will residually decrease your turnover rates.

Furthermore, putting the time into a fresh candidate could benefit your operation in the long run, as they haven't had the chance to pick up bad habits from previous hospitality positions. 


The Takeaways

Rather than focusing solely on skills and experience, finding the perfect hospitality team member should be a balance of personality traits, followed by basic skills and hospitality experience.

With attitude being the most important trait to look for in a potential hospitality employee, here are the top key personality traits you should be looking for when hiring:

  1. Positive attitude
  2. Attention to detail
  3. Confidence
  4. Pride in their work
  5. A genuine smile


Are you looking to find the perfect team for your hospitality venue? We have the right tools to attract, retain, and grow talent. Outsource your hospitality recruitment today to reduce time to hire, increase quality of hire, reduce retention risk, and give you access to industry-leading networks and talent pools. 

Temporary & Permanent Talent

About the author Carlyn Shaw

Drawing on 12 years of hospitality experience and coming from a Communications background, I am passionate about all things hospitality.


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