What Hospitality Recruiters Are Looking For
By Dennis Rizzo President & CEO, Bentley Price Associates, Inc. | March 24, 2013
Hospitality companies need well-rounded talent to help them achieve their goals. That talent comes from many different sources, among them the many hotel schools. And today's students present many different challenges when being considered for these corporate needs.
Look around at the young people you know: they've grown up around technology that promotes non-contact communications and interactions. Hospitality however, is all about the personal, face-to-face kinds of exchanges that are missing from their development. And this millennial generation is more about immediate gratification rather than the strategic and long-term thinking needed to achieve success in today's competitive business environment.
So the question is: what courses should the hospitality schools promote, and which ones should the students seek out, to overcome the experiences they learned growing up and to be better prepared for the challenges associated with a hospitality career?
The Obvious Choices
Every hotel school has a core curriculum intended to provide a broad introduction to the world of hospitality: introductions to the various aspects of the business, an overview of the financial aspects of the industry, sales and marketing, and operations. These are each intended to provide basic information and to hopefully provoke an interest to learn more. The first two years are spent on these core courses, after which the student is supposed to declare a major in which to learn more about specific areas.
Historically, many students tend to focus on sales and marketing. These are sexy areas that appear to utilize an individual's soft skills; but there's more required than that. Strategic planning, project management, statistical analysis, the appropriate use of technology, and personal interaction techniques all need to be learned in order to be successful. And since event planning is closely related to sales and marketing, these same issues need to be learned for this career choice also.