Entry level hospitality management jobs: What are employers looking for?
Few industries offer the exceptional advancement potential of hospitality, where the career paths of regional and executive level managers often begin at the front desk, dining room or kitchen of small establishments. The highest paying hospitality jobs can easily reach six figures—and all of these opportunities are attainable for committed professionals making a start in entry level management.
What are employers looking for when reviewing candidates for jobs such as front desk supervisor, assistant housekeeping manager, and dining room supervisor? The answer is a relevant degree, previous hospitality experience, supervisory experience and a flexible schedule.
1. A relevant degree
Not all entry-level hospitality management jobs require degrees. You can still find opportunities where equivalent experience is enough to get you through the door. However, as the number of professionals interested in these careers has increased, so has the number of employers stating, “Degree preferred” or “Degree required” in their list of position qualifications. The educational achievements most often viewed favorably include bachelor’s degrees in hotel and restaurant management and hospitality and business management.
2. Previous hospitality experience
The hospitality industry is customer service focused and often fast paced. Depending on the size of the establishment, there may not be a lot of time devoted to the training of entry level management. As such, most employers are looking for candidates with previous hospitality experience, often within the department for which they are applying. For example, a hotel hiring a front desk supervisor may choose a candidate with front desk experience. One in need of an assistant banquet manager may look for an applicant with experience in food and beverage.
3. Supervisory experience
Anyone can read about leadership; it takes real world experience to become one. For this reason, hospitality employers look for entry level management candidates with previous supervisory experience, whether in hospitality or a previous career. They want to hire highly organized professionals with strong written and verbal communication skills, proven ability to work with diverse teams, independent problem-solving experience and friendly and outgoing personalities.
4. Flexible schedule
Hospitality is not a nine to five industry. Depending on the job position, early mornings, evenings, weekends and holidays may be required. Fifty-hour workweeks are not uncommon and entry level managers may need to be reachable at a moment’s notice to handle emergencies, cover shifts and juggle priorities. As such, hospitality employers look for candidates who have the ability to handle the demands of the schedule.