By Roy Aguba
(Editor: This article was first published in the August 25,2013 Issue of Hospitality News Magazine, now Hospitality News Philippines, carrying the title, “The HR manager’s top 10”. Driven by serious curiosity about employment issues in the industry such as job mismatch and hiring practices, Aguba, a professor at De La Salle Lipa College at the time of this publication, conducted a research that tried to answer how his students can be better equipped for employment and subsequent issues. He shares the findings in three series. In this issue, he identified the top qualities deluxe hotels want for entry-level positions.)
(Updated – 03/28/2015) Being competent has always been a problem for a graduate where there is rapidly increasing demand of the industry for qualified workforce. Without a doubt, our industry can offer exciting and rewarding career opportunities not only locally but also in a global market.
When the recorded number of schools with enrollees of hospitality and other related programs hit 211 in 2008, it made HRM one of the oversubscribed programs in the country. The concern on skills’ mismatching among graduates became an apparent issue.
The release of the moratorium on the opening of new HRM programs in 2010 through CHED Memorandum Order No.32 made the issue even noticeable and has since placed the graduates in a more difficult position. The biggest challenge now is for the new professionals to be equipped with relevant skills since the qualifications in such position is getting higher due to its demanding environment.
In the Philippines, deluxe hotels of local and international brands are considered the industry’s finest. Human resource managers of selected leading deluxe hotels in Metro Manila were asked to identify the top qualities that they are looking for entry-level positions. Out of the 26 listed skills in hospitality operations, people, and personal skill sets, here are top ten:
1. Skill in communication
Considered the most essential in the workplace, it gives the individuals some control over the environment and a way to establish relationship with others. It is where an employee is able to give clear directions while capable of motivating others to provide excellent service.
2. The capability to harmoniously relate to guests
It is another important skill since the industry is distinguished in relation to its relative long-term interaction between guests and the server. This allows the employee to successfully interact with their guests while maintaining the corporate image.
3. Exceptional ability to work and cooperate in a team
This is a needed for an employee in an entry-level position to carry out his assigned tasks and responsibilities. Teamwork is delivering the best output from a collaborative effort of the organizations while respecting the individual function of the members.
4. Expression of good public relations
Since the industry is perceived as much more people-oriented than other industries, this ability will allow workforce to persuade others to maintain certain point of view toward satisfying guests’ expectations.
5. Ability to lead a group
The importance of influencing the team to create the ambiance of success and healthy organizational climate couldn’t be stressed enough. This can be achieved by recognizing the individual role of the team while leading them on how to perfectly hone their skills matched with the opportunity to showcase them. This is where a person is able to influence others to reach beyond their normal and ordinary accomplishment into new levels.
6. Demonstration of good employee relations
This allows the employee to transfer tacit knowledge through manageable course of actions. This can assist the workforce to properly use applicable knowledge in particular scenario, i.e. setting aside personal issue within work environment.
7. Ability to do professional analysis
This refers to realizing the responsibilities of an employee in helping an organization meet its goals. It is setting the thin line that separates personal and professional role to achieve success and solve problems easier.
8. Capability to handle difficult people
Possessing this mental and physical intensity enables one to overcome hard-to-deal-with scenarios especially in times of challenging guests’ behavior. It is where an employee can demonstrate calmness and professionalism in the event of these unprecedented scenarios.
The industry wants to recruit graduates who are excellent in demonstrating professionalism within the workplace. The work place is a service-driven environment that demands the workforce to provide professional services to customers. The employee must have a combination of measurable skills, attitudes, and personality traits.
10. Ability to do hands-on tasks
This refers to providing the students with opportunities to acquire relevant skills through experience. Hands-on activities can be a tool to measure competencies and outcomes of students’ skills development. Since experience is one of the approaches to hospitality, balance of theory and practice through experiential learning can be fully utilized. Practicum internship is an excellent approach to create the balance.
Since our industry has an active customer-employee interaction, low-skilled personnel will face the difficulty to promptly cope with the industry requirements after graduation. Over-all, people skills is deemed very important among graduates for frontline and other hospitality staff. They are expected to demonstrate commendable human resource skills where they can be effective communicator, team player, and leader through professionalism with the blend of practice and hands-on experience.