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Before I chose to become a talent recruiter several years ago, I spent decades in the hospitality industry. Working in hotels, restaurants, and hospitality management teaches people some invaluable things – like how to appease and calm an upset guest, balance 10 dishes at the same time, perfectly fold towels, and of course, as a restaurant-goer, to never enter a restaurant right at closing time!   

In all seriousness, the hospitality business teaches important and incomparable skills that carry over into all other industries. Now that I’ve been with Goodwin Recruiting for more than five years as a Senior Recruiting Partner, I’ve seen the truth in this, both personally based on my own hospitality career and through the many talented candidates I have placed whose hospitality skills have beautifully transferred into other fields as well. They are also thriving.  

Job seekers and hiring companies have a lot to gain  

If you are a hospitality professional wanting to explore a different career path, I’d like to share the reasons your experience can lead you in a new direction. And if you are an employer who struggles to find great candidates in today’s challenging and competitive hiring market, I hope you will consider the gold mine of attributes that hospitality professionals can bring to your operations and customers – even if you’re in a completely unrelated industry.  

What are some of those traits and abilities and why do they matter across industries?  

Top 4 hospitality skills that are essential to success in every industry   

When sourcing the best job candidates for my valued clients, there are several demonstrated skills that I keep an eye out for before presenting a candidate for an open position:  

  1. Being a good listener 
  2. Expressing humility, empathy, and concern for others 
  3. Having a strong sense of urgency 
  4. Desiring to provide exceptional service to others 

These traits are a powerful combination of interpersonal skills, soft skills, hard skills, communication skills, people skills, problem-solving skills, and emotional intelligence.  

Not surprisingly, every one of these qualities – true leadership skills – course through the veins of people who excel in the hospitality sector. Hospitality professionals are servant leaders at their core, driven to excellence in customer-facing and decision-making roles, in leading teams to new heights, and in nurturing existing and new customers. The nature of their working and leadership style sparks teamwork and innovation in the work environment and empowers others to become effective leaders themselves.  

What company can hope to succeed without such rare and inspirational talent?  

These leadership skills eclipse every other prerequisite 

Here’s what I have consistently found in my practice. When I first launched my recruiting business, my focus was the hospitality industry. I have since expanded into talent recruitment for the industrial manufacturing industry, automotive parts, retail beauty, property management, and other markets. No matter the industry, a consistent level of hospitality must be maintained to keep teams engaged and productive, customers satisfied and loyal, and business partnerships supportive and strong. It is extremely beneficial when new hires show up on day one with hospitality know-how in place. It’s an ingrained mindset and core competency. 

Every job has a learning curve: Another competitive trait of hospitality professionals is that they are quick studies. They have to be. Time management is also of the essence, and they’re good at it. Their sense of urgency helps them move through training programs and management training with speed. Their desire to serve others helps them navigate constantly changing dynamics with ease and patience. They are fierce contenders in sales, service, marketing, customer experience, and other customer relations roles, and they run circles around their counterparts in project management and positions where they have oversight. These are but a few areas where they shine.  

When I keep my focus on the four candidate attributes above, I know from years of experience and lasting placements that success will follow for both the candidate and the hiring company. It’s a sure bet that candidates who hail from the hospitality industry are on my go-to list when sourcing the most exceptional candidates.  

Learn more about your options and potential for growth  

If you’re interested in building your team with a diverse network of candidates, or if you’d like to discover if you’re a fit for one of the many jobs I fill across different industries, send an email my way. I’m always excited to help enhance clients’ businesses and change candidates’ lives, and look forward to connecting with you.