Skills In Demand In The Hospitality Industry

Testimonies From Managers and Execs

The hospitality industry is made up of countless different role players, in a myriad of positions, all contributing a plethora of unique skill sets for the betterment and success of every holiday.

From resort/ hotel management to marketing, housekeeping, business development, design, reservations, administration, and even training, individuals all bring their best expertise to every department to make it all come together – though as the world continues to change, often skills don’t necessarily measure up to demand. And, just like any industry, hospitality can frequently find itself in a shortfall of certain talents.

We spoke to a few Managers and Executives from the Beekman Group to get a better understanding of the skills they see lacking in the industry, from their perspectives as industry leaders.

Julie Ramrathan
Manager – The Holiday Club Reservations

Effective Communication.

“One of the fundamental skills in providing outstanding customer service is the ability to communicate clearly. The significance of this skill cannot be overstated, as miscommunication can lead to customer disappointment and frustration. The best customer service professionals understand that keeping communication with customers straightforward and unequivocal is essential.”

Grayson Ibrahim
Manager, Beekman Holidays Reservations

“To continue from Julie’s point, written communication, in particular, is a skill set that we see as lacking from the applicants that we engage with. Having written communication as a skill will allow you to optimally express yourself as well as the interest of the business that you represent. It is also about mastering the change or adapting to the trends of communication and staying professional while being more prompt and concise in the message you relay.”

David Nicholas
Regional Resorts Manager

“I think what Grayson has identified has a lot to do with attention to detail, which I would say is the “soft skill” (so to speak) that I would like to see more of.

In the highly-competitive environment we operate in, attention to detail, whether from a call centre agent, a receptionist, an interior decorator, or a landscaper makes all the difference in the world, and it’s a skill that should be taught to employees at all levels as it can create memorable experiences for guests and build a strong reputation for excellence in service.”

Fiona Broom
Marketing Executive

“On the subject of skills that are necessary on all levels, the demands of guests have changed dramatically over the past years, particularly in the post-COVID era. The skills required to manage demanding guests in the hospitality industry can be challenging, and a lack of emotional intelligence (EI) can exacerbate these challenges.

Emotional Intelligence refers to the ability to recognise, understand, manage, and navigate one’s own emotions and the emotions of others. In the context of hotel and resort guests, EI is crucial for maintaining a positive guest experience and managing potentially tense situations effectively. Hospitality staff with who have honed this rare behavioral skill set are much sought after, but scarce.”

Hannelie Millar
Training & Development Manager

“Adaptability and resilience are much needed skills that seem to be in short supply. The industry often demands adaptability and resilience due to the impact of economic fluctuations, natural disasters, and global events like the COVID-19 pandemic. Another significant area of concern when it comes to Talent Gaps is Cultural Competency: South Africa’s rich cultural diversity requires employees who understand and respect various cultures, customs, and traditions to provide a welcoming atmosphere for guests from a multitude of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.”

Tony Hazel
Resorts Executive

“No business function requires only one skillset. A lot of people are extremely talented at the primary skillset required for their role, be it Food & Beverage, Design, Marketing, etc. but neglect the secondary and sometimes tertiary elements required to perform successfully, like budgeting.

That’s why, for anyone looking to build a career within the hospitality industry, I would strongly recommend working a multitude of jobs, and acclimatising yourself to a range of different functions within the spectrum of your speciality. Typically, those are the types of people I’ve seen build sustainable careers in hospitality. Those who are open to growing laterally, and taking on challenges that might not always be 100% within their strongest field of knowledge.

Any skill can be taught. Though that attitude is unfortunately not as common as it once was.”

At the Beekman Group, we are committed to bridging this gap. We offer training programmes and mentorship opportunities to help our young employees develop every skill required to build longevity within our industry. By nurturing their natural abilities, and consistently upskilling them in others, we not only improve their career prospects but also enhance the quality of service we provide to our guests.