Common Employability Skills in the Hospitality Sector

Tools to help employers find and recruit the right candidates

The hospitality industry continues to post solid job gains and is quickly becoming a hot industry for job seekers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 328 million hospitality jobs by 2022, which will account for 10 percent of the U.S. workforce. However, recruitment and selection remain a challenge for hospitality employers. Many restaurant and hotel owners struggle to find the right candidates for open positions, which can seriously impede the growth and profitability of their business.

The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), through support from the National Network of Business and Industry Associations (National Network), have partnered to define Common Employability Skills (CES) for the hospitality sector and to develop tools to assist employers in identifying these skills in potential recruits during the selection and hiring process.

While traditional assessments measure a candidate’s technical skills as they relate to job tasks, measuring non-technical, or soft skills, presents more of a challenge. These skills, however, are crucial for anyone working in the hospitality industry. The toolkit presented here o ers guidance on how to attract, identify, and hire applicants with a high HQ, or hospitality quotient. HQ is the combined personal attributes and professional competencies that contribute to an individual’s success in a hospitality workplace.

The toolkit includes:

  • Common Employability Skills (CES): Fourteen (14) essential competencies for the hospitality sector
  • Career Invitation: Not your typical job posting, a career invitation is a broad look at hospitality and what it means to be a part of this dynamic industry
  • Competency-Based Hiring Best Practices: A guide to selection and hiring for Hospitality Sector CES