“Vacation’s all I ever wanted.” – lyrics from The Go-Go’s song
This year, vacation season may bring a job instead of a summer love.
That’s because in the July through September quarter, one in three employers in the hospitality and leisure industry are expected to hire all across the country – more than any other sector, according to the Manpower quarterly hiring survey.
The net employment outlook for hospitality – which factors out employers that expect layoffs or other staff reductions – is 27 percent, or more than twice as robust as education and health care, information or construction, which typical hires many people in the spring and summer months.
Altogether, Americans will spend $86.4 billion on summer vacations this year – nearly $16 billion more than last year, according to an Ipsos / Mondial Assistance survey of 1,000 adults. Almost half of Americans say they’re confident they’ll take a summer trip this year, up 5 percentage points from last year. This increase also extends to how much they expect to dish out for their holiday: $1,704, or 9 percent more than last year, according to the research.
That spending increase will translate into more need for hotel and amusement park crew, for more bi-lingual staff and more professional managers to oversee them.
Those leisure jobs are more than just bellhops and front desk clerks. They include sales staff, recruiters and financial types, chefs and chief information officers, concierges and even candy makers – think fudge shops on Mackinac Island and other resorts. The array of jobs almost is as diverse as the sector is itself. Leisure and hospitality include major hotel companies such as Hilton, Marriott and Starwood and also restaurants, theme parks, miniature golf and more.
So what traits are crucial in the hospitality field? Marie Artim, is vice president of talent acquisition for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and her team will hire about 8,500 college graduates into management training jobs this fiscal year. Her list of key attributes for her company and the hospitality sector in general consists of:
- Great communications. This means face to face as well as text and email and other written communication, and sometimes it can be groomed in sports or team settings as well as the workplace.
- Goal-oriented. Keep your eye on the prize, whether it’s customer satisfaction ratings or number of cars cleaned and available for rent each day.
- Customer service mindset. This show of helpfulness and friendliness is crucial in many jobs, merely important in others.
- Multi-tasker. Yes, it will be busy this summer at theme parks and resorts, and sometimes the lines will extend half a block. So employees must manage people, projects and paperwork all at once. Be adept at handling several tasks at once and stay calm too.
“We look for leadership qualities,” said Artim, who joined Enterprise after college and suggests college students meet one of her recruiters face to face on campus in the fall. If they’re in a bigger hurry, they may want to check out Enterprise – and other hospitality employers – websites and Facebook pages for other tips and ideas on hiring.
If you are thinking of switching sectors and joining the hospitality industry, you may want to start by visiting your local convention and visitors bureau and find out which businesses are thriving in your area. Or check in with the hotel assistant manager about how they hire – and what kind of jobs they anticipate filling – as you start your vacation.