What employers look for in hospitality workers

The hospitality industry benefits from engaged, skilled workers.

The hospitality industry benefits from engaged, skilled workers.

Australia's tourism and hospitality industry employs over a million people annually, according to a letter penned by National Tourism Alliance Chief Executive Officer Juliana Payne. It also sees $100 billion spend in Australia every year, according to Ms Payne, which makes it a significant player in the nation's economy overall. But what does it take to succeed in this sector?

Graduates of hospitality courses looking to make their mark in the booming local industry should take heed of the following tips on what employers are looking for in a worker.

Communication skills

Communication goes both ways – making yourself heard and listening. Two-way communication is essential in the hospitality industry, where a diverse workplace can present new challenges every day. Employees will need to be able to convey messages with skill to customers, clients and colleagues alike.


No two days are alike in the hospitality industry, and staff members are often required to perform new tasks on very short notice. Even managers have to roll up their sleeves and clean facilities from time to time, while chefs may have to respond to dissatisfied guests at the same time as whipping up their next meal. The hospitality landscape is one that is constantly changing, and valuable employees are the ones who can keep pace and respond to new challenges with a smile. 

Time management

It goes without saying that the hospitality industry can be a demanding one. Time pressures, particularly when producing and serving food and drink, can test the nerves of even the most skilled and experienced employee, but the best workers are the ones that handle stress with grace. 

The best staff members are those who know how to prioritise the most important tasks, when to delegate jobs on to others to ensure the work is completed on time and when to take a break to avoid becoming over-worked. Not only that, but they will be at work and ready to start their shift on time.


There is no I in team, and you will be hard pressed to find any hospitality organisation that involves just one person. Typically, employees work together in close quarters toward a common goal, such as serving up all meals to a high standard and on time. There is simply no room for people who cannot interact well with others, and employers will be quick to notice if you're not a team player.