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How Covid-19 has transformed hospitality jobs

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Hospitality experts speak at SHATEC's APacCHRIE 2021 conference (clockwise, from top left): Communications Network Asia's Jeff Crowe, Far East Hospitality's Arthur Kiong, Hilton's Alexandra Jaritz and Marriott International's Rajeev Menon.
Hospitality experts speak at SHATEC's APacCHRIE 2021 conference (clockwise, from top left): Communications Network Asia's Jeff Crowe, Far East Hospitality's Arthur Kiong, Hilton's Alexandra Jaritz and Marriott International's Rajeev Menon.

The next time guests step into a hotel, they will notice that front office executives are wearing many hats than there are many heads.

Most likely, the doorman is no longer just someone performing courtesy duties at the entrance but a warm individual opening doors for guests to step into a property offering a world of different experience. 

Concierges, too, are not just about checking guests in and making reservations but a knowledgeable insider who knows the city’s nooks and corners inside out.   

This is the result of job redesign in hospitality, where hotel roles are no longer a specific job but an amalgamation of different functions and skillsets post-pandemic, said hospitality industry experts at SHATEC’s APacCHRIE 2021 conference. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the hotel job evolution even faster than before, and “multi-skilling” will be a norm for hospitality jobs moving forward, said Rajeev Menon, Marriott International’s president, Asia Pacific (excluding China). 

The days when hotel executives perform very specific roles and functions are over, said Menon. In the current landscape when travel has been drastically affected by the pandemic, he observed that leaner teams are becoming more amenable to learning new skills and performing multiple functions.  

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated hotel job evolution, with multi-skilled executives set to become a norm for hospitality jobs moving forward.
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated hotel job evolution, with multi-skilled executives set to become a norm for hospitality jobs moving forward.

At the same time, Menon said that multi-skilling of associates will drive improved productivity in the hospitality sector, while clustering across hotels – in which HR, finance and revenue management roles might be combined together – will become more commonplace.

In particular, Far East Hospitality CEO Arthur Kiong believes that the tough operating environment during the pandemic will also hasten the decline of fanciful hospitality titles or executives who do not perform up to standards. 

Jobs that have to go include “the unprofessional sommelier, doorman or concierge who stands around doing nothing,” he stated. 

In place will be the emergence of “greater professionalism” among hospitality staff who can contribute towards the elevation of the guest experience as travel gradually recovers, hoteliers pointed out. 

Ultimately, hospitality is still an experience-oriented industry and great customer experiences continuously curated and delivered in a meaningful way through engaged staff remain its cornerstone, said Alexandra Jaritz, senior vice president, brand management for Asia Pacific, Hilton. 

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