With new hotels springing up and homegrown brands spreading their wings for expansion overseas, the hospitality sector in Singapore is growing at a rapid pace, amidst the economic slowdown. There is no dearth of job opportunities for the talented and skilled professionals in the hotel industry for both traditional and emerging roles.
However, the industry is bogged down by misconceptions such as, the hotel employees are at the beck and call of guests, so they need to put up with much frustration at work daily. On the contrary, hotel employees believe that showcasing courteous behaviour towards guests at all times have helped changed their personalities for the better.
The advantage for aspirants choosing a career in hospitality is that, the right attitude and willingness to learn counts more than paper qualifications. For instance, the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore aims to hire five to ten more assistant housekeeping managers to prepare for reopening of the hotel’s Tower Wing currently under renovation by Q1 2017.
Ms Ong Eng Hwee, Shangri-La’s area director of human resources was quoted by TODAY saying, “In our industry, qualifications are not key. The most important thing is that people are willing to try a different career.” For those in customer-service roles, attributes such as warm personality are vital.
During interviews, questions are posed to applicants if they would go an extra mile to cite for example, helping a friend or family. Considering the wide repertoire of functions in a hotel — from front office to sales, it means opportunities abound for employees to rotate among the various roles.
The 35,000-strong hotel industry employs about 1 percent of Singapore’s workforce across some 400 establishments. It also contributes nearly 1 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Last month, the government unveiled its transformation road map for the sector to augment skills, boost productivity and innovation, while help homegrown firms invest overseas.
This push by homegrown hotels into overseas markets would open up new avenues for job creation in senior management positions for Singaporeans, such as HR directors and general managers. Amara Holdings is one such firm seeking a slice of the regional pie. It will open a 343-room hotel in Shanghai by the middle of next year.
The government estimates that about 200 jobs will be created in the sector every year until 2020 for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs). Currently, more than 2,000 job openings are available in the hotel and accommodation-services sector, with four in 10 for PMETs.
Strategic planning and corporate development director, Dawn Teo of Amara Holdings said, the company is looking at hiring people with high potential for multitasking to take on management positions in the region. With new hotels opening in Singapore, the number of roles that incorporate emerging skills such as revenue management would only increase, Workforce Singapore (WSG) said.
There will be an increasing demand for talent in executive and managerial positions for housekeeping and reservations. Patrick Fiat, general manager at Royal Plaza on Scotts said the room inventory in the sector is expected to grow at least 15 to 20 percent over the next few years and the number of jobs would also increase simultaneously.
The hotel’s assistant housekeepers receive S$2,200 to S$2,600 a month, for example, while an assistant director of operations earns between S$5,000 and S$6,500.
The Park Hotel Group is hiring staff under a scheme that focuses on multi-skilling and deployment across three divisions — housekeeping, food and beverage and front office over a year.