We recently asked several of the hospitality recruitment professionals at www.geckohospitality.com what a qualified restaurant management candidate looked like. The discussion was very heated at first. A good recruiter is someone who knows what they are looking for, but it can be a little difficult to explain in one or two sentences.
With so many new hospitality workers viewing restaurant and hotel work as a career there are opportunities that haven’t been available in the last couple of decades. Hospitality Recruiters are being flooded with resumes from eager candidates, who are working up the ranks. Unfortunately, ninety percent of those candidates are not qualified for a management position.
We asked several recruitment professionals at geckohospitality to describe what they considered a qualified Restaurant Manager Candidate or Hotel Management Candidate looked like. Here are some of the best points we collected from the round table discussion.
- Describe the perfect management candidate. What personality type/soft skills/education.
“Industry-specific experience and knowledge is important. Client requested education and certification. cultural fit, confidence, humble spirit, enthusiasm, outside of the box thinker and problem solver, persuasive, leader, and great communication.”
“Well we know no such person exists. But as stated before — Stable work history, proven results, outstanding character, career growth curve, and excellent references. Coaching skills, guest first attitude, team player, able to drive sales growth, ability to control costs and deliver profits.”
“Outgoing with A type personality but mature enough to be humble and listen. Some college is good, but I prefer candidates that have proven their ability to persevere and progress through hard work. High energy and very articulate. Ability to demonstrate they can set long term goals and create a strategic approach to reach them (I want specifics).”
“Most of the candidates that I find to be best fits are those who are humble and coachable. Skills can be taught but your personality and how you work with others is either there or its not. In my market, experience is often considered more than a formal education in the industry. “
2. What do you consider a qualified management candidate?
While it looks like we asked the same question again, this time the recruiters focused more on skills and talent.
“A candidate that has both strong hard and soft skills and be devoid of red flags that employers will see on a resume. They must check all the boxes of what the client is seeking for prior experience, education, certifications and size/scope of property. The candidate must demonstrate confidence, enthusiasm, leadership, knowledge of the position and industry, passion for what they do and an ability to describe examples over our conversation about their previous roles.”
“Stable work history, proven results, outstanding character, career growth curve, and excellent references.”
“Good tenure, consistent career progression, able to articulate successes and displays qualities of someone focused on continued learning and development. Understanding your client’s profile very well-they need to match their needs not what we like.”
“Someone who is confident and knowledgeable about their background. Also someone who can communicate well and be able to go into detail about their experience (i.e. specific ways to lower food cost, improve sales, etc.)”
“I consider a candidate qualified if they:
- Must have consistent restaurant management tenure/experience
- Meet with the requirements of my client.
- Passion! Do you love the industry or is it “just a job?”
- Have a depth of knowledge of running a successful concept – what can they bring to the company?
- Have full and complete knowledge of Budgets/P&L’s
- Do they possess leadership skills i.e. Can they be a positive influence to the team/company and change behaviors or bad habits to meet client’s criteria. “
If we can break this down into a blueprint for success then we would give the following advice for restaurant managers in training working up through the ranks.
1. Join the associations
2. Take their certification courses
3. upgrade your skills continually.
4. Find a mentor
5. Learn the industry and employment laws
6. Do not job hop
7. Study financials
8. learn leadership skills
9. Learn coaching skills and develop a positive attitude
10. Be a leader now, in your current job.