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Getting Ahead in Hospitality

29 Jan 2015

Hospitality Careers Scotland

Principal Sales and Marketing Consultant, Sally Rae, is an expert when it comes to the hospitality industry. Sally combines 25 years of experience with a strong portfolio of contacts, and is passionate about finding hospitality stars at every level of their career, from Sales Co-ordinators right through to Director of Sales.

Tell us a little about yourself

I started my career in hospitality straight after high school. After moving into sales in 1990, I became a specialist in field sales and regional business development. In 2007, I made the decision to utilise my industry knowledge to work in recruitment to help others enter into and excel within the hospitality industry. As a recruiter, I work throughout the UK for roles within contract catering, visitor attractions, unique venues and hotels.

What sort of hospitality roles do you recruit for?

I recruit sales and marketing positions from junior right up to board level. The roles that I’ve been working on recently include:

  • Event Co-ordinator
  • Sales Manager
  • Business Development Manager
  • Director of Sales
  • Marketing Manager
  • General Manager

What key trends are happening within the hospitality industry this year?

Competition continues to get fierce, especially with the growth of budget hotel brands. Whilst this produces a challenge, it also really gives 5 star hotels and resorts the opportunity to showcase their exemplary services, what makes them unique and the added value features of their locations.

Candidates can no longer rest on their laurels - they have to become hunters to succeed in hospitality. Leads and business are created through relationships, and in order to maintain key accounts they should really focus on their network and increasing their prominence online and offline.

Furthermore, candidates should consider how they can repair the conference and events issues. Hospitality brands need to drive this business, in particular corporate events; therefore clients are always keen to hear how candidates plan to tackle this challenge.

How do I prepare for a hospitality job interview?

As with every job interview, research and preparation is vital. Candidates must fully understand the product and at the very least, look through at the company’s website to get a feeling of their services and brand values. Even better, go that extra step and visit the venue.

Relationships are vital within the hospitality industry; therefore providing evidence on establishing relationships with buyers, companies and contacts is a must. Informing the interviewer that you come armed with contacts and the ability to win new business easily will always impress.

What’s the best thing about working in hospitality?

People that work in hospitality stay in the industry. It’s an incredibly rewarding sector to be in, providing the ability to have fun, meet new people, travel and represent fantastic hotels and venues.

Hospitality is well networked, and it’s good for those that find it easy to build relationships. I absolutely love working within hospitality, and have made some wonderful friends for life.

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