Hotel & Hospitality Jobs In Europe
If you have worked at a hotel in North America, working at a hotel in Europe will be virtually identical in terms of job description, duties, and so on. The only real difference is that you may be expected to also know the local language if it is not English.
Large hotel chains in Europe are just as common as they are in North America and need just as many employees for them to run smoothly.
But the tradition for hotels in Europe has always been small, family run lodgings. These places are known as bed & breakfast in the UK and Ireland, and pensions throughout continental Europe. These homey and eclectic places may have anywhere from 2-15 guest rooms; many will have shared baths and will provide breakfast along with a night's stay.
There are countless jobs at these smaller lodgings as well, although they will not be as common to find on Internet job sites. For many of these European hospitality jobs it will be a matter of seeing an ad in the local paper, or their help wanted sign in the front window. Generally, you will also be expected to do a little bit of everything in one of these places, rather than having a set position like in a large hotel. On the plus side, these hotel jobs may come with accommodation and they are perfect if you are moving to the country to try and learn the local language. Many of the proprietors treat their small staff very much like an extended family.
Below is a list of the more common positions to be found at a larger hotel.
- Administration Jobs As part of the administration team for a hotel, you could be handling the accounts and bookkeeping tasks for the business or providing secretarial or human resources help. You will also be expected to have a reasonable grasp of the local language and, in the case of accountants and HR people, a degree or diploma in the field.
- Management Positions With one of these positions, you are responsible for the day to day running of the hotel. As a manager, you will deal with the hiring and firing of employees, as well as helping to maintain budgets. Experience in the hotel industry will definitely be needed to get this position. You will also be expected to have a solid grasp of the local language.
- Conference & Events Coordinator Jobs All of the larger hotels have conference centers and cater to large groups holding events. As the Events Coordinator it is your job to verify the details on bookings and ensure that all meeting rooms have been prepared properly for a meeting. This includes coordinating with the food and beverage services to have tea and coffee or meals ready in the room and to coordinate with housekeeping to have the room cleaned after the meeting. Most hotels will want to see some experience in a similar position when you are applying for this type of job. Some aptitude for the local language will be needed as well.
- Front Desk/Reservations Positions With this position, you are constantly interacting with customers on a daily basis, dealing with reservations over the phone, checking guests in and out, and generally providing information and directing patrons. One of the primary requirements for the position is to be fluent in the local language. Employers will also expect some previous experience, although excellent language skills and a pleasant demeanor can make up for any experience shortfalls.
- Bell Staff A simple job that can be grueling at times, your responsibility is to carry the guest's luggage to and from their room. When not moving luggage, you may be expected to pleasantly greet guests as they enter the building or the lobby. Some local language skills will be useful for this position, and potential employers will look favorably on some experience, although it is not necessary.
- Housekeeping Jobs As part of the housekeeping staff, you will be responsible for cleaning guest’s rooms on a daily basis and helping to keep the rest of the hotel clean. No language skills or experience is needed for this job, but it is also one of the lowest paid positions in the hotel. Head housekeepers will be expected to have some experience, and probably some local language skills as well.
- Maintenance Jobs The maintenance team does minor repairs around the hotel such as unclogging drains, fixing doors, changing light bulbs, and providing routine maintenance on the HVAC systems. You will need some mechanical aptitude and probably some experience, but language skills will be optional.
Wages vary by country. If you are looking at a bell staff or a housekeeping position, keep in mind that there is much less tipping from Europeans than in the States.