Why English Skills are Necessary in the Hospitality Industry

Capella Ubud, Bali is a multi-award-winning hotel based in Indonesia, providing a world-class service to guests from all over the world.

Voted ‘best hotel in Asia’ in 2021 and ‘best hotel in the world’ in 2020 by Travel and Leisure magazine, Capella Ubud, Bali provides its guests with amazing experiences – and the staff they hire are key in delivering them.

We spoke with Nyoman Widiana, Director of Human Resources at Capella Ubud, Bali, to understand exactly what qualifications and attributes they look for when hiring new staff, and the role EnglishScore plays in helping them identify one of the key skills they look for: English language proficiency.

To hear his views on the current challenges and opportunities for young people in the hospitality industry post-pandemic watch our webinar.


The importance of English skills when hiring hospitality staff


To maintain their reputation for quality, Capella Ubud need to hire the right staff. 

That means having a repeatable framework for reviewing CVs and determining the right skills – one that reliably ensures their candidates have the skills needed to succeed in the role.

Nyoman Widiana explains that there are three parts to Capella Ubud, Bali’s competency assessments: 

  • Head: thinking critically and strategically
  • Heart: the personality of the individual
  • Hand: carrying out day-to-day tasks effectively and efficiently

But one skill that underpins all the above is communication, and specifically, communication in English.

Nyoman explains that “English skills are very important in our industry, because our guests are from all over the world and English is an international language. It helps us deliver the level of service our guests deserve.”


Effective communication helps deliver a positive brand experience


Most roles at Capella Ubud, Bali are customer-facing, making their staff ambassadors of the brand. 

But where communication is essential in any business, Nyoman explains that English actually plays a bigger role in delivering the overall brand experience.

To continue to provide its world-renowned customer service, Capella Ubud, Bali’s staff “must connect with their globally diverse guests, not just communicate”. 


This requires them to have a level of empathy and understanding that’s achieved through a good knowledge of a common language.

And with customer recommendations and reviews playing such an important role in developing a hospitality brand’s reputation, ensuring the staff they hire are equipped to deliver an outstanding service means more customers and repeat business.


Candidates with strong English skills have a competitive advantage


“English certification is one of the first things I look for when reviewing an application,” explains Nyoman.

“It helps us as interviewers assess and filter our candidates. We look for an established brand, like British Council EnglishScore, which gives us confidence that they will be able to communicate well.

“So my advice for graduates from university who are looking for a job in the hospitality industry is, learn English and get a certificate. With a qualification like this from a reputable brand on your CV, employers are more likely to prioritise your application.”


Different job roles require different English skills


English can be broken down into three core elements: reading, writing, speaking and listening. 

Nyoman explains that all departments require English skills because the guests are from all over the world, but each role has its own specific demands – some requiring English proficiency in certain skills over others. 

“Someone in a front-of-house role will need excellent speaking and interpersonal skills, whilst someone working in the marketing department should ideally have good reading and writing skills.

“Let’s say we have two candidates with the same qualifications,” explains Nyoman, “looking into each skill helps us decide which candidates are best for selling, or front of house.”

Through British Council EnglishScore, Capella Ubud, Bali can get a breakdown of scores across the four core skills, providing an extra layer of detail needed to filter out candidates by skill level, while effectively speeding up the hiring process.

We’ve created a guide explaining how to set and assess the level of English required for specific job roles in your organisation here.


Supporting fast and effective recruitment


In the hospitality industry, candidates can get a competitive advantage by learning English and certifying their skills. As Nyoman explains, at Capella Ubud, Bali, they prioritise applications if the candidate can demonstrate proficiency. 

That’s why EnglishScore has developed an English test and certificate that can be taken on a smartphone, making it convenient for the test taker, whilst providing a British Council-approved certificate that employers can trust.

To see how EnglishScore can help your business assess the English level of your staff, click the button below.

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