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Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

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Hotel Front Desk Clerks (6525)

Hotel front desk clerks make room reservations, provide information and services to guests and receive payment for services.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Read short text passages on labels and in forms, e.g. skim the instructions on printer cartridge packaging to correctly install printer cartridges. (1)
  • Read faxes, email messages and memos from guests and co-workers, e.g. read email messages from prospective guests inquiring about room availabilities, specific amenities and rates for large groups. (2)
  • Read descriptions and reviews in brochures, news publications, guidebooks and Internet sites, e.g. read restaurant and entertainment reviews in community newspapers to be able to better inform their guests. (2)
  • Read procedures and guidelines in manuals and online help files, e.g. read procedures in office equipment manuals to maintain and troubleshoot devices, such as printers, photocopiers and debit card processors. (3)
  • Read clauses in contracts for programs, packages and services, e.g. read accommodation contracts to learn about the terms and conditions regarding cancellations. (3)
Document use Help - Document use
  • Locate data on labels and signs, e.g. locate room numbers on door plates and identification numbers on credit cards and driver licences. (1)
  • Locate data in lists, tables and schedules, e.g. scan event schedules to learn dates, locations, events and times. (2)
  • Enter data into lists, tables and schedules, e.g. enter dates, numbers and total value of coins and bills into cash float count sheets. (2)
  • Locate data on maps, e.g. locate local services, points of interest, event venues and alternative travel routes on maps to assist guests. (2)
  • Locate data in forms, e.g. scan registration forms completed by guests to locate payment methods, car licence plate numbers and number of adults and children. (3)
  • Complete forms, e.g. enter data, such as arrival and departure dates, room numbers and rates, contact data and credit card numbers, into guest registration forms. (3)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Write short notes, e.g. write brief reminders to co-workers on upcoming shifts about special services for VIP guests. (1)
  • Write email messages and memos to guests and co-workers, e.g. write email messages to prospective guests to answer requests concerning room availability and to justify rates. (2)
  • May write short reports, e.g. write short reports to explain why guests received discounts and complimentary rooms. (2)
  • Write one- to two-paragraph text entries in forms, e.g. write details of major incidents, such as fires and security breaches, in occurrence report forms. (2)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy
  • Handle cash, credit card and debit card transactions and provide change. (1)
  • Count cash floats and reconcile amounts with opening balances and cash received during shifts. (1)
  • Calculate deposit slip amounts at the ends of their shifts, balancing the change floats and totaling all payouts. (1)
  • May measure driving and walking distances for guests using maps. (1)
  • Compare reservation counts to previous levels of activity. (1)
  • Collect data on occupancies, services and complaints, e.g. count reservations and registrations per day and per week. (1)
  • Estimate how long it will take to get rooms ready. (1)
  • Calculate discounts and taxes and exchange currencies. (2)
  • May calculate occupancy rates. (2)
  • Calculate the average number of guests per night and the average amount of money spent per person. (2)
  • Estimate the time required for guests to travel from hotels to airports, considering weather and traffic conditions. (2)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • May use public address systems to page guests. (1)
  • Exchange information with co-workers, e.g. discuss the availability of rooms with housekeeping staff. (1)
  • Speak with guests in person and by telephone about a variety of topics, e.g. discuss accommodation needs, hotel amenities and features of tourist attractions. (2)
  • Participate in staff meetings, e.g. share and discuss concerns, such as long wait times during group check-ins. (2)
  • Speak with dissatisfied customers, e.g. speak with customers who are unhappy with the services they received and negotiate resolutions. (3)
  • May provide detailed, step-by-step instructions, e.g. explain how to use electronic reservation system software to new employees. (3)
  • May discuss details of incidents involving hostile customers and thefts with security personnel and police officers. (3)
  • Interact with guests to deal with errors, complaints and emergencies, e.g. use tact to calm and negotiate with guests upset over reservation errors. (3)
Thinking Help - Thinking
  • Decide the allocation of rooms, considering customers' preferences (e.g. non-smoking, away from the elevator) and room availability. (1)
  • Assess the legibility, completeness and accuracy of completed forms. They compare the information presented to requirements to identify potential errors and information gaps. (1)
  • Access information on room availability from hotel computer systems. (1)
  • Encounter equipment malfunctions, e.g. discover that room heaters are not working. They contact repairers to fix the malfunction and provide additional services to guests, such as extra blankets, as warranted. (2)
  • Encounter unhappy guests. They speak with guests about their concerns and attempt to negotiate resolutions by offering discounts, refunds and gift certificates as warranted. (2)
  • May receive complaints about loud noise on floors. They first speak to the offending parties to ask for their co-operation in reducing the noise. If the problem persists, they may choose to evict the groups, enlisting security and police assistance if the guests become unruly. (2)
  • Are unable to serve guests with confirmed reservations because the hotel is overbooked. They tactfully explain the situation to the customers and monitor the room availability after the release of non-guaranteed rooms. If necessary, they reserve rooms for the customers at other hotels. (2)
  • Decide when circumstances warrant offering complimentary drinks or rooms to promote customer satisfaction. (2)
  • Select appropriate packages, rates, rooms and services for guests, e.g. consider business guests' profiles, including number of nights of previous stays, to determine their eligibility for better rates and express check-in. (2)
  • Decide whether to check-in customers who appear to be intoxicated. (2)
  • Judge the validity of guest complaints to determine their actions and the value of discounts. (2)
  • Evaluate tourist attractions and dining establishments to determine their suitability for guests. (2)
  • Schedule tasks to focus on checking guests in and out and answering phones, fitting in other activities during slow periods. There are frequent interruptions. They prioritize multiple tasks to achieve greatest efficiency. (2)
  • Find information to locate and obtain particular amenities for guests, such as rare bottles of wine, limousine service, event tickets and special electrical adapters. They conduct keyword searches on the Internet and skim descriptions of products and services on suppliers' websites. They call and talk with suppliers to ensure products and services match guest needs. (2)
  • Find information about local and regional services and points of interest. They skim event calendars, news publications and guidebooks. They may conduct keyword searches on the Internet and scan tourist information websites. They may call tourism bureaus and service providers for specific information. They may exchange suggestions with co-workers and gather ideas from guests. (2)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • Use calculators and personal digital assistant (PDA) devices to complete numeracy-related tasks, such as summing figures and calculating interest charges. (1)
  • Operate point-of-sale equipment, such as electronic cash registers and touch-screens, to complete sales and issue refunds. (1)
  • Use word processing software to open and print documents, such as letters, memos and procedures. (2)
  • May use spreadsheets to calculate occupancy rates and track complimentary breakfasts and parking vouchers. (2)
  • May use communication software to exchange email and attachments with guests and co-workers. (2)
  • May use the Internet to access training courses and seminars offered by trainers, suppliers, employers and associations. (2)
  • Use browsers and search engines to locate information about tourist attractions and other hotel properties. (2)
  • Use Internet browsers to upload room availabilities and rates to centralized booking websites. (2)
  • May use security systems to roll back videos taken by cameras on specified dates and transfer data to external discs. (2)
  • May log into in-house movie systems to obtain room numbers, movie titles and costs to be charged to guest accounts. (2)
  • Use hotel-management software to locate room availabilities, generate receipts and make and change reservations. (3)
Additional information Help - Additional information Working with Others

Hotel front desk clerks work independently most of the time as members of a team dedicated to customer service. Depending on their hotel's size and business volume, they may work with partners. They co-ordinate with managers, co-workers and external service providers, such as airline representatives, to meet guests' needs.

Continuous Learning

Hotel front desk clerks continue to upgrade their computer and customer service skills. They acquire new learning on the job and through independent reading. Some hotel front desk clerks participate in company-sponsored service or sales seminars and tourism courses available in their communities.

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