The Job Compatibility Index: A New Approach to Defining the Hospitality Labor Market

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Both employers and employees usually look within the confines of their own industry when they are thinking about filling or taking a job. When the labor market is tight, however, hotel operators might be better off if they could consider workers from other industries who have skills that would fit them for hotel jobs. By the same token, when the job opportunities are rare, job seekers can look outside of their current industry for positions that match their skill set. (This would include unemployed hospitality workers, who could seek compatible jobs in other industries.) Because existing sources that give listings of comparable jobs do not explain how or why they match up various jobs, it makes sense to use a human-capital approach to comparing jobs. This means analyzing and matching the individual skills, knowledge, and abilities needed for each position. The Job Compatibility Index presented here provides a method for comparing jobs based on their component skills. The index compiles the compatibility score and importance rating of each of 35 skills for the job in question. To arrive at a single index score, the compatibility of each skill is weighted by its importance. By adding up the resulting scores one can see how a seemingly unrelated job is in fact a potential source of hospitality employees. Taking the example of a hotel front-desk clerk, the index identifies nine jobs that involve most of the same skills, only three of them in the hospitality industry, expanding the reach of the potential labor pool by ten-fold. Non-hospitality jobs that require skills similar to the front-desk job including personal and home-care aides, nursery workers, and life guards. Thus, the JCI identifies opportunities for both employers and workers.

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hospitality jobs; human capital; Job Compatibility Index; labor market


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