How to Hire a Hotel Front Desk Clerk

Does your growing hospitality business need a hotel front desk clerk? Hotel front desk clerks greet, check in and assist guests in a variety of ways.

Here are some tips to help you find great hotel front desk clerk candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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Hotel receptionists searching for jobs on Indeed*


job seekers that clicked on hotel receptionist jobs


resumes from job seekers with hotel receptionist experience on Indeed


hotel receptionist jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring a hotel receptionist?

  • Common wage in US: $12.28 hourly
  • Typical wages range from $7.25$20.65 hourly
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – Dec 2020

As of December 2020, hotel receptionist jobs in the US are less competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 90 job seekers per hotel receptionist job.

Why hire a hotel front desk clerk?

The need for new hotel staff can affect both your existing team and your bottom line. A great hotel front desk clerk hire can help your business:

  • Provide an array of customer service-oriented duties, including making reservations and checking in hotel guests
  • Facilitate room service deliveries
  • Schedule services, taxis and reservations at the request of hotel guests

Deciding between a full-time vs part-time hotel front desk clerk

Before writing a hotel front desk clerk job description or interviewing candidates, decide if you need a full-time or part-time hotel front desk clerk.

A full-time hotel front desk clerk acts as the face of the hotel they work for, welcoming guests and assisting them throughout their stay. As their responsibilities includes answering phone calls and emails, making reservations and responding to special needs during all hours of a guest’s stay, consider how many guests your hotel can accommodate and whether you will need one or multiple front desk clerks on shift at any given time (e.g., during the day, overnight).

Part-time/contract hotel front desk clerk may work for hotels that need assistance on short notice. Other times, they may be hired by small or boutique hotels to work less than 40 hours per week, or if the hotel is hosting a special event and needs the help of extra staff members.

What are the ranks of hotel front desk clerks?

When you want to hire a hotel front desk clerk, it’s important to understand what type of front desk clerk will best suit your needs. Whether you’re hiring for your bed and breakfast, motel, boutique hotel or luxury hotel, there are a few types of hotel front desk clerks to choose from. Here are the common ranks of hotel front desk clerks:

  • Hotel front desk manager: Oversees all functions of a hotel front desk, including managing other front desk staff and resolving guest complaints, to ensure a positive guest experience.
  • Concierge: Welcomes guests and provides them with information and resources to make their stay a pleasant one. Offers local dining and entertainment suggestions, makes reservations and arranges for transportation services. 
  • Reservations clerk: Communicates with those interesting in booking a stay at the hotel. Makes hotel reservations by phone or email, answers questions regarding accommodations and notes special requests or needs.
  • Hotel front desk clerk (or hotel receptionist): Greets guests at check in, providing them with room keys and hotel information, then checks guests out upon departure. Serves as the primary point of contact when guests have questions regarding their stay (e.g., room service, general inquiries, concerns).

Where to find hotel front desk clerks

To find the right front desk clerk for your hotel, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Promote from within: Look for employees who want to professionally grow in the hospitality industry. Would becoming a front desk clerk at your hotel be a good match? 
  • Employee referrals: Employee referrals are known to result in quality hires that have greater job satisfaction. Ask your current employees who they know that would be a good addition to the team.
  • Networking: Use hospitality industry conferences, events and tradeshows to chat with hotel professionals in search of a new opportunity.
  • Share on social media: Does your company have a social media presence? Promote your hotel front desk clerk role on social media to spread the word about your open role.
  • Post your job online: Try posting your hotel front desk clerk job on Indeed to find and attract quality hotel front desk clerk candidates.

Skills to look for in a great hotel front desk clerk

A great hotel front desk clerk candidate will have the following skills and attributes as well as work experience that reflects:

  • Willingness to work nights, weekends and holidays
  • Pass background and drug screenings
  • Hospitality industry background a plus
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Friendly phone manner
  • Experience with reservation software

Writing a hotel front desk clerk job description

A thoughtful description can help find qualified hotel front desk clerk candidates. A hotel front desk clerk job description includes a compelling summary of the role, detailed list of duties and responsibilities and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your hotel front desk clerk job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on hotel receptionist jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Receptionist
  • Hotel
  • Hotel front desk
  • Office assistant
  • Front desk
  • Clerical
  • Front desk receptionist
  • Hotels
  • Administrative
  • Hospitality

Interviewing hotel front desk clerk candidates

Strong candidates for hotel front desk clerk positions will be confident answering questions regarding:

  • Using reservation software to complete client bookings
  • Working with other hotel staff to accommodate guest needs
  • Maintaining guest confidentiality

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of hotel front desk clerk interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire a hotel front desk clerk

What is the difference between front desk clerk and receptionist?

A hotel front desk clerk and receptionist have similar responsibilities that can vary based on the size of the hotel. For example, a small hotel may use these titles interchangeably. On the other hand, a large hotel may task the receptionist with answering and directing phone calls, while the front desk clerk would interact with guests in person as they arrive and depart.

What does a hotel front desk clerk wear?

A hotel front desk clerk is one of the first people a guest sees upon arrival, so they should be dressed professionally. While dress will vary based on the the size and style of hotel, a few options include: suit and tie, skirt and jacket, or dress slacks with a blouse or button-up shirt.

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    Last updated: Apr 21, 2021