Nearly all hotels are experiencing staffing shortages, and half report being severely understaffed, according to a new member survey conducted by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). Ninety-seven percent (97%) of survey respondents indicated they are experiencing a staffing shortage, 49% severely so. The most critical staffing need is housekeeping, with 58% ranking it as their biggest challenge.
To meet the demand, hotels are offering a host of incentives for potential hires: nearly 90% have increased wages, 71% are offering greater flexibility with hours, and 43% have expanded benefits. These efforts have met with some success – in the last three months, respondents say they have hired an additional 23 new employees per property, but they are also trying to fill an additional 12 positions. Ninety-seven percent (97%) of respondents say they have been unable to fill open positions.
To help hotels fill more than 130,000 open positions nationwide and raise awareness of the hospitality industry’s 200+ career pathways, the AHLA foundation has expanded its “A Place to Stay” multi-channel advertising campaign. After a successful pilot in five markets, the campaign is now active in 14 US cities, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Orlando, Phoenix, San Diego, and Tampa.
In addition to doubling its financial investment in the campaign, the foundation has also expanded its bilingual English/Spanish efforts and developed several enhanced digital strategies to further target prospective employees.
AHLA president and CEO, Chip Rogers, said “if you’ve ever thought about working at a hotel, now’s the time because the pay, the benefits, and the opportunity is better than it’s ever been.”