STAFFING PROBLEMS CONTINUE for 97 percent of American Hotel & Lodging Association members, according to a recent survey. In response, AHLA is expanding its “A Place to Stay” multi-channel advertising campaign to help with recruitment.
AHLA’s member survey also found that the staffing shortage is severe for 49 percent of respondents. For 58 percent, finding housekeepers is their biggest challenge.
Nearly 90 percent of respondents have increased wages to help meet the demand. Also, 71 percent are offering greater flexibility with hours, and 43 percent have expanded benefits. As a result, in the last three months the respondents say they have hired an additional 23 new employees per property, but are also trying to fill an additional 12 positions. Still, 97 percent say they have been unable to fill open positions.
“If you’ve ever thought about working at a hotel, now’s the time because the pay is better than it’s ever been, the benefits are better than they’ve ever been, and the opportunity is better than it’s ever been,” said Chip Rogers, AHLA president and CEO.
AHLA’s “A Place to Stay” was piloted in five cities initially but is now active in 14 cities, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Orlando, Phoenix, San Diego, and Tampa. AHLA’s charitable wing, the AHLA Foundation, will double its investment in the program in an effort to fill more than 130,000 open positions nationwide and raise awareness of the hospitality industry’s more than 200 career pathway.
In addition, the foundation also has expanded its bilingual English/Spanish efforts and developed several enhanced digital strategies to further target prospective employees. The expansion of “A Place to Stay” comes at a crucial time, said Rosanna Maietta, AHLA executive vice president of communications and public relations and president & CEO of AHLA Foundation.
“With hotels on a hiring spree amid surging summer travel demand, our industry is providing current and prospective hotel employees historic opportunities for good-paying, lifelong careers,” she said. “‘A Place to Stay’ helps us tell that story by highlighting the many pathways and countless career opportunities the hotel industry provides.”
In June, AHLA and the foundation entered a partnership with the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education to grow the future workforce of the hotel and hospitality industry. As part of the collaboration, which came into effect on June 13, ICHRIE will distribute AHLA Foundation materials and facilitate access to its membership and communication channels. Besides, they will explore future opportunities to engage hospitality management faculty and students, an AHLA statement said.