With nearly 80% of hotels nationwide experiencing staffing shortages, hoteliers are offering potential hires a host of incentives to fill vacancies, according to a new survey conducted by the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
Seventy-one percent of respondents are increasing wages, 64% are offering greater flexibility with hours and 33% are expanding benefits ― but 81% say they are still unable to fill open positions.
Seventy-nine percent of survey respondents indicate they are experiencing a staffing shortage, 22% severely so. The most critical staffing need is housekeeping, with 43% ranking it as their top hiring need. The numbers are an improvement from September 2022, when 87% of respondents to an AHLA survey said they were short-staffed, 36% severely so, with 43% ranking housekeeping as their top hiring need at the time.
Respondents are attempting to fill an average of seven positions per property, down from 10 vacancies per property in September 2022.
These staffing challenges are resulting in historic career opportunities for hotel employees. As of December, national average hotel wages were at all-time highs of more than $23 per hour. Since the pandemic, average hotel wages have increased faster than average wages throughout the general economy. And hotel benefits and flexibility are better than ever.
“Recruiting enough workers continues to be the top challenge for many hoteliers, and this is leading to historic career opportunities for hotel employees,” said AHLA President & CEO Chip Rogers. “AHLA and the AHLA Foundation are working tirelessly to grow the industry’s talent pipeline and retain workers through innovative events like National Hotel Employee Day and compelling ad campaigns like ‘A Place to Stay,’ but there is still more to be done. We need Congress to help address workforce shortages with bipartisan solutions to incorporate more immigrants into the American economy.”