AHLA Foundation Expands Recruitment Program as 97% of Hotels Report Staffing Shortages

July 14, 2022

As staffing shortages continue to plague the meetings and events industry—from convention centers to hotels and beyond—the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is stepping up efforts to lure prospective employees following its recent member survey.

According to the results of the survey, which polled 500 properties, 97% of 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 surveyed 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 been met with some success. In the last three months, respondents said 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-plus career pathways, the AHLA Foundation expanded its “A Place to Stay” multi-channel advertising campaign. After a successful pilot in five markets, the campaign 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.
 
In addition to doubling its financial investment in the campaign, the foundation also expanded its bilingual English-Spanish efforts and developed several enhanced digital strategies to further target prospective employees.

If anyone has ever thought about working in the hotel industry, now is the time because the pay, benefits and overall opportunity are better than they’ve ever been, AHLA President and CEO Chip Rogers.

“The expansion of AHLA Foundation’s ‘A Place to Stay’ recruitment campaign will help us bring this message to the masses at a crucial time, helping expand the hotel industry’s pool of prospective workers and grow our talent pipeline,” Rogers said. 

Rosanna Maietta, executive vice president of communications and public relations at ALHA and president and CEO of AHLA Foundation, echoed that sentiment.  

“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,” Maietta said. “‘A Place to Stay’ helps us tell that story by highlighting the many pathways and countless career opportunities the hotel industry provides.”

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