The Hospitality Industry is Facing a Staffing Shortage. What Now?

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There is no doubt that travel is on the rise from last year. “Google Flights” searches are up, TSA checkpoints are busier, and updated government guidelines are starting to allow for more movement across state and country borders. Yet hotels are facing the most severe shortage of staff in two decades as COVID-19 recedes. How are hotels dealing with this, and where can they go from here in a world trying to adjust to this new normal?

After aggressively downsizing to keep business afloat in a worldwide travel halt, hotel service employment is still scarce. Work visas for international employees remain hard to come by as border policies shift. Some folks left the hotel industry instead of waiting out furloughs or scrambling to get re-hired, or simply to protect their safety. Now, they may be taking care of families, in new jobs with more stable hours, or riding out the stimulus benefits of collecting unemployment. 

It’s up to hotel management to rethink their practices. For instance, many hotels are facing difficult choices with how much occupancy they can offer compared to how much staff they have on hand. Should you clean rooms more quickly and keep them all open, risking guest experience? Or should you block off a percentage of your hotel’s rooms until you have the staff to adequately service them all, risking lower occupancy in a potential boom of a season? You’ll have to consider the needs of your staff and the expectations of your guests and pick what’s best for your business. 

It’s also up to management to incentivize candidates and hire the best talent. Translation: leverage all the resources available to you to make your work environment more appealing. One important element to consider is your use of technology on behalf of your staff. Can you be better utilizing certain platforms to make employees’ experiences smoother? Seamless, tech-driven internal systems can automate processes and combat employment shortages while increasing reliability and improving the experience of employees you already have. 
If tech improvements aren’t already in your hiring and retention plan, then consider getting started with eTip. Our cashless platform uses customizable QR codes to create digital tip jars for employees. Our platform is proven to generate higher tips that inspire hotel employees to work better with greater loyalty. Check out our website to get started.

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