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How Bad Is the Hotel Labor Shortage?

Although the fate of the overall economy is still unknown, summer 2022 made one thing certain: Americans are ready to travel, and they’re prepared to pay for the privilege. This could be a banner year for the hospitality industry but for one thing: labor shortages are making it hard to meet demand.

Exactly how bad is the hotel labor shortage? A recent report from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) makes it clear that not only are the ongoing hotel staffing shortages serious, but they are also going to be hard to overcome.

The Extent of the Labor Shortage

An analysis by Oxford Economics on behalf of the AHLA makes the numbers plain. By the end of 2022, the industry will be 166,000 workers short of where they were in 2019, a 7% decrease.

This might not seem like much of a shortfall, but the AHLA’s survey makes it clear what these numbers mean to individual hoteliers and properties. In the survey, 97% of hotels report staffing shortages. Not only that, but nearly half (49%) say they are severely shorthanded. Although these shortages affect all aspects of the hotel, the most severely shorthanded area is housekeeping, according to 58% of respondents.

Recommended Tactics Couldn’t Fill the Shortfall

solutions for hotel staffing shortage Never ones to accept defeat easily, hoteliers have taken some significant actions to try to overcome the labor shortages, including taking steps to attract new hires:

These efforts have helped, allowing them to increase hiring, but they’re still short by an average of 12 employees per property.

Trying to utilize technology to overcome labor shortages, some hotels are also turning to robots to do work people used to do. Costing at least $2,000 a month to lease, hotel robots can do simple jobs like delivering extra towels or sometimes room service. In addition to union resistance to the effort, robots simply cannot replace some of the people lost.

In particular, the hotel industry is struggling to replace experienced personnel. When hotels laid off more than 6 million workers in 2020, the most experienced workers – those most likely to have families and other obligations that couldn’t wait for the industry to bounce back – moved on to other opportunities. Managers are needed everywhere, and they took their talents where they could get work immediately.

Staffing Services Are a Unique Resource

In response to the ongoing shortage, staffing services offer something that’s hard to get in other places: experienced workers. While hotels laid off workers, staffing services often maintained their relationship with workers, including hiring on experienced hospitality workers suddenly in need of short-term employment.

While it remains hard to find experienced workers when recruiting, staffing services can often supply experienced workers from their pool of talent. These experienced workers can make an outsized contribution while new hires in the hotel industry take the time necessary to get up to speed on the industry’s demands.

Why Choose Xclusive Services

If you are short on staff, Xclusive Services is in a great position to help. Xclusive Services can offer staff at all levels, from new hires to experienced managers. We can supply entire teams that can work independently, provide employees that will work under your managers, or even provide managers to supervise your employees.

You’ll have the confidence provided by our Xclusive Excellence™ promise. With our promise, we will:

We will get the labor you need to supply your shortages very quickly. It often takes us just hours to have people on your property.

We handle all the legal compliance for the staff we supply. There’s no need for you to worry about their paperwork and qualifications.

Finally, although you’ll rarely experience problems with Xclusive personnel, you’ll have the confidence of knowing we have managers available 24/7 to help if difficulties arise. Our managers have their smartphones on them at all times and are ready to provide solutions to any difficulties, up to and including supplying additional or replacement staff on short notice.

Want to learn more about the benefits of working with Xclusive Services? Please request a quote here or call a local office for immediate staffing needs.

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