A shortage of workers in the hospitality industry is forcing hotels, restaurants and other businesses nationwide to get creative with efforts to attract employees.
In Springfield, a dozen members of the Springfield Hotel Lodging Assoc., the Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Missouri Restaurant Assoc. teamed up to fund a $30,000 marketing campaign designed to entice people to apply for jobs in the hospitality industry. They’re trying to find workers for more than 100 open jobs at hotels in Springfield and there’s no telling how many positions are vacant at other tourism-related businesses, said Alexis Deane-Downing, president of SHLA.
The campaign, created by local advertising agency Revel, explains the benefits of working in the hospitality industry with a focus on flexible hours, opportunities for advancement, good benefits, excellent starting wages and fun work environments. The website also provides links to hotel applications.
“We don’t feel that people realize the opportunities within our industry that are available to them,” Deane-Downing said. “We have fun work environments, flexible scheduling, networking and advancement opportunities. We want to make it easy for them to see, and easy for them to get their name to us.”
This also is a great time to start working in the industry, she said. Those who start within the industry now have more opportunity to advance their career once we start to turn the corner on the labor shortage.
“It’s a great time to get a foot in the door,” Deane-Downing said. “It’s a stepping stone into a great career with opportunity for advancement.”
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports there are about 21,500 hospitality and leisure jobs in Springfield, making it the fifth largest employment sector in the city. The city’s unemployment rate in December, the most recent data available, was 2.1 percent.