Baltimore’s Effort to Boost Hospitality Hiring
Visit Baltimore, the destination sales and marketing organization for the city of Baltimore, has launched a hospitality workforce campaign designed to highlight the variety of jobs in the area’s hospitality industry and encourage individuals to pursue long-term careers in the field.
“Right now, one of our key economic priorities is addressing COVID’s negative impact on our local community and setting the stage for sustainable growth that directly benefits Baltimore City job seekers and businesses,” Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said in a statement.
“This campaign will connect our community to career opportunities in their own backyard and help businesses ensure they can deliver a positive customer experience to every visitor. An experience that we hope they’ll share with their friends and families back home, encouraging others to experience all that Baltimore has to offer.”
The multi-phased campaign kicked off in early January with advertising on digital billboards, search engine marketing and a social media campaign. The second phase launched in late January with additional layers of advertising on local radio stations and video and radio streaming platforms, featuring stories from local hospitality professionals about career paths and opportunities within the industry.
In addition to the advertising campaign, Visit Baltimore recently launched a “Hospitality Jobs” webpage to support the hospitality industry in its staffing needs. The content is designed to welcome back past employees, while encouraging new-to-the-industry job seekers by highlighting the benefits of working in the tourism industry and providing direct links to job postings.
Talent Opportunities Emerge in Hospitality
In a recent Q&A with SkiftX, Tom McCaleb and Adam Gordon, managing directors and partners at Boston Consulting Group, discussed emerging opportunities for talent recruitment, training and retention in the hospitality sector.
When asked about shortages and increased competition for talent facing the industry, McCaleb described what he sees as “an incredible number of hospitality job openings at this time that offer higher wages and more flexibility than pre-pandemic times.”
Hospitality industry leaders “are trying to make this industry more attractive to employees by fishing in new labor pools, adding flexibility and offering new benefits,” McCaleb told the travel industry news site. “It’s about changing the entire employee value proposition, not only increasing wages.”
McCaleb sees the hospitality sector beginning to experiment with flexible work shifts to attract and retain workers, and he predicts that “we’ll increasingly see technology solutions that will enable hotel brands to share labor across different proper- ties — even if they’re run by different owners. Beyond providing flexibility to workers, this could help properties match worker supply and demand.”
Industry employers would be wise to seek frontline workers with technological savvy as well, added McCaleb, noting the need for “warm, caring” employees who shine at hotel guest service who are also adept at using technology.
“Knowing how to analyze and apply data will be a key skill for employees on the commercial side of hotels too,” he said. “For example, revenue managers will need to be able to use the next generation of tech systems for more sophisticated decisions on pricing and room availability versus relying on spreadsheets.”
As in other industries, the issue of diversity will remain a key for hospitality, he concluded.
“It’s an extremely diverse industry on the front line, but some groups are still underrepresented in more senior roles. The industry is aware of this, and many companies have initiatives to address it, but we’re a long way from where we need to be,” McCaleb said. “A renewed push for leadership diversity in the industry will help unlock new labor pools and new potential.”
“It’s an extremely diverse industry on the front line, but some groups are still underrepresented in more senior roles. The industry is aware of this, and many companies have initiatives to address it, but we’re a long way from where we need to be.”
New Initiative Aims to Fill Hospitality Jobs
The American Hotel & Lodging Association Foundation (AHLAF) has launched a nationwide advertising campaign in an effort to help fill thousands of open jobs across the United States.
The multiyear effort is the first initiative of its kind for AHLAF, and aims to attract job seekers “and help them discover the multitude of career pathways, competitive wages, benefits and perks the industry offers, while ushering a new, diverse talent pool to the hospitality arena,” according to a statement.
Focused on the testimonials of individuals employed at hotels, the digital campaign highlights the opportunities for “upward mobility and lifelong careers,” and is initially targeting job seekers who are underemployed and ready to work as well as the unemployed. The effort also features a new website (TheHotelIndustry.com), bilingual streaming audio, digital display banners, and ads on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram in an effort to attract talent to the industry.