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Hospitality Trends to Keep in Mind When Hiring This Year

Times are changing, especially in the hospitality field. The ups and downs of COVID lockdowns aside, the hospitality field was evolving even before the pandemic caused us to revert to delivery and periodically shut down our front-of-house operations. Today, this competitive business continues to change, particularly in the area of hiring, which is critically important to the field. Here are some of the trends you should be aware of in 2022.

Keeping Up with 2022 Hospitality Trends

One of the biggest new trends in 2022 in the hospitality field is the issue of signing bonuses. Staffing is always a challenge in the hospitality field, but COVID created a real crisis for organizations who were forced to lay off and furlough, then scramble to rehire, even after droves of hospitality workers decided to find another career. Even McDonald’s cited the labor shortage for a 4% drop in sales in 2021.

The hospitality industry has acknowledged that there are some issues around wages and benefits. But the staffing trend to watch out for this year is the issue of paying signing bonuses to new employees. We’re seeing a general bump in salaries across the field. But organizations are also getting creative by offering incentives just to join their business. Some of the latest trends include:

  • Chipotle is offering tuition reimbursement of up to $5,250 annually.
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club offers a $500 signing bonus plus a $500 referral bonus.
  • Marriott Vacations in Orlando offers a $1,000 sign-on bonus for their timeshare properties.

Another hiring trend to watch is the pay surge. Pay increased in the hospitality sector by 7.2% in January 2021, which is much faster than any other job sector. The average hourly pay rose to just over $18 by spring last year, and Reuters reports, “Pay rose even faster for workers in non-manager roles.” Leisure and hospitality pay increased over retail, construction, manufacturing, and all other career sectors. While the industry added close to 300,000 jobs last year, overall employment is still down as hospitality businesses struggle to find talent. The issue is that many people left the field entirely during the pandemic to work in other types of jobs.

This is a necessary change for an industry now struggling to respond to higher demand as more consumers return to travel. But they will return to visit a hospitality industry that is rapidly changing to include:

  • Contactless payments with Google Pay and Apple Pay that remove the need to even carry a wallet. This eliminates cash handling and improves the customer (and staff) experience.
  • Voice search options on your website that allow customers to book a stay or search for your facility without the keyboard. Voice controls are also going into hotel rooms to enhance the guest experience with smart speakers that answer questions, turn on the lights, and more.
  • Increased food delivery options from restaurants that elevated these services during COVID but found consumer demand to be high enough to increase their offerings for a lucrative side business.
  • Increased partnerships with staffing firms as the hospitality field seeks assistance in filling key roles in their organizations.

Gecko Hospitality offers the industry ways to tackle its toughest hiring challenges. We specialize in finding the hidden pockets of staff resources to help your business succeed. Call on us. We can help.


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