Hotel industry trying to attract workforce as Canadians begin to travel

By Mark Neufeld

Hotels are hiring. Staffing shortages in the hospitality industry are being felt across the country.

As Canadians pack their bags and head out on summer vacations, the challenge is finding enough people to work, to meet increased demand.

The front desk staff, restaurant workers, and guest services are a few examples of hotel job vacancies that need to be filled. Scott Jocelyn president of the Manitoba Hotel Association says it’s great people have started to travel again and want to book hotels, but in some cases staffing levels are so low it’s forcing hotels to turn guests away.

“You know we’re just in desperate need of people and ah, again, really happy that we’ve turned a corner, that people are coming to our places, we just kind of seem to be lagging behind being ready for them to come back,” explained Jocelyn.

It’s the same situation in B.C., according to Mike Macleod, Director of Member and Business Development with the British Columbia hotel association.


“All of a sudden the flood gates opened, restrictions are released, and everyone wants to get out and travel and enjoy what we have in this country and the inventible happened. And you’re also obviously seeing that we see media reports of obvious challenges in the airports and other areas as well so, this is a reflection of that.”

To try and entice employees back, Macleod says hotels are offering re-training and upgrading programs offering former employees a chance to return to promoted positions.

They’re also engaging with temporary foreign workers and recent graduates from post-secondary intuitions to attract them into the industry.

“So we’re training them in the operational basics if you will, but with an eye to being able to move up quickly,” said Macleod.

Taking their efforts online, the Manitoba hotel association has launched the “there is room for you” job portal where people applying for hotel jobs upload their resume which is then automatically sent to more than 200 hotels

“So we’re about a week in, and we sent over 300 resumes to the hotels in our network,” explained Jocelyn.

After a difficult two years through the pandemic, the industry is grateful for the business, as long as they can find the staff to serve their guests.

“We’re going to hope that we can get some people employed.”

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