Hotels in Georgia desperate to find workers

As businesses struggle to return to normal there’s one industry that needs continued help to survive.

Experts in the hotel and lodging industry said they are in desperate need of workers.

"Everywhere we look and all the hoteliers I talk to say they are all looking for people to come work," Jim Sprouse said.

Like everything and everyone else, the pandemic has been rough for the hotel and lodging industry.

"Last year 90% of hotels were basically out of work," Sprouse said.

Jim Spouse is the Executive Director of the Georgia Hotel and Lodging Association and said as places open up and business increases there’s a new problem.

"We need team members to come back to work. We are starting to get more demand with more people wanting to stay in hotels and we are restricted by the number of employees back on the job," Sprouse said.

As of Friday, the Georgia Department of Labor listed more than 250,000 jobs open.

Employers are getting desperate.

"I just spoke with a general manager and he told me that three days out of every week he’s flipping rooms. He’s doing it just to get the job done and that’s very common. You have people covering multiple positions," Sprouse said.

Sprouse believes fall reservations and projections are looking up but they need to see an increase in business travelers.

"Business travel is half of all travel. We are seeing good return on all leisure travel but what we need is the return of the business travel," Sprouse said.

Sprouse admits that many previous employees might never return.

"During the time the hotels suspended operations they had to find something and they had to find other opportunities. There are lost generations that I don’t think we will ever see back," Sprouse said.

For anyone looking for a job, Sprouse believes a hotel is a great place to work.

"A hotel is like a small city. They need every type of talent and skill. Someone greeting you at the door to IT engineering to foodservice. You name it and they need it," Sprouse said.

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