COLORADO SPRINGS — We’ve told you how staffing shortages are crippling businesses trying to get back on their feet, but there is a trend employers are following to get people to come work for them, and it’s paying off.
Employers are essentially giving away free money right now.
A job in a hotel brings a lot of things. “The unexpected. You’ll never really know what’s gonna happen. Every day is a new day,” said Andy Gress, General Manager of the Drury Hotel at I-25 and Interquest Pkwy in Colorado Springs. “I really like working with people, and I love solving problems.”
Problems, like keeping up with increased business.
“We’re very busy,” Gress said. “This market is extremely busy. It’s one of the busiest hotel markets in the country.”
As we’ve reported, the staff needed to support the service industry’s rebound is in short supply. Many businesses are operating on skeleton crews right now. But not the Drury.
“We’ve actually been able to get nearly 90 percent staffed at this time,” Gress said.
He attributes that to one thing. “We do have these great incentives,” he said.
Right now, all his open positions come with a $500 sign-on bonus workers get when they accept the job. Almost overnight, he saw a rise in the number of applications he was getting.
“I would say significant. At least 50 percent,” Gress said.
His hotel is far from the only business doing this. We found this Amazon job posting offering a $3000 sign-on bonus for a job at its new Colorado Springs fulfillment center. Waste Management is offering a $5,000 bonus for new truck drivers in Colorado Springs and a Castle Rock-based trucking company is offering drivers a $10,000 sign-on bonus.
“In the industry, it’s become sort of a new way to get people hired,” Gress said.
It just took imagining a what-if scenario to get him on board with the bonuses. “If we only had half the housekeepers, we’d have to redeploy people to food and beverage, management, and other folks that are working here in other capacities,” he said.
And if you’re a job seeker, you should know one thing. “I would say jump on it because it’s not gonna last forever,” he said.