Many jobs were available at the Guilford County Hotel Association Career Fair, which was held at the Greensboro Marriott Downtown at 304 N. Greene St. Friday April 16th.
The hospitality industry was well represented with tables occupied by a lot of staff. Some even had cookies and gift bags for potential employees.
The problem was that few job seekers showed up. In addition to an hour of observation of the job fair which was held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., only one potential candidate was in the room.
It’s definitely a COVID-19 issue. During the closure, the hotels were also practically closed. People weren’t traveling, and the events that draw people to Greensboro – sporting events, entertainment, and even weddings and funerals – were canceled or held with only a small number of people.
But now, as things are opening up, albeit more slowly than many people would like, the hospitality industry is recovering and needs employees.
Kurtis Reynolds, front office manager for the Grandover Resort and Conference Center, said: “We are currently doing proactive interviews to see when business is picking up. We have the right people to keep our customers happy where they need to be. “
John Martiere, deputy director of food and beverage for Grandover, said, “It’s definitely a struggle.”
He said it was particularly difficult to fill low-wage jobs and attributed some of the reluctance of people to return to work to the increase in unemployment assistance they were receiving.
Reynolds and Martiere both said they had a problem with people filling out applications being told they had jobs and never showed up for work. They said it happened about 40 percent of the time.
Other hotel managers at the career fair in hopes of hiring people unofficially agreed they had the same issues filling staff positions and people were not showing up for the first time. work day.
A prospective employer explained that it was difficult to get people to come to work for $ 10 or $ 12 an hour when current unemployment benefits were around $ 13.75 an hour. Several people said it was extremely difficult to convince people to come to work every day and earn less money than they would if they stayed at home.
Martiere said that another problem he discovered was that when people were made redundant from the hospitality industry, they decided to change careers to something they thought was more stable.
He said, “There are fewer people coming for a job than there are jobs.”
Several people noted that at the moment they were doing their own thing by having people trained in a versatile way and having supervisors filled in where needed, but as business continues to accelerate they are going to need more. staff and currently it is difficult to find people who want it. to work.