(BPT) - As vacation destinations reopen across the country and the busy summer travel season approaches, the hospitality industry is poised for significant growth. According to the latest jobs report, there were 280,000 new hires in the leisure and hospitality industry in March alone. Many experts expect this momentum to continue to grow as travelers resume their typical vacation habits.
Whether you have experience in the hospitality field or not, heightened demand could mean big opportunities for job seekers. This is especially true for people interested in working in the vacation rental industry. According to a recent Skift Research survey of vacation rental users, 52% of guests plan to stay in a vacation rental more often in a post-pandemic environment.
"To meet growing demand, we’re hiring for seasonal and full-time positions in top vacation destinations from the Carolina beaches to New England and the Oregon Coast," said Aurora Moore, a talent acquisition manager at Vacasa, the leading vacation rental management platform in North America. "Vacation rentals have rebounded quicker than any other segment of the travel industry, and we're in a position to offer good jobs and competitive pay to people who have lost work or had their hours reduced during the pandemic."
The current need for employees — and seasonal hiring incentives — is great news for people on the job hunt. If the hospitality industry sounds like a good fit for you, there are a few things to keep in mind when you're searching and applying for new job opportunities:
Apply now: Hiring is hot right now and will continue into peak travel months as necessary. To find the ideal job for your schedule and skill set, explore opportunities early before others scoop them up, as hiring is happening fast.
Ask about bonuses: With demand for hospitality staffing so high, some companies are offering incentives if you accept a job offer and stay in the role for a certain amount of time. For example, Vacasa is offering up to $500 hiring bonuses in select markets.
Consider safety: While safety protocols are common for guests, it's important companies are taking additional steps to keep hospitality employees safe as well. Make sure you ask about and are comfortable with current COVID protocols.
Know application necessities: Some companies will require an official resume while others may have a simplified application process. For example, candidates can simply text “Vacasa” to 97211 to start their application process.
Explore job fairs: Look at different companies' career pages and social media sites to learn about job fairs. Whether in person or virtual, these events provide the opportunity to meet with companies about multiple positions at once.
Know your availability: Know when you'll be able to start, what hours you can work and if you want a seasonal position or would prefer permanent employment. Look for companies that offer the flexibility to meet your needs.
Research training: The hospitality industry is ideal for entry-level roles and for those who want to build their skills. To ensure you're successful, ask about a company's training program during the interview process.
Factor in growth opportunity: Your "right now" job could turn into the right opportunity with advancement to grow. Ask about career paths and opportunities for moving up in the organization.
Check your gut: If you feel like the company you're applying for is reputable and betters the community where it is located, you can feel good about working hard for them and supporting their mission.
"We're looking for dedicated, reliable and passionate team members who want to grow their careers in hospitality," said Moore. "You can start at an entry-level position and, with hard work and team-first mentality, there's no limit to the long-term opportunity. It's a fun industry and an exciting time to be a part of it."