‘We need staff’: Halifax hotel owners attend job fair to overcome staff shortage – Halifax
As the hospitality industry in Nova Scotia has been hit hard during the pandemic, many employees have moved away from the service industry.
To help local businesses, the Hotel Association of Nova Scotia hosted a hospitality job fair to hire staff as they prepare for the summer months.
Mark Schaay, General Manager of the Sutton Place Hotel, has seen firsthand the challenges of running a hotel business.
“The last two years, in many ways, haven’t been a lot of fun,” Schaay said.
“You had low occupancy and people who couldn’t travel, and restrictions in the city, and literally empty hotels. It was therefore necessary to adapt and staff the staff accordingly. It was really difficult,” he said.
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Small businesses have also struggled.
The Chebucto Inn has operated for 33 years as a motel and family restaurant. His owners’ daughter, Natasha Compton, says it was tough.
“Hospitality is about human contact, isn’t it? So COVID has been tough,” Compton said at the fair.
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With tourist season in sight, the hostel must prepare for an influx of visitors, she said.
“We’re still on our feet, so we just need to hire a team of people who can help us bring that human touch to our guests this summer,” she said.
“We are delighted to have more tourists, but we need the right team to really help us grow and provide the good service we are looking for.”
His parents Jimmy and Georgia Georgantas own and operate the Inn. Since the start of the pandemic, their children and grandchildren have all worked overtime.
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The family found out about the job fair at the last minute and jumped at the chance to network and scout for potential staff.
“It’s been amazing, lots of people, lots of interviews,” Georgia Georgantas said at the fair, adding that the workload was too much for her family.
“I hope they all get through this because we need help. We need staff to survive.
Natasha Compton hopes her family can recruit enough staff to operate effectively over the summer.
“We have already offered a few jobs,” she said early Saturday afternoon.
Compton believes the job fair is key to helping operators get back on their feet, especially small, family-owned businesses.
“We’re so happy the city helped us put this together because it really means a lot.”
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