SEASIDE, OR (KPTV) - It's a trend many industries are seeing right now - businesses like hotels and restaurants struggling to get applicants to fill job openings.
According to the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis, 54% of employers are having difficulty hiring people right now.
Summer is right around the corner and with more people getting vaccinated, hotels on the coast are excited for business to pick up.
"People are starting to travel again our business levels were very good in March and April so we’re expecting to see a brisk summer," Terry Bichsel, a coastal hotel owner, said. "People want to travel, they want to get out. They’re kind of tired of the pandemic."
Before their busy season kicks into high gear, Bichsel says he has one concern. Filling more than a dozen job postings between his two hotels.
"Housekeeping positions, as well as restaurant. Some cooks, servers in the restaurant, room attendants," he said. "Today, that’s my biggest concern, is filling those positions. If you overwork people, that’s not a good situation"
Bichsel owns the Best Western Plus Oceanview Resort and Rivertide Suites hotels in Seaside. He said unemployment benefits are one of the main reasons they're not filling job openings as fast as he'd like.
According to the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis, with both state and federal unemployment benefits, someone can get $670 a week. They say this is about equivalent to $16.75 per hour for someone working full-time.
"You know that’s a pretty attractive deal. You can stay home and not worry about it. Candidly, and I’m not speculating on this, this is what people have told me. This is what prospective new hires have told me," Bichsel said.
To drum up more applicants, he said they're now offering incentives to current employees and new hires.
"We’ve offered referral bonuses to our existing staff because if they refer someone, we’ll pay them a referral fee. If you’re hired, we pay you a higher bonus," Bichsel said. "We’ve got a seasonal incentive program between May and September so if you work diligently and fulfill your schedule requirements during that 4 to 5 month period, we will pay you an additional rate of pay per hour worked."
Bichsel said they're even open to providing flexible hours and overtime for those who need it. Bichsel says you can apply for their open jobs through Facebook or Indeed.