5 Ways to Hire (Fast) Amid the Great Resignation. Work-from-anywhere has many companies enjoying an off-season surge. That’s creating an even bigger labor crunch.
Like many beach towns, Colonial Beach, Virginia’s “peak season” is from Memorial Day through Labor Day. These days, September and October are just as busy.
With the continued surge in visitors and part-timers, turned full-timers during the pandemic, businesses in traditionally seasonal tourist destinations like Colonial Beach have witnessed an odd effect: Their operations are no longer seasonal, or their busy seasons have stretched into typically slow months.
That’s true for Kelly Woods Vaughn, owner and CEO of boutique hotel Riverview Inn in Colonial Beach. These days, she says she’s seeing an influx of people from spring break in March all the way through November as opposed to Labor Day. “We were incredibly busy,” she says, speaking of this past summer into fall. “My husband and I were working 16-hour days at the inn.”
Some businesses are dealing with increased demand by adopting new technology–and they’re not going back. “The hospitality industry truly has changed,” says Woods Vaughn. She started using no-contact, digital check-in services last year because they allow current staff to focus on other aspects of the business, such as the overall health and management of the inn.
While her business has benefited from increased efficiency, Woods Vaughn points out, too, that consumers are increasingly calling on businesses to change. “Guests are more demanding and less aware or are completely hands off,” she says adding that business owners who don’t adapt to changing consumer needs will likely struggle going forward.
Woods Vaughn raised the wages of her current employees to get them to stay on. She says it not only enticed staffers to stay but also drew in new applicants. “My employees and my team mean a lot to me, and it’s been a little bit of a challenge to find new people here,” she says. “So when it got around town that we’re raising rates, it helped.”
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