Summer is here! More and more Americans are becoming fully vaccinated and are ready to take their first vacation since 2019.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the leisure and hospitality industry had significant hiring growth in May as many Americans expressed they were ready to head out for a much-needed vacation after being indoors under quarantine for the better part of the last year.

As the hospitality industry gears up for a wave of hiring to meet consumer needs, employers are struggling to hire and retain talent. They’re more conscious than ever about the benefits they provide. Uppermost in their consideration is employees’ increasing desire for benefits that support financial wellness, ranging from tuition reimbursement to on-demand pay.

With the well-publicized labor shortage, there’s fierce competition to hire quality talent in all sectors, in particular hospitality. One creative benefit that can help companies hire 53 percent faster is on-demand pay.

The average age of hospitality industry workers is 31, and everyone knows that this demographic lives in an on-demand world, with expectations of instantaneous everything — in all facets of their lives.

From Uber to Seamless, millennials in particular (age 25-40) believe there’s almost nothing that can’t be had simply with the press of a button — and that includes how they receive their pay. Waiting for a scheduled payday for the money they’ve already earned is counterproductive to their lifestyle. They believe that their money should always be in the right place and at the right time. It’s one of those invisible rules of money that needs to change.

In fact, research shows that when employees have the power of choice and control over their earned pay, they’re more productive, less stressed about their finances, and stay longer at their jobs.

For example, Westgate Resorts, the largest privately held corporation in the Central Florida area, with 27 locations across the country and more than 10,000 employees, has found that on-demand pay is an incredibly valuable tool for attracting and retaining talent. Following implementation of an earned wage access solution, Westgate experienced a significant boost in employee satisfaction and loyalty. A recent case study that highlights the impact of on-demand pay on Westgate employees shows:

  • a 115 percent increase in tenure;
  • two-thirds of new hires sign up for on-demand pay; and
  • employees check their pay balance approximately seven times per week, allowing them to budget for upcoming expenses and take control of their finances.

This powerful innovation allows employees to monitor their real-time “net worth,” which includes their earnings up to that minute.

For hospitality businesses, the ability to save a significant amount of money on employee recruiting and retention couldn’t come at a better time, following such a devastating year for the industry. However, the shift in focus to improve the employee experience and their financial stability will go a long way in rebuilding a workforce as America reopens and emerges from an unprecedented challenging time.