WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has reached the congressionally mandated cap on H-2B visas for temporary nonagricultural workers for the first half of fiscal year 2020.
Nov. 15 was the final receipt date for new cap-subject H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date before April 1, 2020. USCIS will reject new cap-subject H-2B petitions received after Nov. 15 that request an employment start date before April 1, 2020.
USCIS continues to accept H-2B petitions that are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap. This includes the following types of petitions:
Current H-2B workers in the U.S. petitioning to extend their stay and, if applicable, change the terms of their employment or change their employers;
Fish roe processors, fish roe technicians, and/or supervisors of fish roe processing; and
Workers performing labor or services in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and/or Guam from Nov. 28, 2009, until Dec. 31, 2029.
U.S. businesses use the H-2B program to employ foreign workers for temporary nonagricultural jobs. Currently, Congress has set the H-2B cap at 66,000 per fiscal year, with 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the first half of the fiscal year (Oct.1 – March 31) and 33,000 (plus any unused numbers from the first half of the fiscal year) for workers who begin employment in the second half of the fiscal year (April 1 – Sept. 30).
For many hotels and resorts, seasonal labor is just a fact of business. Many properties see a high and low season and seasonal worker fill a gap. Other properties simple aren’t open for a part of the year and seasonal workers are the only option.
For many hotels and resorts, a seasonal strategy is a viable option. These properties may not have considered this option thinking that it’s expensive and difficult to manager. But there are more options for employing seasonal workers at hotels and resorts than many hospitality professional might think.
H2B and Beyond
For many properties, H2B Visa were a go-to option. This can be a viable option for many properties and, for
many, H2Bs define seasonal labor. Hiring through H2Bs does have its challenges. There can be complex legal channels that need to be navigated and worker with a professional can almost certainly improve your chances of being awarded H2Bs. For example, HSS works with hotels and resorts to navigate the H2B process, working with legal partners and properties to define their staffing needs and locate workers with the skills needed for housekeeping, food service, janitorial and more. This kind of partnership can help a property not just obtain visas, but ensure that the right staffing needs are met.
However, H2B Visa’s have become more difficult to obtain. Many hotels and resorts find that their number of requested visa are not approved by the government. In addition, H2Bs can be fairly limited in the time and employee can remain in the country.
H2B Alternatives and Additions
There are altnertaives to H2B programs and some of these can be used in combination to provide a full-coverage strategy. For example, HSS offers a Puerto Rico recruiting program that offers hotels and resorts a pool of viable talent. Our HSS office in Puerto Rico recruits talent from the island interested in working in the U.S. HSS has all of the special permits needed to do this and offers clients a turnkey solution that includes arranging travel and housing for workers. These workers can be assigned seasonal or open-ended employment and are subjected to the same restrictions as H2B workers.
Another alternative to H2Bs through our national recruiting program which leverages the HSS national network of offices. HSS recruits for seasonal jobs throughout its network, arranges travel and working clients to find housing. This strategy has been employed by HSS at resort ranches throughout the West in very remote locations open only for limited seasons.
Summary: Recruiting Seasonal Workers Require A Strategy
Recruiting for seasonal employment in hotels and resorts can be a challenge. But as the market for remote destinations grow and employment pools shrink, defining a strategy is key. Considering all the options and working in partnership with knowledgeable professionals can help fill the employment gap and ensure a healthy growth of a property that satisfies customer needs and the bottom line.
Staffing Industry Leader, Hospitality Staffing Solutions, is taking its FoodStaff subsidiary brand to many new markets throughout USA
Hospitality Staffing Solutions LLC, (HSS) the nation’s leading provider of contingent labor and outsourced services to the Hotel & Resort industry, is pleased to announce formal expansion plans to move into 10 new markets for their FoodStaff brand. Foodstaff operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of HSS.
FoodStaff, founded in 1988, has seven legacy offices in place within the SE and Mid-Atlantic regions of the USA. This office network will now be more than doubled in the coming months, with new operations rolling out in the following US markets:
Connecticut / Rhode Island
The expansion of the FoodStaff branch network furthers HSS’s strategic plans to continue growth through the expansion of HSS service offerings beyond its core hotel and resort clientele, and moving even deeper into growing niche sectors on a national level, including colleges/universities, hospitals/senior living facilities, and much more.
“FoodStaff has been a perfect fit for our fast-growing organization, and is already operating as a strong growth driver within our company”, said Tim McPherson, CEO of HSS. “I want to thank the dedicated FoodStaff team members for their excellent work in assuring a smooth transition since becoming part of our company. I’m extremely optimistic that the combination of HSS/FoodStaff, along with our aggressive growth plans will drive us towards a leading position within Food & Beverage staffing on a national scale.
About Hospitality Staffing Solutions LLC (HSS) Hospitality Staffing Solutions LLC is the nation’s leading supplier of talent to the Hotel and Resort industry, with operations in 34 states and Puerto Rico supporting more than 800 properties on a weekly basis. On any given day, more than 10,000 dedicated HSS staff members provide services to our esteemed client base, with skill sets ranging from Housekeeping, Janitorial, Kitchen, Food and Beverage, and many more. HSS also provides outsourced service operations, managing the entire operations of specific hotel functions, ensuring clients receive quality of service, personnel and predictable costs. HSS is the only hospitality staffing firm recognized as one of the USA’s Top 100 firms in the industry, as measured by Staffing Industry Analysts.
Founded in 1990 in Atlanta, GA, HSS proudly claims a leading market share at the world’s leading hotel brands and management companies, and looks to continue its expansion into new geographies through organic expansion of its branch office network, strategic acquisition, and further development of its service capabilities.
FoodStaff operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of HSS. Founded in 1988, FoodStaff provides temporary and full-time personnel to key sectors within the hospitality industry, specializing in serving the food and beverage staffing needs of its clients with a strong presence in the Educational, Corporate Dining and Banquet/Event Staffing sectors.
Finding competitive pay rates is one of the most challenging aspects of maintaining an effective workforce. HSS is here to help with a guide that helps determine payrates in your state, region, and city.
How do we determine pay rates?
Pay rates can vary greatly in the same region for different industries. It’s important to consider this factor in determining pay rates for hospitality.
HSS consults with different sources and also relies on its field organization to determine competitive pay rates. Looking at sources such as Payscale and CareerBuilder, we combine research with actual pay in our markets. With more that 80 locations nationwide HSS has a live database to enhance existing data and determine what will be effective in the markets we serve. In addition, we have a dedicated corporate team tasked with investigating federal, state, and local laws and provide information on minimum wage increases.
Factors for Effective Calculations
There are many factors that impact pay rates and many factors particular to the hospitality industry. A few of these factors include:
Service Offering of Hotels
Many of these factors are particularly meaningful in California where regulations can often change the landscape of pay dramatically between local municipalities.
Big Players, Big Changes
When a large scale employers increases pay, this can have a dramatic impact on prevailing wages. For example, when Amazon increased its minimum wage to $15 an hour nationwide, the impact on many markets large and small was significant.
Many hotels and resorts require housekeepers and other staff that have experience. This can increase pay rates depending on the number of year’s of experience a worker has.
The Cost of Poor Wage Calculations
While increased wages can seem like a challenge to keep up with, there is a silver lining. Information can help determine an effective wage, reduce turnover and increase productivity. Many of these factors are more costly to solve in turnover, loss of efficiency and low quality scores. HSS recognizes the need for accurate pay rates in markets and uses this information to work with clients to supply the right level of staff at the right experience levels.
Hospitality Staffing Solutions wants to extend our best wishes to all of our housekeeping associates during this year’s Housekeeping Week. We are participating in activities throughout this week as a token of our appreciation to this vital part of the hospitality industry.
As the largest staffing provider to the hospitality industry, housekeepers are a vital part of our success. We value the important work that they do and work to reward that hard work throughout the year. Again, thank you to all of our team members that contribute so much to our success and the success of the hotels and resorts we work with nationwide!