Hotels in Chattanooga are looking for workers to build capsule hotels, but they may not be as lucky as the hotels in their immediate surroundings.
A recent Chattanooga Times Free Press investigation found more than 60 workers have been laid off at hotels that are part of the Chattanooga-based hotel-casualty-retail company St Augustine’s Inc., or SIX.
The jobs pay a salary of $11.55 an hour or less, and they typically require no experience beyond the basic skills of basic hospitality.
But there are some exceptions to the general rule: The SIXs newest hires are expected to be well-qualified and have no prior hospitality experience.
The company is also seeking new employees for its headquarters in Chattanooga.
The Chattanooga Times free Press has also obtained the job postings of the roughly 100 employees who are part-time or temporary, and are being considered for temporary work.
A job posting for a receptionist says, “This is a high-risk position, requiring strong communication skills, problem-solving skills, and good interpersonal skills.”
But a recent hiring spree by the company has resulted in a surge of part-timers at the SIX hotels, according to a Times Free Pct of employment.
The Sixtus hotels are located in downtown Chattanooga, near the U.S. Capitol, and about 1,000 people work at the hotels, including more than 100 part- and full-time employees.
The hotels are looking to hire seasonal employees and contractors for the first time since the summer of 2017, when they expanded to offer a range of seasonal positions, including those for catering and catering support.
But some of the positions are already full and others are being filled by part- time and temporary employees.
About 1,200 jobs in the Chattanooga hotels are vacant, said Jim Meeks, the company’s chief operating officer.
The total number of employees in the hotel chain is not publicly known, but the Times Free has learned that a number of people have been placed on the payroll.
Meeks said the number of part time and part-timer employees who have been offered positions is about 1 percent of the total employees.
That includes people who work in hospitality and catering, Meeks told the Times free Pct, as well as people who perform administrative tasks.
He said the majority of the new employees have been hired from Chattanooga’s hospitality sector.
“Our goal is to be able to offer our employees a good work environment and provide them with a secure, safe environment,” he said.
SIX has laid off about 30 people from its hotels since the company was founded in 2016.
Some of those people were temporary workers who were laid off while they were on the job or in the process of leaving the company, Menges said.
The layoffs have occurred primarily at SIX’s headquarters in downtown, but some are occurring in hotel rooms and dining rooms.
The temporary hires, who have yet to be fired, have not been notified of the job cuts, Moes said.
He declined to say how many part- or full-timer employees the company is looking for.
SixtUS, which has been in business for about three years, recently hired a new chief executive officer.
A few months ago, it hired a director of human resources to help staff its hotels.
The Times Free’s investigation found that the company hired about 100 people to fill a variety of roles in 2016, including working in hospitality, catering and the hospitality and hospitality support department.
Menges confirmed that the hotel workers who have not yet been laidoff are being looked at for temporary positions and the company expects to hire a few more in the coming months.
Sixus said the company will soon begin looking for permanent workers for its hotels, which will take up to two years to complete.
The hiring spree is in response to a hiring surge in the hospitality industry in recent years.
Saugus said in an emailed statement that “it is always challenging to find qualified individuals for all positions in our hotels, and we continue to invest in our hospitality infrastructure and customer experience to ensure that our guests are entertained and enjoy our hotels and our service to our customers.”
For more stories about the hotel industry, visit the Chattanooga Times site at www.chattletimes.com/tour.