Chicago businesses offering hiring bonuses to lure best workers

CHICAGO (WLS) -- All across the country right now, there's a bit of a war for workers. Companies are competing to fill positions as we emerge from the pandemic, and it's leading to interesting perks to lure the best employees.

Arenas, bars, restaurants and hotels are all starting to get packed with people again. It's a struggle many in the hospitality industry are facing right now - the return of customers and a shortage of employees. Businesses are now turning to hiring bonuses to change that.

Stay Pineapple is a boutique hotel in Chicago with 21 positions currently available. But the hotel isn't getting enough applicants, so it's upping the ante with a possible $2,000 retention bonus for new employees.

"They're definitely attracting attention, so just like anything... once one company starts doing it, it creates a new level of competition," said Sharon Andrade, VP of sales at StayPineapple,

Still, the hotel is often battling its competition for the same workers.

"When you do find a qualified a front desk agent or guest services agent, there's also 10 other hotels looking at the same market," Andrade added.

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The same goes for NOW Arena in Hoffman Estates, which hasn't hosted a major event since before the pandemic. But that's about to change on Labor Day weekend.

"It's an industry that's gone from zero to 60," said Ben Gibbs, general manager of NOW Arena. "We were completely shut down for over a year and now we have sold out events right around the corner, so the need for workers is vital." 09

The village is trying to help, recently approving the arena to increase pay for employees by up to 30%. That means hundreds of jobs are available for upcoming events, paying $14 to $16 an hour depending on the position.

"We need to find good, competent workers quickly," Gibbs said.

Anyone looking for one of those jobs should visit the NOW Arena website.

For more Chicago career resources, visit our Ready To Work page.
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