Local businesses see worker shortage, offer signing bonuses

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – As the local economy starts to recover from the pandemic several business owners are still seeing a shortage of workers. They say they don’t have enough people applying to help keep up with the high demand of customers they’re seeing.

Pride Pools & Spas in Savannah and The Crab Shack on Tybee Island are finding ways to get creative to get more people applying to their several job openings.

At The Crab Shack it’s business as usual but scaled back a little.

“We don’t have the staff to serve the people and consequently you get bad reports and everything. All you can do is what you can do,” Owner Jack Flanigan said.

The restaurant’s cooks are usually running on three lines in the kitchen but now they’re down to one. With the large number of customers who continue to come to the island, General Manager Justin Fowler said they’re doing their best to keep up.

“It’s just everything we can do to get the food out and to make the customers experience the best we can while trying to control the chaos,” Fowler said.

Before the pandemic, The Crab Shack could serve more than 700 people at a time. That number is down to around 300 people. Management is now offering a $3,000 bonus to new employees who stick around until Oct. 31.

“If they want to stay on we’ll keep them on forever,” Flanigan said.

According to the Georgia Department of Labor, as business starts to pick back up more Georgians are still out of work due to the pandemic. They said at this time last year almost 400,000 people filed for unemployment.

Marketing and Public Relations Director Joe Driggers with Pride Pools & Spas is facing hiring challenges as well.

“In March of last year, we bought a pool cleaning business so with that and with the customers they brought and the customers we already had that gave us an increase of employees we needed,” Driggers said.

He believes an abundance of government aid is making it less attractive for people to go back to work.

“This won’t last forever, the stimulus money and unemployment. We just encourage people to look at the future,” Driggers said.

Pride Pools will host on-site job interviews on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 11 Gateway Boulevard South, Suite 2 in Savannah, Georgia. They are looking for part-time and full-time retail associates, service technicians, pool installers, and pool cleaning technicians.

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