Nashville’s Hospitality Industry Job Market Balancing Out With Diverse Candidate Pool.
Nashville’s hospitality industry job market starts balancing out with diverse candidate pool.
Nashville’s $9.97 billion tourism industry relies heavily on a strong hospitality sector.
MARTIN B. CHERRY | NASHVILLE BUSINESS JOURNAL
By Julia Masters – Reporter, Nashville Business Journal
Dec 8, 2023
It’s hard to find an industry hit harder by the labor shortage than hospitality —restaurants,
bars and hotels are scrambling to attract and retain from a smaller-than-ever pool of talent.
In Nashville, the city’s $9.97 billion tourism industry relies heavily on a strong hospitality
The good news is, Nashville’s hospitality job market may be on the upswing heading
into the new year.
“You’ve got two pieces of the equation here, you’ve got companies and then candidates
and that makes up the job market,” Bryan Morris, principal consultant and executive
recruiter for Patrice & Associates Nashville told the Business Journal. “This is really a
desirable place to be nationally. We’ve had both sides of that equation firing on all
cylinders as far as moving into the Nashville area.”
Patrice & Associates is a leading hospitality staffing and recruiting firm with offices
across the U.S. and Canada. While the company is broadly focused on hospitality and
entertainment recruiting, the Nashville office also works in health care recruiting.
The Business Journal spoke with Morris to learn more about what employers and
employees in Nashville’s hospitality job market can expect in 2024 and why.
Bryan Morris, principal consultant and executive recruiter for Patrice & Associates Nashville.
What are the biggest trends you’ve noticed this year as compared to the previous
We’ve had a lot of companies coming here so that obviously creates the opportunity for
more jobs and more people. In addition to that, we’ve had a lot of candidates, a lot of
new people moving to this area that come in with really diverse backgrounds and
experiences. Again, that makes a really strong not only job market but candidate
market. Those two things do make it very competitive. … All of that is driven by the
foundation that Nashville has with the entertainment industry. … That brings people in
and makes it a desirable place to be. All these people that are coming in need places to
stay, eat, drink and be merry. … Once they get here, they’ve got to have staffing. I think
we’ve just seen a pretty large build up. That didn’t just happen this year, but I think it’s
been happening for quite a few years.
In what sectors of the hospitality market do you feel like workforce is coming
back the most? On the flip side, in what areas are employers still having the most
I think the more upscale restaurants tend to be the places where I’m seeing people that
need a general manager and higher level employment position to be filled. That’s
definitely a need. That’s where I feel like I see a lot of companies looking. In addition to
that, I do still see some of the assistant general manager positions and maybe a little bit
down the ladder, where companies that are expanding, maybe they have 10 to 15
different locations and are coming into the area, have staffing needs across the board.
Coming out of the pandemic, the hospitality job market was more favorable
toward the employee versus the employer. Is that still the case or is it balancing
I think it might be balancing out a little bit. Just talking about the diverse candidate pool,
that’s one that definitely shifted. It makes it more competitive for the people who are
looking for jobs as far as candidates, but at the same time it actually is a strong benefit
to employers to have that influx of new talent. Employers might have had their batch of
potential general manager candidates five to 10 years ago, that’s a completely different
profile and different pool of candidates now that might be more competitive, more skilled
or have more experience because they came in from another state. A lot of the people
that have been moving in this direction are coming from big cities and generally we’ve
seen a lot of Chicago, New York and California and they have robust experience under
their belt as well so it strengthens the candidate market which turn things back in favor
of the employer, because they have more options.
What are some trends you might see heading into 2024?
I think it’s going to keep going up. I don’t see it slowing down. We’ve still got business
coming here in droves, we’ve still got people coming here by the ton. I think the
opportunities are still going to grow. … You’ve got the Titans who have their new
stadium that is on the horizon of being built. We’ve got all of the construction and new
hotels and restaurants that are coming into downtown, all of the infrastructure that’s
expanding down there. It’s going to continue to increase and I don’t think we’ve tapped
out and reached our max potential at all as far as what the Nashville market brings.