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Attracting Millennial & Gen Z talent

Attracting Millennial and Gen Z Employees for Future Success in the Hospitality Industry

Introduction: As we look to the future, it's clear that the workforce will be increasingly shaped by millennial and Generation Z employees. These generations are ushering in a transformation within the hospitality industry, driven by their unique values, ambitions, and technological acumen. In this article, we will delve into the influence of millennials and Gen Z employees in the hospitality sector and discuss strategies for adapting to their unique needs while also attracting them to your organization.

Step 1: Understanding Millennial and Gen Z Employees:

Driven by Purpose & Growth opportunities:

Millennials and Gen Z prioritise work that has a meaningful purpose, seeking positions that resonate with their values and personal growth objectives. They are motivated by the prospect of making a positive impact on society and the environment as well as being able to move up the ladder quickly. Unlike the generations before them, these generations do not wait around 2+ years for a promotion, they will just job-hop if you do no longer align with their ambition (Source: Gallup)

Tech-Savvy and Digitally Fluent:

Having grown up in the digital age, millennials and Gen Z employees possess advanced technological skills and a natural affinity for digital platforms and tools. They can be significant contributors to digital transformation efforts within the hospitality industry. (Source: Deloitte)

Balancing Work and Life:

Achieving work-life balance is of paramount importance to millennials and Gen Z. They value flexible work schedules and seek opportunities that allow them to pursue personal interests and maintain a harmonious work-life integration. (Source: Forbes)

Step 2: Attracting the Future Generation Workforce

Attracting millennial and Gen Z employees goes beyond merely adapting to their needs within the workplace. To successfully bring in these dynamic generations, hospitality employers can take several proactive steps:

Leverage Digital Recruitment: Recognise that these generations are highly active on digital platforms. Utilise social media, online job boards, and professional networks to showcase your company culture, values, and available positions. Engage with potential candidates through these channels to create a digital brand presence that resonates with them.

Highlight Your Company's Values: Millennials and Gen Z are drawn to employers whose values align with their own. Clearly communicate your organization's commitment to social responsibility, sustainability, and community involvement. Showcase your efforts to make a positive impact on society and the environment, as this can be a compelling attraction point.

Flexible Work Arrangements: Emphasise the flexibility and work-life balance initiatives your organisation offers. Highlight remote work options, flexible schedules, and any other programs that support their pursuit of personal interests and maintaining a healthy work-life integration.

Career Growth and Learning: Demonstrate a commitment to employee growth and development. Promote your mentoring programs, ongoing training opportunities, and the potential for career advancement within your organization. Emphasize how joining your team can be a catalyst for their professional growth.

Showcase Tech Integration: As tech-savvy individuals, millennials and Gen Z often look for workplaces that seamlessly integrate technology into their operations. Highlight your use of digital solutions, innovations, and the role of technology in enhancing the employee experience and guest services.

Diversity and Inclusion: Communicate your commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion within your organisation. Showcase your diverse workforce, equality initiatives, and open-minded, collaborative work environment. This not only appeals to their values but also encourages a sense of belonging.

Recruitment Marketing: Implement a targeted recruitment marketing strategy that tailors your job postings, company materials, and branding to specifically appeal to millennial and Gen Z job seekers. Use language and visuals that resonate with their aspirations and values. By adopting these strategies, employers can actively attract the future generation workforce while ensuring they remain engaged and committed to the growth and success of the hospitality industry.

"91% of the Gen Z population say that technology would be a decisive factor when choosing a job" - Dell Technologies, 2022

Step 3: Retaining Millennial and Gen Z Employees

Once you have recruited the future workforce, there are practices that need to be implemented to make sure you retain this talent. Some of the priorities of this generation are:

Embracing Technological Advancements:

Invest in digital solutions and technologies that streamline operations, elevate guest experiences, and resonate with the tech-savvy nature of millennials and Gen Z. This includes mobile apps, self-check-in kiosks, and personalised guest service platforms. Furthermore, challenge them with this usage, include them in the updating of your system, as most likely, they will know about the latest advancements far before you do. (Source: Hospitality Technology)

Offering Growth and Development Opportunities:

Provide clear career pathways, regular feedback, and opportunities for professional development to engage millennial and Gen Z employees. Implement mentoring programs, training initiatives, and cross-functional experiences. (Source: Monster)

Fostering Collaboration and Inclusion:

Create a work environment that encourages collaboration, open communication, and inclusivity. Millennials and Gen Z value diverse perspectives and teamwork. Encourage cross-departmental collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and platforms for employee engagement. Fostering an inclusive and diverse community ranks high amongst sought after work environments. (Source: PwC)

Supporting Work-Life Balance Initiatives:

Implement flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options and flexible scheduling, to accommodate the work-life integration preferences of millennials and Gen Z. This demonstrates a commitment to their well-being and enhances employee satisfaction. Another popular new trend is the 38 hours in 4 days trend, meaning you would work 4 days, get 3 off, but still be a full-timer (Source: Deloitte)

Promoting Sustainability and Social Responsibility:

Infuse sustainable practices and social responsibility initiatives within your organization. Millennials and Gen Z are highly conscious of environmental and social issues. Aligning your company values with their concerns will attract and retain these employees. (Source: McKinsey & Company)

Benefits benefits benefits:

If you are a hospitality business, give your employees the benefit of working there. Hospitality is not for the faint hearted, long hours, hard work and difficult guests are something that our operational superstars have to deal with on a daily basis. Allow your employees to step into the footsteps of the guests once in a while. Offering complimentary nights with your brand, F&B discounts and other benefits related to hospitality are some of the best perks of working in hospitality.

(A good example: Here in Amsterdam, a group of hotels came together to create the F&B discount card for all employees working at one of the 20 independent properties. During my time at a Hospitality Management school, anyone that started a side job would solely apply at one of those properties)

Bar Brasserie Occo, The Dylan Hotel Amsterdam (Source)


In the ever-evolving landscape of the hospitality industry, preparing for the future means not only adapting to the

changing needs of millennial and Gen Z employees but also actively attracting these generations to your organization. By embracing technology, fostering an inclusive and collaborative work environment, and promoting sustainability, you can retain and harness the potential of these talented individuals. Moreover, a forward-thinking approach to recruitment marketing that aligns with their values and aspirations is key to building a workforce that will shape the future of hospitality. So, as you adapt to their distinctive needs, remember, the future of your hospitality business is being shaped today by these dynamic generations.


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