Our very own millennial hospitality expert Amelia Farhang attended the latest thought-provoking Caterer.com event yesterday, where experts in the sector discussed what motivates the next generation of talent and how to attract them. She believes that the lack of incentives and candidate engagement with young workers are some of the main reasons for them not staying in a hospitality job for long periods of time.
Hospitality is a sector driven by young people. Already, 40% of the hospitality work force is under the age of 30 and as older generations begin to retire, they will soon become the main part of the workforce.
At the event, Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the British Hospitality Association, argued that the hospitality sector has grown despite the recession and has created new jobs. She said that if every hospitality business pledged to create just one apprentice or work experience job it would dramatically affect the UKs unemployment, something that the British Hospitality Association is encouraging. In her speech, she challenged preconceptions that some recruiters have about young candidates who are looking for their first jobs.
Darren Goodenough, HR projects and funded learning manager at Mitchells and Butlers, talked about how companies can connect with future employees before they even apply for the job. He spoke about the amazing ways M&B are helping the apprenticeship drive, and have pledged to create over 1000 apprentices over 2 years. He also announced the company’s plans to get children’s interest in hospitality while they are young.
Hospitality is a challenging sector for recruitment, simply because of the high turnover. At yesterday’s event we were told that there is an average 70 per cent staff turnover because young people’s expectations are not met.
Many young people are made to believe that hospitality is glamorous, and then end up working long shifts in pubs or restaurants all night. If employers don’t give millenials an ambitious end goal to work towards, they will quickly lose interest and look for other employment options. According to Goodenough, it is essential that employers understand the need for an engaging employer brand to increase loyalty and reduce turnover.
Tom Debenham, managing director of People Insight, talked about attracting, retaining and engaging millenials. His company People Insight measure employee engagement. He said that young people are negatively perceived when, in reality, they are “innovative, tech-savvy and fast learners” who need instant or faster gratification.
For us, the increased use of personalised technology that allows recruiters to connect effectively with candidates has become a must-have -- especially when recruiting young people whose culture fit and communication skills far outweigh their experience.