Note: this article was updated on July 10, 2023. 

The Hospitality sector is undoubtedly becoming increasingly digital, while the baby boomers in its workforce are swiftly retiring. If you are concerned about your hospitality workforce aging rapidly, it is time to revamp your recruitment strategy. Fear not: you can easily bridge the talent gap left by your retiring workforce with the tips we share in this article. Building your early career talent pool with the digital generation known as Gen Z has never been easier!

Read on to find out who Gen Z are, where their interests lie, what they value in life and how to attract them to hospitality jobs. We’ve also included a 10-step early career recruitment plan for hiring Gen Z, which you can download and save! 

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Who is Generation Z?

Generation Z is also referred to as Gen Tech, Gen Z, Gen Zers, post-Millennials, iGeneration, Gen Y-Fi, Zoomers and the Homeland Generation. According to the Pew Research Center, Gen Z is typically seen as the people born from 1997 to 2012. As the most racially and ethnically diverse generation to date, they are anywhere between 9 and 24 years old. 

Thomson Reuters indicates that Gen Z consists of nearly 68 million people in the US alone. Bank of America strategists estimate that Generation Z will achieve $33 trillion in income by 2030 and surpass Millennials in spending power by 2031. Many Gen Zers are currently graduating, with the majority of degrees in science and psychology. They are perceived to be the best-educated generation yet.


What Are the Characteristics of Gen Z?

The most exciting fact about Gen Z is that they have been born into a technologically advanced world. While previous generations had to transition into it, Gen Z was born with immediate access to the world wide web. A report published by Deloitte indicates that they tend to receive their first mobile device at an average age of 10.3 years. 

Because Gen Z has seen how Millennials and Generation X have struggled financially, they are more conservative when spending money. They have an appetite for financial education, prefer savings accounts over having debts, and prefer debit cards. People born in this generation use social media for almost everything and rely heavily on mobile banking apps. These factors make them extremely tech-savvy, with the smartphone being their preferred method of communication according to Kasasa. 


What is Early Career Recruitment?

Early career recruitment refers to hiring people with less than three years of work experience. Typically, this group consists of students who are on the verge of graduating or have recently graduated from university. Gen Z is currently the perfect example of early talent because of their age and experience level. 

Why should you invest in early-career recruitment for your hotel, you ask? Mainly because it determines your company culture for the upcoming years. Hiring a skilled talent pool like Gen Z can boost hotel ROI through digital innovation. Additionally, it can provide invaluable ideas that come from a diverse group. Recruiting early talent also allows you to mould candidates to your hospitality values and mission statement from the very beginning of their career.


What Should an Early Hospitality Recruitment Plan for Gen Z Contain?

Attracting and retaining Gen Z for the hospitality sector requires a deep understanding of this generation. Below are the first 4 steps for putting together a customised early recruitment plan:


1. Build Solid Relationships with Hospitality Schools

You may be surprised to read that on-campus and on-line career fairs are still a great way to reach Gen Z. This is because they prefer face-to-face communication, even if done digitally. College career centres are also highly ranked by them, so building strong relationships with hospitality schools is the key to reach top talent before they graduate. Fortunately, you don’t have to do this all by yourself. 

Hosco’s strategic alliance with more than 400 hospitality schools and associations brings young talent to the platform from the minute they start their higher education. Take advantage of these unique partnerships and get access to top-notch hotel, tourism, culinary and vocational schools worldwide.


2. Make Your Employer Brand Visible

Gen Z consumes more content than previous generations. Candidates from this generation are looking for brands they identify and connect with. Communicating your hotel’s values and mission statement to Gen Z across all platforms is so important. 

Building an employee influencer network is a great method e.g.: since 60% of Gen Z relies on referrals when looking for potential employers. Ask your hotel employees to share their experience and work culture on social media and post when you have vacancies. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook do particularly well. Remember to be genuine when articulating your brand at all times.


→ 🤔 Want to maximize how you use social media for your employer branding? Discover our 6 tips that'll position you as an attractive company. 


3. Simplify the Hiring Process

A study by the Hays group illustrated that 76% of Gen Z candidates think of abandoning an online application if it takes more than 15 minutes to complete. This is why creating a simplified and user- friendly experience is so important. Hotel career portals that are optimised for mobile devices, video interviews and applications that can easily be made through Hosco can be a win-win for your hospitality recruitment efforts. 

Hays group also stated that 64% of Gen Z candidates want to find out if they made it to the next recruitment stage within a week. If you can’t meet this deadline, try to keep these candidates in the loop of every development. That way, they will know you are still keen on them joining.


4. Develop a Candidate Persona and Employer Proposition

Customising the candidate experience makes Gen Z feel valued as individuals. Researching your candidate persona, and tailoring your hotel application forms, vacancies and job descriptions can help towards appreciating the gender and racial diversity within this group.  Setting the bar lower is recommended for early career recruiting, so removing GPA’s and UCAS point requirements is a good idea. 

Communicating your employer proposition is another factor that needs consideration according to Headstart. It should cover what you can offer the candidate, e.g.: salary, benefits, location, training or mentorship programmes and progression opportunities. Gen Z prioritises upskilling and career development. Hence, emphasising what you can offer them in terms of hospitality skills development and growth opportunities is vital.

→ 🧑🏽‍💻 Writing a compelling hospitality job description can feel daunting. Here are 10 tips to write a job post that attracts the best candidates for your company.  


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