How to Attract the Newest Generation to Your Company
By Susan Tinnish Advisory Group Chair, Vistage | March 24, 2013
The recent economic downturn has lulled many organizations into forgetting that the United States will face a talent shortage as baby boomers approach retirement. This large cohort of employees has started or will be exiting organizations over the next few years. The birth rates of the younger generations means that companies must manage both a loss of organizational memory and implicit knowledge and also find ways to attract new workers. In terms of generations, the author divides the generations into the following categories:
- Boomers - 1943-1960 (ages 49-66)
- Generation X - 1961-1981 (ages 28-48)
- Millenials (also called Gen Y) - 1982-2002 (ages 7-27)
The Population Reference Bureau cites that approximately 72 million Baby Boomers are approaching retirement age. Yet far fewer Millenials will be entering the workforce creating a challenge for companies to find ways to attract these potential employees into their organizations. Considered these challenges, the author proposes a three-prong strategy:
Hospitality organizations must position their jobs and their organizations to attract the Millenials. Critical strategies for companies are to:
Ensure Millenials understand the hospitality industry - The hospitality industry is the second largest service industry in the world. Organizations must position jobs as interesting, requiring smart and talented people, opening up a world of travel, blending business skills with the ability to work with people, and offering challenging and variety work. Hospitality and hotel jobs allow Millenials to hone their people skills very quickly. They also learn a service aesthetic and how to think on their feet. Organizations must reverse the view of hospitality industry as a low-paying, low-skilled industry with limited opportunities.
Pique their interest with job descriptions - Write a job description that emphasizes variety, challenge, and how the position fits into the overall organization. Millenials are interested in competitive salaries – many are graduating with heavy debt loads after investing in education. They are also sufficiently savvy to value other non-financial and non-traditional benefits like skills gained, professional connections, and opportunities for growth and advancement. They are attracted to non-traditional benefits like gym memberships, travel/accommodation discounts, and flexible work hours.