Meet the Millennials
By Jane Auster, Hcareers.com
When Anita Sampson Binder looks for young talent, she now employs an ever-increasing array of strategies to reach out to the under-30 set.
“We have recruited differently since the outset of social networking,” says the director of recruiting for Compass Group Canada, a North American leader in foodservice management and support services. “We use everything. We network proactively and now have more tools to do that. We tend to go after people who are not necessarily looking for work, using different vehicles, like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, in addition to posting employment notices on online job boards. But we’re doing what we’ve always done before: going after the generations where they are.”
Online job postings attract hospitality job seekers
Much has been written about Millennials: your sense of entitlement, expectation of quick promotion and salary gain, and need for constant engagement. Much has also been written about your creativity and innovative thinking. The fast-paced hospitality industry offers the kinds of exciting and ever-changing careers that appeal to job seekers interested in a career with passion and possibility.
The landscape for hiring hospitality workers is definitely changing, but according to a new survey by Career Edge Organization, 80% of Millennial or Generation Y job seekers said they are still most likely to base their views on information gathered from job postings, as well as corporate websites.
“This means the tried-and-true job posting may be the perfect place for employers to convey key information about company culture, career path opportunities and more to attract desirable Gen Y candidates,” says Anne Lamont, President and CEO of Career Edge Organization. “Employers need to do everything they can today to develop authentic, informative postings that powerfully portray them as a preferred employer. In times like these - with talent shortages already affecting many industries and employers competing for talent - the right job posting can help in attracting the best candidates.”
Hospitality job postings are definitely changing, says Binder. “Millennials are looking for postings with descriptions that are short and sweet, with as few clicks as possible. They want a sense of a day in the life in the organization. They are hugely committed to environmental responsibility and sustainability, so these should be emphasized. We look at ways to get the information out to them without putting up barriers to their getting what they need to apply and know about you.”
A number of reports confirm that hiring for hospitality is changing along with technology and social networking habits.
Social media is the new networking, says Doug Churchill, hospitality recruitment consultant for Lecours, Wolfson, a leading recruiter of hospitality executives, managers and chefs. But like any other tool, job seekers interested in a hospitality career need to see beyond Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other sites to find the opportunities behind the technology.
“Human connections are still important and still have to happen in the process,” says Churchill, who worries that technology without interaction can act as a barrier to making real connections.
“The biggest tool may be social media, but the ultimate piece of the puzzle is the actual individuals,” he says. Millennial job seekers in the hospitality industry will be missing out if they rely only on technology and forget the power of face to face communication.
You’ll also be missing out if you wait to see or hear about a hospitality job opening instead of being proactive. The greatest hope lies in finding opportunities before you see them posted or tweeted. “If you wait for them, you’re dead in the water,” says Churchill. Instead he advises making face to face connections as often as possible and following up using technology. “If I meet a hotel management student at college, let’s say, I then make the connection through Facebook. I can reach out without being intrusive. Putting yourself on the hiring radar screen in this way is to everyone’s advantage.”
Find your hospitality job
Tips for Millennials
• Learn to read between the lines when you check out online job postings. An operation offering “flexibility” or “flexible work arrangements” is much likelier not to be a 9-to-5 business. An operation that talks about the importance of its “culture” probably offers a more creative environment.
• Look for opportunities to use your technology and social networking skills in a hospitality setting. For instance, many customer service jobs call for networking savvy.
• Don’t discount “old” style hiring environments like job fairs and trade shows. A lot of hospitality operations still attend these in the hopes of finding young talent.
• Use your technology to find work. If you’re on Facebook and see that a friend has gotten a hospitality job that appeals to you, there’s a good chance there are other openings. Don’t be shy about applying unasked. Hospitality employers are always looking for talented job seekers.
• Brush up your resume. The old two-page paper resume is getting a rethink. Many HR managers today are open to creative designs and even video resumes.
About the Author
Jane Auster is the Hospitality News Writer and Editor for Hcareers.com. She has more than 20 years' experience reporting on news and trends in the hospitality industry.