Simple Tips for Restaurants and Hotels to Hire and Retain Millennials

Did you know that by 2020, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce? What does this mean for the restaurant or hotel owners? 

It means that the success and survival of your establishment will hinge on your ability to successfully attract and engage millennials in a long-lasting and meaningful way. While millennials may seem like a sort of rebellious generation compared to the baby boomer generation, if you scratch the surface you will realise that millennials are not lazy or unmotivated, they just have different expectations and motivators at work, and the trick is to understand and implement these motivators. 

How are Millennials Different than Baby Boomers? 

Several studies in sociology reveal that millennials, like all individuals, are a product of what they have been exposed to, and conditioned to perceive. 

  • Millennials can be more demanding and less docile and submissive with management, especially when it comes to rigid work hours. It’s not the work hours they have an issue with, it’s what’s done with those work hours. 
  • They want to feel like they are being productive with their time, they want good benefits, they want to be heard. 
  • They are slightly more aware and driven to achieve more. 
  • If you give them purpose, it will drive their passion to do the best work. 
  • Millennials are more attracted to purpose over paychecks. 
  • They believe in fostering a work environment that is mutually beneficial for both employer and employee. 

Now that we have established what drives the millennials let’s zoom in to what you can do to attract and retain them to do their best.  

Hiring Millennials 

#1. Be crystal clear about the job description, career path, and prospects 

In 2014, restaurateurs faced an annual employee turnover rate of 94 percent for hourly workers and 34 percent for managers. Why were they constantly jumping ship? An overlying issue was that they are not satisfied with their prospects. When you discuss the job role, offer the candidates a growth plan, give them the incentive to stay.  

#2. Leveraging technology to make the best hires 

Millennials touch their smartphones 45 times a day, so engaging with them via mobile devices will make you more visible when they are actively seeking jobs! There are many benefits to implementing digital technology in the operational lifecycle. 

#3. Give them a background of your mission statement, who you are, what you stand for, your team culture 

Millennials are driven by purpose and passion. They crave connection and they have a desire to be heard and to do good, and support companies and enterprises that feel the same way. The best way to get a millennial on board is to truly exude your passion and showcase your positive and inclusive team culture.

Retaining Millennials 

#1. Millennials love to learn 

Millennials pride themselves on constant learning. But they may not respond well to traditional teaching methods. When it comes to things such as training, or announcing a new policy in the hotel, find out the best way to go considering that they are tech-savvy and refer to the Internet for everything. Gamification is also a genius way to engage and motivate millennials. 

#2. Millennials need mentoring 

Working in restaurants and hotels is not easy, which is why having mentors for the freshers is imperative. Millennials are usually quite opinionated and have a long to be heard. So how do you let them voice their opinions comfortably? A mentor who isn’t management will make millennials more comfortable, so they can discuss challenges and issues openly. It’s also important because a mentor can give experienced solutions if the millennial is faced with an unusual problem. 

#3. Transparency matters  

Millennials are conscious of what they are diverting their energy into and rightly so. Be patient in answering their questions and let them know that you are transparent. 

#4. Think unconventionally 

Although what you’ve been doing in the past may have been working, it never hurts to try something new. Keeping this in mind, it’s okay to allow millennials to approach tasks creatively as the work assigned to them is completed in the given time. Be clear that you are okay to try new things, but also be assertive about the fact that the job needs to get completed. 

#5. Let them know you care 

Millennials could be highly opinionated, but they also love feedback! They are always open to constructive criticism, and it never hurts to sprinkle in a bit of appreciation now and then.

Hiring and retaining millennials isn’t as simple as giving them a flowchart on their next five years with the company and a #GoGreen t-shirt. 

Millennials are attracted and retained by the experiences you create, and by the value they add to the world, and by being drivers of anything that they’re passionate about. A collaborative team culture, open communication, feeling of community, are the things that drive them – provide a conducive environment and you may be pleasantly surprised on how the millennial becomes an invaluable and loyal asset to your establishment!