Gen-Z Wants to Work in Hospitality

What do you want to be when you grow up? Ask Generation Z and don’t be surprised if the reply is a job that pertains to the hospitality industry. Working in the hotel and lodging industry is a more popular career choice than ever among younger people.

The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AHLEF) revealed that, in a new study, more than half of Gen-Z were interested in working in the hospitality industry.

“We are very heartened to see the high level of interest from the Gen-Z market. The $590 billion hospitality industry is continuously developing new programs to attract and retain talent,” said Rosanna Maietta, AHLEF president. “We want to embrace this next wave of potential employees, and are committed to understanding their priorities so we can create career pathways that build a viable and fruitful environment for everyone in the future.”

Get to Know Gen-Z

This young generation is made up of children born between 1995-2010. It’s one of the largest with more than 61 million individuals and it’s the most racially diverse and multilingual than any of its predecessors. According to the AHLEF, this generation watched their parents struggle through the Great Recession and, therefore, are more risk-averse and cautious about the economy.

When looking for work, this generation is socially conscious, socially inclusive and socially responsible and these traits influence their choice of workplace. However, Gen-Z women are twice as likely as men to list a socially responsible company as the most important factor when choosing their job. Gen-Z women highlight good attitude, confidence, and teamwork as important to success at work. Gen-Z men look for technical skills.

Working in Hospitality

The AHLEF survey found that the hotel and lodging industry attracts higher interest from Gen-Z and young millennials than industries such as construction, finance, insurance, restaurant, and food services. Both men and women are attracted to the industry in nearly equal numbers, 53 percent, and 52 percent respectively.

Perception of the hotel and lodging industry plays a significant factor driving interest in working in hospitality. Gen-Zers see a career at a hotel as a career they can be proud of and one that pays well and offers good benefits. They also recognize the hospitality industry’s efforts to be socially responsible.

The atmosphere of the hospitality industry is also perceived positively. Gen-Z is looking to work somewhere where attitude, confidence and the ability to work in a team matters. Gen-Z finds technical or job-specific skills more important than formal education, and these young workers are looking for positions in management, mostly because there is a desire for higher pay and better benefits. Gen Z also shows a heightened interest in customer-service jobs that include face-to-face interactions such as front desk agents and bartenders. Offering higher paying jobs and ones with better benefits in the customer-service sector could win Gen-Z workers over.

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