CEO's Message

Generational Diversity

The month of May will see the majority of schools sending out a new round of freshly minted graduates seeking employment in the hospitality and tourism industry. From all reports, our industry is growing and is expected to continue to grow at a rapid rate through the year 2020. This is great news for our 2015 graduates as they plan and prepare for their futures.

Some graduates have already obtained employment, while others have decided after four or five years of school-focused life to take the summer off before looking for a job. I always encourage those looking for employment to prepare for their interviews and to plan their answers ahead of time for some common interview questions:

  1. What Are Your Weaknesses?
  2. Why Should We Hire You?
  3. Why Do You Want to Work Here?
  4. What Are Your Goals?
  5. Why Did You Leave (Are You Leaving) Your Job?
  6. When Were You Most Satisfied in Your Job?
  7. What Can You Do for Us That Other Candidates Can’t?
  8. What Are Three Positive Things Your Last Boss Would Say About You?
  9. What Salary Are You Seeking?
  10. If You Were an Animal, Which One Would You Want to Be?
Interviewees who plan their answers to these common interview questions will be able to deliver their responses with confidence and exude a strong impression of being prepared.

It is a new generation (often referred as GenYers or Milennials) that has been entering the workforce over the last decade and both companies and potential employees need to be prepared for the paradigm shift that has occurred. Companies have five different generations of people currently employed, which is perpetuating the phenomenon of generational diversity in the workforce.

Managers already in the workforce are faced with supervising and working with younger employees who may have very different job expectations than previous generations while those just entering the workforce may find themselves employed by companies and supervised by managers with long-standing, commonly-accepted working norms that are viewed negatively (or even as barbaric or oppressive). Our industry was built on many of those long-standing, commonly accepted working norms (long hours, working overtime, an expectation that you must ‘pay your dues’ to advance, working on weekends, etc.) and the industry will need to continue to respond to or accommodate this newer set of expectations for work (no interest in working overtime, a view that work is something to be done between weekends, a desire that work be fun, a higher demand for feedback and instructions, etc.). These differences in work expectations are forcing a change in the ways we manage and are managed.

The varying views and work expectations of five distinct generations affects everyone and I expect that in the next coming years, we will continue to hear a lot about the multi-generational workforce and the differences and challenges it creates. It is nothing if not interesting to see how we work through this phenomenon of generational diversity.

kmccarty@chrie.org

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Kathy McCarty

Chief Executive Officer