Bridging the Workplace Gap: from Baby Boomers to Millennials

There's a new generation in town - the Avocado Generation - and they're bucking the rules, particularly within hierarchical, disciplined industries such as hospitality.

According to Australian real estate millionaire, Tim Gurner, millennials need to stop spending money on lattes and mashed avocado toast in lifestyle cafes if they ever want to buy their own house. Millennials themselves argue that the burden of student loans and ever-rising property prices keep them well and truly excluded from home ownership – a few less coffees won’t make a difference.  

Millennials don’t respond well to rigid, hierarchical structures, wearing a uniform and they certainly don't appreciate having a workplace ban on tech! Instead they value experiences, travel and freedom – and this is spilling over into the multi-generational workplace, where older Baby Boomers are having to adapt and work side-by-side with millennials holding an entirely different expectation of working life.

So how does hospitality attract and retain capable, bright young people?


Attracting the Avocado Generation

The hospitality industry offers a wealth of opportunities that millennials will relate to and embrace.

  •  Job opportunities are varied, providing positions ranging from food/beverage, housekeeping and HR through to marketing, revues and asset management.
  • Hospitality is known for progressing capable employees at a faster rate than many industries – it is not uncommon to reach senior management or general manager level by age 30.
  • There are few barriers to entry – graduates and non-graduates can enter the industry and do well.
  • The vast range and style of hospitality organisations provides an opportunity for working overseas and adventurous posts for those who would like them.

Ensure when you advertise for new recruits that you highlight the wealth of opportunities available.


Engage on their terms

Does your organisation still use lengthy job descriptions and application forms that feel like writing a post-graduate dissertation?

Today’s young people inhabit a world of ‘selfies’, live Facebook feeds and social media, so engage with them on their own terms. A short video that showcases your workplace, includes interviews with a few of your staff and explains what you are looking for may elicit a far better response.

You could even include an option for applicants send a video CV as part of their application, specifying what you would like them to include.

Hospitality is a ‘people’ industry, and a mix of video and written applications may provide a more comprehensive first impression from which to gauge whether the applicant is right for an interview.  


Effective, multi-generational teams

A workforce that includes such a wide range of ages, backgrounds and expectations will experience challenges in fostering a harmonious team. Mutual respect and understanding – of the business needs and each other – must be achieved if the business is to be efficient, effective and profitable.

HT Training and Coaching can offer a series of team development programmes including: Insights Discovery psychometric profiling, workshops and team or one-to-one coaching. To find out more email

by Anna,