Generation Z is entering the workforce, and its eyes are on the hospitality industry, according to a new study by American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation. Gen Z, defined as those born between the years 1995-2010, is the largest age group in the United States, estimated at about 61 million.
The majority of Gen Z-ers have never experienced life without mobile phones, and many take for granted the ability to stay in perpetual contact with one another, usually via social media. The importance social media platforms play for Gen Z is made evident in the study, as 49 percent of those surveyed say they get their information from Facebook and 39 percent from official news sites.
More than half (51 percent) of those surveyed—Generation Z-ers and young millennials between ages 24-30—said they would like a career in hospitality, although only 6 percent have actually worked within it. Events manager ranked as the most coveted position.
Males and females surveyed expressed almost equal interest in working in the industry—53 percent of females as compared to 52 percent of males. In contrast, there was a 27 percent difference by gender in the tech industry and 33 percent in construction, with males heavily favoring those sectors.
Generation Z’s top criteria for a healthy workplace are benefits, interesting work, opportunity for growth and flexibility—all characteristics Gen Z believes the hospitality industry can provide. Social responsibility also ranked high. The top three characteristics Gen Z and young millennials believe are most important in qualifying for a job are a good attitude (67 percent), confidence and team work.
Although 83 percent of Gen Z is currently not employed full-time, 45 percent work at least part-time, according to the study.