Teens and 20-somethings are the most commonly targeted employment pool for the tourism sector. While this labour group is today smaller than previous generations, they remain a key focus for hospitality employers. They can be categorized into two groups:
Job Seekers: Those seeking part-time or temporary employment, usually while attending school.
Career Seekers: Those looking to establish a long-term career in tourism.
As a demographic group, youth are commonly referred to as Millenials, Generation Y, or Echo Boomers. They share characteristics that differentiate them from their older colleagues, such as:
- Being tech savvy, "big picture" thinkers who want exposure to many aspects of a business
- Looking for creative, challenging, collaborative work
- Seeking constant feedback and opportunities to learn
- Being positive and having high expectations
- Wanting to make a contribution
Tourism employers looking to hire and retain youth are adapting their HR policies to better suit these traits. Good references include Generations at Work, which offers a full description of Millenials and tips on engaging them, and BC Job's Attracting and Recruiting Gen Y.
Youth look to the Internet as a key source of job and career information. Ensure your company's website has a Jobs/Careers page with current availabilities and contact information. Even if you have no immediate vacancies, a general call for applicants interested in working for you will keep the lines of communication open. As Gen Ys value immediate feedback, consider setting up an automated reply system that assures them their application was received.
Other places to reach Millenials include:
Youth Canada provides programs and services for employers looking to hire young Canadians.
The Career Focus Program offers funding for employers to help post-secondary graduates obtain career-related work opportunities in Canada.
The Skills Link Program grants employers funding to assist youth facing barriers to employment in developing their skills and work experience to succeed in the job market.
Service Canada Centres for Youth are open from May to August and help employers find summer staff.