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A key event in terms of recruitment for hospitality professionals, the International Recruitment Forum (IRF) in Montreux welcomed more than a hundred prestigious companies from the industry and more than 2500 students from the seven Swiss Education Group campuses over two days. The occasion saw industry representatives coming together to discuss the impact on the job market of Generation Z, a new generation of future employees posing many challenges for businesses in the industry.
Born from the mid-90s onwards, at the same time as smartphones and social networks, Generation Z, 3% of which is already active on the job market, uses these tools intuitively and daily from a very early age and can no longer conceive of a life without them. Other powerful markers include international mobility and entrepreneurial spirit. Despite high levels of public interest, there is still a lack of studies tackling this subject in detail.
Generation Z study launch
“We think we know the expectations and motivations of Generation Z, but this doesn’t always match up with reality. We have noticed that the students are really very different from their elders,” explains Florent Rondez, CEO of Swiss Education Group. This is why Swiss Education Group announced that it would be carrying out an initial study on this topic over the course of the next few months. With the aim of better understanding students’ expectations as well as the concerns of professionals in the sector, the conclusions of this study will be announced next March at the next International Recruitment Forum. “The results of the survey on Generation Z will allow us, as well as our industry partners, to prepare ourselves for the arrival of this new generation of students and employees,” explains Benoît Samson, Chief Brand & Marketing Officer at Swiss Education Group.
Generation Z surprises the hospitality industry
Is the industry already feeling the impact of Generation Z on the workplace? Is there a specific recruitment strategy for this generation? Are ‘post-millennials’ genuinely ambitious and more individualistic? “We need to show flexibility as an employer,” admits Yves Givel, HR vice president within the Hyatt hotel group, which regularly participates in the IRF in order to seek out young talent and future employees. “We must provide them with the possibility of developing their strengths,” he adds.
“Young hoteliers are tremendous ambassadors for Switzerland abroad and will contribute to conveying the image of Switzerland not only as a particularly attractive travel destination, but also as a place for reference studies,” confirms Frederico Sommaruga, Director of Emerging Markets and Special Projects at Suisse Tourisme. Swiss Education Group and Suisse Tourisme also signed a partnership agreement at the start of the year focusing on joint activities, while also benefiting the experiences and networks of each organisation.
International Recruitment Forum: a real springboard to a career
Held twice a year since 2009 exclusively for the students studying at the five Swiss Education Group schools, the IRF in Montreux is considered by the hospitality industry to be an unmissable event, bringing students and future employers together. It gives students the chance to discuss their careers and market requirements with professionals. In 2016*, almost 3000 individual interviews were held during the forum, with graduates having an average of two interviews as well as impromptu discussions.