Mature Workers May Fill the Employee Gap in Hospitality

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by Alex A. Kecskes

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, hospitality employees account for about 8 percent of all employment. Yet, employment in this industry is forecast to grow 18 percent between 2002 and 2012, accounting for more than 1.6 million new jobs.

To help fill these new jobs, the hospitality industry is turning to older workers for a number of reasons. Business savvy employers are discovering that they can tap into a wealth of qualified, motivated, energetic workers who are eager and ready to get the job done.

Mature workers offer a number of benefits not usually found in younger employees:
  • They have more determination.

  • They aren't as anxious to leave or move up.

  • They take pride in their work.

  • They're more reliable, consistent and punctual.

  • They are more patient and tolerant.

  • They have better people skills.

  • They don't face the same financial stresses as younger workers.

  • Their children are generally grown and moved out.
Working with mature employees does pose a number of challenges:
  • They generally demand more respect than young employees.

  • They're not always as agile or strong as younger employees.

  • They enjoy more time off than younger employees, since they like to visit family and friends, and they tend to take more vacations.

  • They like to give advice and counsel, and they expect their experience and wisdom to be acknowledged.

  • They're not on the "fast track" to advancement, but enjoy the more social aspect of work.
There's a reservoir of talent in mature workers that specifically fits the needs of the hospitality industry. They're not the MTV crowd that's hungry for perks, bonuses and high salaries. They just want to fit in and get the job done.

For an additional perspective, check out this video:

Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients. Please see more of his blogs and view additional job postings on Nexxt.

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