A one-size fits all approach doesn’t work when you manage cross-generational employees spanning Baby Boomer to Gen Z. This has been a hot topic for many of our customers across the 4,000 QSR restaurants we partner with to recruit and retain their crew.

Along the way, we’ve come up with two key tips for optimal recruitment and retention practices. 

Tip #1: There is No One-Size-Fits-All Approach 

What’s different about managing someone from Gen Z versus a Baby Boomer? Many of the answers we hear are comfort with technology, job preferences, life experiences, and communications styles. 

With so many differences across the board, one thing is clear: There is no one-size-fits-all approach to recruiting and retaining a multigenerational workforce.

Check out these two overlooked questions we should be asking in the recruitment stage to make sure we’re not falling into the one-for-all trap: 

For our next step in the interview process, would you prefer to do a quick phone call or video chat first? Or do you have any questions I can answer by text? 

By asking this question, managers can immediately put candidates at ease while also reducing the chances of a no-show. One operator we support reduced its no-show rates by a whopping 75%+ just by adding this question into the mix!

Another question to implement: 

Typically, this is the part of the interview where I explain all of the awesome benefits we offer. But because everyone is different, is there anything that’s super important to you, like tuition reimbursement, flexible scheduling, or advancement opportunities? 

Once you get the answer to this question, you can focus on what’s important to that specific candidate and eventual employee. We’ve talked with operators who have lost out on top talent because of the candidate’s inaccurate perception that the company didn’t offer a specific perk. 

By being transparent and communicative, managers can make sure they’re sharing the right information with job candidates.

Tip #2: Learn from the Candidate

When trying to hire and retain top talent – no matter their generation – we need to learn about what the candidate prefers and what matters to them. 

This attention to detail can help build the personal relationship between managers and employees, and lead to better retention. 


Because once they have that trust from leadership, it’s harder for people to leave. As a manager, this starts with giving more authentic, comprehensive feedback in the style which your employees prefer. 

In-person one-on-one meetings may not be preferred by all of your employees. That’s why it’s important to offer text and email check-ins, as well. Anonymous surveys are also a great idea when trying to get the pulse of your hourly workers without putting them on the spot. 

These types of tools can close the loop when it comes to keeping lines of communication open with your team. 

One final thought, when you make improvements to your workplace culture, tell everyone. Share stories of what you’re doing to improve the workplace. More workers will come to you with ideas and feel like your culture is collaborative and inclusive. 

No matter which generation they come from, every worker wants to feel understood, respected, and welcome. 

Great managers are able to make this happen for every employee who comes through their doors. 

Our monthly mini-trainings are designed to help you better recruit and retain your hourly workers in an understaffed world. We’ve built world-class technology that uncovers what matters most to your employees and automatically checks in at key milestones. Have a topic suggestion for our mini-trainings? Email [email protected]