Industry News

New IFDA Study Identifies Job Qualities That Mean Most to Millennial and Gen Z Workforce

Workers ages 18 to 34 without college degrees value competitive compensation and benefits packages, as well as flexible scheduling, but those are not the only motivations that propel them to apply for a job, according to a new IFDA report exclusively available to members. Job security, a supportive and fun workplace environment, and a fast-hiring process also scored high with those surveyed.

“The foodservice distribution industry has been making a push toward hiring the next generation workforce,” says Annika Stensson, Director, Research & Innovation at IFDA“Understanding what these workers look for not only in a job, but in a work environment and company culture, and how to convey those factors to applicants, can greatly improve the pool of individuals applying for these essential jobs. Foodservice distribution has a lot to offer, and we need to understand how best to promote the career potential in our industry.”

The majority of job seekers in the survey research companies online before responding to an opening. Including these vital pieces of information—as well as transparency of the hiring process, ease of application, photos and videos of the company, and opportunities for advancement—upfront, in the job announcement, and on the company website can also prove valuable toward attracting more of the right kind of applicants.

Young adults are apt to use online job boards like, but word-of-mouth and referrals are still effective ways to attract potential employees. Use of specific buzz words in the job posting can also attract applicants, with 4 out of 5 respondents in the study identifying phrases like “fast hiring,” “easy application process,” and “eligible for benefits immediately” as making them more likely to apply. Furthermore, this generation positively responded to descriptions like “hard-working team,” “work-life balance,” and “like a family” – all attributes of the foodservice distribution industry that should be highlighted online and in the interview process.

Over 1,000 individuals without college degrees in the 18-34 age bracket were surveyed for the report. IFDA also collected details on the recruiting practices and workforce demographics from 25 foodservice distribution companies, and conducted a web scraping of 4,500 active foodservice distribution job postings to distill what components and details can be considered normative so distributors can create postings that stand out to potential applicants.

Read the Full Report