Right now hiring is complicated. Young workers expect higher starting wages and, even with this, there is a higher risk of leaving for a better-paying job regardless of whether they have already been trained. So Donald Tomaskovic-Devey and Reyna Orellana (see the full report here) interviewed workforce development professionals to learn what works and what doesn’t in the hiring process for young employees. 8 important lessons can be considered for employers to hire successfully:
1. Create Professional Jobs
We are in an era with higher expectations of jobs. A good job is not just one that pays slightly above minimum wage, but one that promises a future and makes young people feel valued. Professional jobs pay living wages, have predictable hours, visible skill progression, and most importantly, foster respectful relationships with supervisors and co-workers.
2. Communicate Career Advancement Opportunities
Young people may have had many “short-term dead-end” jobs before they were hired. Therefore, they must understand that the “training period” can be perceived as a situation similar to their previous jobs. It is essential to make it clear from the beginning that this period is the beginning of a long-term relationship; because what seems obvious to the employer can be a mystery to a young employee. By mentioning this, young workers can be prevented from quitting prematurely for a job in which they see themselves growing up.
3. Establish Positive Relationships Before Hiring
Young employees often need to imagine themselves in their workplace, doing their jobs and collaborating with other employees. For this reason, it is convenient to establish positive relationships during the selection process: mock interviews can communicate what the employer values; tours help candidates see themselves in a position, and websites also help candidates feel welcome.
4. Ensure a Positive Reception On The First Day
Young employees often feel uncomfortable entering a new job. One of the biggest mistakes employers make is assuming that they are already ready to work and will figure things out on their own. However, this can be interpreted as a sign that they are not important and will cause some of them to leave. The first impression is crucial for retention. Activities such as introductions to co-workers, supervisors, support staff, and line managers need to be considered.
5. Assign a Mentor To New Hires
Employees must learn both job skills and informal culture. Left to chance, some employees may get lucky and be adopted by an older colleague; but others are likely to have difficulties because they have not been properly counseled even though they need help to understand certain things. A mentoring program facilitates the exchange of information and integration into the social life of work.
6. Communicate And Explain Expectations Clearly
All jobs have formal and informal rules around expected behaviors. The employer needs to communicate not only the rules but also why they make sense.
7. Create a Culture Where Young Workers Can Ask Questions
Young employees are often hesitant to speak up and ask for help or explanations for fear of failure. If the new collaborator feels that asking questions is normal and will be treated with respect when she does, it will be easier for him to adjust to her new role. In an environment of disrespect and impatience, the tendency is to hide the need for help. Therefore, you must allow your young workers to ask questions and make it clear that this does not imply lower productivity.
8. Understand Non-Work Lives
Successful supervisors understand that they need to know the non-work reality of their young workers. Recognize that their lives may be very different from yours. Taking the time to understand them can avoid confusing complex lives with poor work habits.
It’s important to think of a new employee’s first few weeks as a trial period for both them and the employer. Both are eager to develop a productive long-term relationship. While employers are curious if the worker will adjust to the pace and expectations, new hires are evaluating whether this job will be a respectful and encouraging place to build a career. Therefore, it is important to communicate that you value long-term relationships and that you have a good work environment to avoid high premature turnover.