From finding new lifeguards for the pool, hourly workers for the drive-thru or getting a stellar intern for the office, making a hire for the summer may feel complicated for older employers who are still trying to figure the best way to communicate with younger employees in this I-text-more-than-I-talk digital world.
Ryan Jenkins, a speaker and corporate trainer who helps organizations engage younger employees, says younger generations not only want opportunities to advance their careers, they also want to make a difference in the world. But these young workers are skeptical of companies after seeing their parents and others go through multiple layoffs.
Here’s the good news for those looking to make summer hires. Many employers, according to Jenkins, are predicting more students — as early as age 16 — will start internships and apprenticeships, opting to go to school online instead of traditional higher education routes.
To make a great hire this summer consider these tips:
1. Make a mobile-friendly job application.
Younger applicants move easily between smartphone to tablet to laptop. Monster.com says to make sure the job application is tailored to any digital device. Need another nudge? According to a Pew Internet study, 43 percent of smartphone owners used their mobile to look up information about jobs. Companies like HubSpot are even encouraging job applicants to apply via Snapchat.
2. Create job flexibility whenever possible.
According to PwC’s “NextGen: A Global Generational Study,” most millennials do not believe that productivity should be “measured by the number of hours worked at the office.” Instead it should be measured “by the output of the work performed.” Not every job can do this, but if you have the ability to offer flexible work hours this can help keep recruits happy.
3. Tell job candidates when the job closes and post a salary.
This is a pet peeve of many job candidates according to The Savvy Intern blog. Especially for temporary and seasonal work it can be important to set expectations clearly so applicants have a good understanding.
4. Give feedback frequently and often.
Find out what interests your potential job hires and continue asking them to give them the freedom they desire. All the while, give them a feeling of accomplishment. Just make sure to ask how your younger hire would prefer feedback suggests David Van Rooy, Vice President, Executive Development at Walmart.
5. Spend time educating.
Even if it’s for only just a few minutes. Give job candidates some background history into the company. Explain the rationale behind why things are the way they are. This way, summer hires don’t feel like they are being told do something because, “this is the way we’ve always done it.”
6. Answer questions.
Prepare to take the time to answer any and all questions; even if it takes more time than you anticipated. Unanswered questions can be annoying to new candidates and new hires.
7. Text often.
It’s a lot easier than you think. Roshini Rajkumar, a speaker, coach and author of “Communicate That, Your Toolbox for Personal Presence,” suggests keeping communication brief, but meaningful while providing details, and not making jokes about age when talking with younger generations. In an interview with Inc., Rajkumar suggests that using a mobile app or an online team portal for collaboration is probably more effective than face-to-face meetings and conference calls. If you want to be in communication with your employees, be prepared to text. They don’t use voicemail, they hate email and many think Facebook is for “old people.”
8. Be rigorous in your selection process.
Based on surveys done by Glassdoor.com which annually posts “Employee’s Choice Awards for Best Places to Work,” there’s a strong correlation between finding the right candidate to attract other talent and creating a positive place to work, says the Human Resources Management Center.
9. Make it an entrepreneurship.
Since many potential younger hires eventually want to run their own business someday, according to NPR, if you tailor your summer hiring program towards an entrepreneurship you may be more likely to attract talent. Just make sure you give them actual work to do, and not shuffling papers and getting coffee. There should be real meaning behind the position. It will make for a great working experience for your summer hires. It will also help you attract other younger talent in the future.