Hiring teenagers is an excellent opportunity for business owners to invest in talent and fill in gaps within their company. This is especially true in a highly competitive market. In the wake of the pandemic, millions of teenagers were forced to give up valuable experiences and opportunities from prom to graduation in person to summer jobs. In 2020, teenage summer employment hit Walrus Ice Cream, and it has been a Clover customer for many years. The most rewarding aspect of her business is teaching young people about the do’s and don’ts of the workplace. Paugh told Clover that it was her job to show young people how to get a job. How to dress in uniforms, be punctual, be polite to coworkers and customers, or cover their shifts if something unexpected comes up.
Walrus Ice Cream, a trendy, local go-to that frequently has lines around the block, provides its dozens of teenage employees with basic on-the-job training and skill development–customer interface, working under pressure, teamwork, and communication–that can serve them for a lifetime. Paugh enjoys the role of early career mentor and is happy to see young people enter the workforce with skills she has helped develop. She has even inspired one young entrepreneur to become a Colorado Ice Cream competitor. Paugh reveals that one girl worked for him for over two years. She opened an ice cream shop in Boulder.
Wear your values on the sleeve.
Gen Z is a generation that values. A survey by EY found that almost two-thirds of Gen Z consider it very important to be employed by an employer who shares their values. When hiring this trust-driven and socially conscious generation, aligning yourself with their values is essential. They range in age from teens to 25 years old.
Chris McCuiston told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that they are seeing more success with their creative approach to hiring. By focusing on the purpose and impact of the job, you can attract individuals looking to do work that makes a real difference, in our case, saving lives.
Think long term
Part-time teenagers can be an excellent and cost-effective way for businesses to get through the busiest times of the year. An ice cream shop, for instance, would need to hire teens to staff up to handle the influx of summer customers. Both parties have temporary needs.
What happens after the summer? John Vanore of Rita’s Italian Ice, New York, believes working with the high schoolers’ schedules is critical to building long-term relationships. Vanore, the owner of Rita’s Italian Ice in New York, told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that high school years are crucial for development and it is essential to respect prior commitments like prom, summer school, or vacation. This allows you to develop a good working relationship with [teenage employees] so they will continue to return year after year, even when they are home from college.
Wherever they are, meet them there.
Itai Ben-Eli faced hiring difficulties in May when he wanted to open a bakery. The Great Resignation was the reason for this. He turned to teenagers for his staffing requirements. Ben Eli told the Wall Street Journal that “they are 100% of my current staffing.” “I’ve seen nothing like this.”
According to WSJ, finding warm bodies was just the beginning for Ben Eli, who runs two steakhouses in Houston and New Orleans. The teenagers he hired needed to be more experienced chefs and were required to be adequately trained. The teenagers needed to be trained on everything, from how to interact with customers to how to input sales into Point of Sale systems. Ben Eli now requires every youngster he hires to undergo a one-month training program where they learn from more experienced staff, familiarize themselves with the menu, and practice using the sales system. Eli said through this training process and development, “We could shape and train them what’s important to us.” Ben Eli has promoted two teens to shift leaders.
Teenagers bring a unique level of energy and enthusiasm to any business, whether you are hiring them to cover a busy summer or to invest in their talent long-term. You can become a mentor to them by providing them with real-life on-the-job experience and training that will help them throughout their career. Consider a young person when you need to hire someone. They are your best employee and even the future of your business.