Employers must coach young people in rules of working life: Study

Summer staff often lack knowledge of absenteeism, punctuality expectations
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 05/25/2011

Employers need to step up to the plate and guide young employees on the rules of the working world.

Thirty-seven per cent of the 120 employers surveyed find young people clearly lack knowledge of the rules of working life, according to a survey by the Finnish Children and Youth Foundation in Finland.

This lack of knowledge manifests itself, for example, in unauthorized absences and failure to come to work on time, according to the survey which was a part of the foundation’s Responsible Summer Job 2011 campaign. However, those young summer employees who are aware of the rules usually work accordingly, and overall, employers are content with their young summer staff, found the study.

Young people do not get the training they need at home or at school to enter working life, so employers must play a significant role in introducing young people to the practices of the working world, found the study.

These skills can be further improved with a proper orientation, which is an important part of a summer job. Young people, young women in particular, are worried about managing the challenges in their work but with a thorough and respectful orientation, employers can ease these fears and worries, found the study.

The motivation and positive personality of the applicant are the most important factors considered when selecting summer staff, according to the study. Nine-in-10 employers consider motivation as a very significant criterion in recruitment, and six-in-10 feel the same about personality.

Although young jobseekers think previous work experience is the key to success, it is actually considered very important by only six per cent of respondents, whereas the right kind of education is considered very important by 27 per cent of respondents, found the study.

"Good attitude is what we are looking for,” said Leena Malin, managing director at The Finnish Association for Human Resource Management. "An enthusiastic personality and motivation are key elements in succeeding in ones tasks. Summer workers usually don't have much work experience yet anyway."

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