Recruiting Young People – How Do You Get Them Started?

Dear <<First Name>>

In the last issue of HR Watch we looked at how recruiting young people needs to be done differently now, compared to just a few years ago. You can read that issue again here. Following on from that, once you’ve recruited a young person – possibly into their first job – you need to think carefully about the best way to get them started on that job. What can you do to help your new recruits get off to a flying start?
Read on to find out!

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Recruiting Young People – How Do You Get Them Started?

Providing all your new staff with an efficient induction into your business and their job is vital, to help them get settled in quickly, and for them to start performing well. It is even more important that you provide young recruits with a really thorough induction. Why is this?
All new employees need to understand what you expect from them. In addition, young employees – who might be starting their first full-time job since leaving school, college or University – need to understand what it means to actually come to work. You should, for example, explain to them the importance of getting to work on time, and not turning up late.
Explain how things operate in a work environment. Don’t assume that someone who has been to University has plenty of common sense! Even if they do, they might still not understand how a business works. If someone hasn’t worked in an office before, you will need to explain the basics to them, along with your specific rules. Many working environments are quite relaxed, but don’t assume that new employees understand the boundaries. If they see someone going home early, they might think that it is standard practice for everyone. Make sure that all your new recruits read your staff handbook, and also take the time to go through it with them, to check that they fully understand all the rules that apply to them.
Young recruits need to understand their objectives. This means that once their objectives have been set, their manager will need to meet with them on a regular basis. It is important to tell someone when they’re doing something wrong, so that they can learn and improve their performance. You should meet with younger staff more frequently than older, more experienced ones.
Talk to them about your dress code, or what uniform or safety clothes they need to wear. Students might be used to wearing whatever they want, but is that appropriate for the office? Do you want their tattoos on displays when they’re serving your customers? Can they wear open-toed sandals in a production environment?
Social media is something that young people spend a lot of time on. You must have a social media policy as part of your staff handbook, and you need to make sure that new, younger recruits understand what they can and can’t do. Many of them have grown up communicating with their friends on Twitter and Facebook using ‘text speak’. However, this might not be the appropriate language for talking to your clients, and you will need to explain to your new employees what they can say about your business, on all social media channels. You will also have to make it clear to them if or when they’re allowed to use social media for personal use, while at work.
Do you have a designated smoking area at work? If so, what are the rules that your new employees must follow? Are they allowed a cigarette break whenever they want to smoke, or only on specific coffee breaks? You’ll also need to make clear your policy on e-cigarettes. Many companies apply the same ban as to tobacco cigarettes, but don’t assume that your new recruits will know these rules, without them being fully explained to them.
Some young recruits will be attending college as part of their employment with you. They need to understand that if it is part of their job, attendance is compulsory. They must let you know if they are unable to attend for any reason; and don’t assume that just because they’re not in the office on a college day, that they are actually in class. It is a very good idea for line managers to spend time with anyone attending college, on a regular basis, to see how they’re getting on. A quick review of “What did you learn yesterday?” is a good way to keep on top of progress, and let employees know what is expected of them. Show your interest in their development.
ACAS has recently produced a new guide on employing young people, which you can find here.

Practical HR – A Flying Start?

Brooke walked into the office on the second day of her new job in Bill’s IT support company. She thought she’d made a really good impression yesterday, on her first day, so today she could be a bit more relaxed. The traffic had been busy, leaving her 10 minutes late, but that was OK, wasn’t it? She’d put all her earrings and other piercings back in today, and because the weather was nice, she’d decided to wear a strappy T-shirt – well why not show off her great tan?
She sat down at her desk and looked at the staff handbook that Belinda the HR lady had given her. It was rather long and boring so she’d only flicked through it. “I’ll get around to reading it properly later this week,” she said to herself. Then her mobile buzzed – it was one of her friends tweeting to ask how the new job was going. Brooke spent the next 10 minutes chatting to her about all the people she’d met so far. She’s not seen the boss yet, but Barry the salesman seemed quite fit! He left early yesterday, so Brooke decided that she would do the same thing today. Everyone seemed quite relaxed in the office.
After an hour or two, Brooke decided it was time for a break. She made herself a cup of coffee and pulled her e-cigarette out of her bag. Just then, Belinda appeared. “Can we have a word, Brooke?” she asked. “It looks like there are a few things we need to explain to you about working here.”

Employment Law Update

Here is some more information for you, related to employing younger members of staff:

National Minimum Wage – This will increase in October. You can find out here who is entitled to it.

Apprenticeships – This can be a really effective way of bringing young people into your business. Click here for more details.

Time off to watch football – There could be a lot of this over the summer, so here’s what you need to know.

Young workers working hours – There are more restrictions on younger workers and the hours they’re allowed to work. Here are details of the restrictions that you need to know about.

If you have any questions about HR or the staff in your business, please do get in touch for an informal, completely confidential chat. Call us on 01635 600305.


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