Are You Recruiting the Best of the Next Generation of Employees... Today's Teens and Young Adults?

teen fast foodIt used to be fairly simple and routine. Need to fill a couple of positions? You simply placed an ad in the local paper, or asked your current employees if any of their friends were looking for work. That’s all there was to it, and you could get back to running your business.

But now that’s changed. Even with current economic conditions, teens have access to plenty of entry-level jobs, but they want to know what you’ll do for them, before they apply. They are distracted by a cloud of digital noise, making it hard to get their attention. Traditional approaches just don’t work, and you may be left with average, or no employees, while your competition is fully staffed with motivated, hard working, responsible and personable teens.

The times, and today’s teens have changed, and if you haven’t adjusted your recruiting approach you’ll continue to come up short. To ensure you catch their attention, throw out as wide of a net as possible by using these tactics.

The following are eight surefire ways to attracting the best teens;

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5 Lessons Learned from Starbucks "Black Apron"

starbucksOff with the "Green" and on with the "Black"... apron. 

The Starbucks Coffee Master program is symbolized with the receiving of, and the right to wear, the Black Apron.  You have to earn it.

My understanding of the Starbucks Coffee Master program, it allows their Partners (Starbucks speak for employees) a deep dive educational opportunity on all things coffee. How it's grown, roasts, regional/global differences, pairings, acidity and so much more than what you'd ever think about, when you are ordering your latte.

Store managers have to approve candidates. They look for team members that demonstrate a willingness and desire to grow their coffee knowledge, have a positive attitude, good communication skills and is respected by others. All great traits worthy of being recognized.

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Business Lessons - Through the Eyes of a Child

hpI've been going to amusement parks my whole life.  They are central for idea generation for our business... not a bad place for R&D!

My entire career has been centered around these types of venues... any place where people gather for entertainment and fun.  I operate businesses within these locations, I've consulted with over a hundred separate sites, I volunteer for our industry, I've networked with colleagues, and many of my best friends work within the Amusement Parks and Attractions industry.

Yes... I've visited many amusement parks, and my photo library on my iPhone tells a pretty clear story of what a visit to any park would like like.  Countless (... literally!) photos of menu boards, food items, new F&B concepts, patios, behind the scenes postings, kitchen equipment, most popular midway games and how they are flashed, retail merchandising ideas, themed gifts, warehouses, employee break areas, other revenue sources, guests buying these items, new attractions, employee uniforms, garbage cans  (... yes, garbage cans), and price points of everything.   I also realized that I could go through any park in record time... no problem when not standing in ride lines, waiting for a show to start, or searching out the newest animal exhibit.

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Just 1 New Idea

oneJust 1 new idea… that was the mission I was given when I first attended the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA) Conference over 30 years ago.

1 new idea, I was told, would pay for the trip, be a return on investment, keep us fresh and always changing, stimulate thinking for other ideas, have us not operating in a vacuum, and would challenge me to grow professionally. All that for just 1 new idea... no problem.

I was also told that if I couldn't find that 1 New Idea… I wasn't looking (...or working) hard enough!  Pretty clear message.  

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About The Author

ken whitingKen Whiting is an amusement park and attractions food and beverage operator, and industry consultant for improvements in F&B, retail and workforce productivity. Reach out with any questions or comments you may have at: