By Colin Wilson | Director / Business Improvement Specialist / Certified Chair Business Improvement

By the year 2020, it is predicted that millennial’s will take up 35% of our global workforce with Gen Z making up 24% (Millennials rule workforce 2020, Park Communications). Therefore, industries must start investing in young people to help their transition into the workforce and to help your business adapt to the future.

Set the Benchmark for the Future

Given that Australia is a multicultural country, have you considered helping our International Students by offering them work experience while they study? How can your organisation set the benchmark in developing Australian and International Students for short-term and long-term gain? With a competitive workforce and global market, organisations, especially in the SME market, need to consider investing in our young people.

It surprises me just how many SMEs do not understand the value of offering great work experience opportunities to our Australian and International Students. Millennials are set to transform the future workforce through innovation, creativity and new technologies. Offering work experience to a young person in your business brings a fresh set of eyes. There might be better, more efficient and cost-effective ways of doing things in your business that are yet to be discovered. Millennials have grown up with technology, so learning and adapting to new technologies is a way of life. For your business to survive in 2020 and beyond, it needs to be innovative and adapt to new technologies. Having a young person in your business can help your organisation with a smoother transition into the future, and it is up to you to groom them for future success.

Recruitment Strategy

Recruitment is a very costly exercise for many businesses and staff are one of, if not the highest, cost for a business. All business owners understand the frustration of spending time and money in the recruitment process, only to be disappointed when it doesn’t work out. You might be looking for young talent to create some diversity in your business or to help you enter into new markets. How can you develop a strategy to find that right person for the job? Become a mentor to help young people in your industry and help bridge the gap between education and work. As a mentor, your business will also benefit.  Having young people in your workplace can be viewed as a ‘trial’ to help you find the perfect fit without going through the entire recruitment process. If they’re the right person that you were looking for, you can offer them a part-time or full-time position at the end of their internship.

To open your business up to work experience, get in touch with secondary schools or non-for-profit organisations, universities or business schools that are trying to create an opportunity for their students. Perhaps you can volunteer some of your time to showcase your business and what you do. Educate these students on what it takes to run a business from an owner’s perspective. More importantly, this is your opportunity to educate our future workforce on what you are looking for in potential employees for your business.

Different Ways to Invest in Young People in Your Business:

Casual/Part Time Employment

Has your company considered offering casual or part time employment for a young person who is still at school or university? Is it possible you have some odd-jobs you dislike such as data entry, scanning documents or some basic marketing or customer service?

Business owners and managers are time poor and there are often mundane tasks that we continually set aside, waiting to find the right time to get to them (…and never do). These tasks create an opportunity to help a young person gain the experience they need and also help you with your workload. You can give interns a feel for what it’s like to work in your office and teach them the importance of being reliable. If they have had a good experience working with you, they might want to join your company in the future.

Work Experience

Do you remember a time in your life when you did work experience? Was it a good experience or a bad one? Make it part of your social responsibility to offer work experience in your business. Work experience helps young people to better understand how to engage with business owners and colleagues.  It helps them get a taste of what it is like to work in a real work environment and opens their doors to opportunities in the future. Lack of work-experience can be a huge barrier for young people in getting a job later down the track. Having some sort of workplace experience will help them learn and understand the day-to-day realities of working in a company. And again, it might be a good recruitment strategy for you in the future.

Have You Thought About Offering an Internship?

Internships are designed for students to gain practical skills in their chosen industry. These students look to volunteering their time to gain practical experience. It is NOT slave labour. Internship’s are designed to help young people understand what employers are looking for in their industry. The goal of an internship is to challenge the students to gain the knowledge and technical experience to improve their employability skills.

An internship can be a win-win scenario for both parties when it comes to getting experience and work done. Every business needs help in Office Administration, Accounting, Human Resources, I.T. or Marketing, etc. An internship is a great way to challenge your senior staff to mentor young people in the workplace and to demonstrate  leadership. You never know what the outcome may be however, if an intern impresses you, you may want to employ them to help your business grow. At worst, you will have provided a young person with the experience they need to assist them for future employment.

Apprenticeships

Again, there are TAFEs, organisations and industry bodies that have a talented pool of young people looking for a start in a trade. Offering an apprenticeship position is a great way to introduce a potential employee into your business. Employing an apprentice is a good way to keep your costs down while you upskill them to the standard and level of expectations you want.

There is a mindset with many business owners that the younger generation think they are entitled and are hard to manage. It’s important to understand that there are different approaches to effectively managing the different generations in your business. Millennials like to be recognised for their work, they appreciate good communication and flexible working hours. For young people looking to start their career, it’s important that they learn what to expect from a business owner’s perspective.

“If You Fail to Plan, Then You Plan to Fail”

There is a saying from Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail”. When working with young people, you need to have a good induction and onboarding process to set the expectations. If you don’t, then perhaps it is you that is failing them before they begin.

Key Business Advisors (KBA) specialise in Recruitment and Induction. We offer work experience to secondary school students which includes casual work experience and have also had an intern in our business. These young people who have worked in our office have been treated no different to a full-time employee. We ensure we abide by the rules of Fair Work Australia. Most importantly, we have made a huge difference to many young people who have experienced the KBA methodology. And, I am happy to say, that I am very proud of some of the great results and achievements we have produced for young people, especially now with Keyba Careers and the development of that company www.keybacareers.com.au

KBA have a team of HR Experts and can help you with recruitment and induction of staff. Our HR experts can help you with correct pay rates and company policies for better employee engagement. If you need some advice or want to find out more on how to engage young people in your business, please do not hesitate to contact us. KBA and Keyba Careers is dedicated to linking industry to education, to bridge the gap and make a difference for both the employer and the young talent that you can attract to your business.

At KBA we are very passionate about taking businesses from good to great. We can help you with Business Strategy, Sales Training and Customer Service to all HR aspects of managing people to help you grow. We are here to help and assist you to achieve your business and personal goals.

If you would like help or want to know more about our services, please contact us at Key Business Advisors on 1300 4 ADVICE

About The Author

Colin Wilson

Linking businesses to profit is what Colin Wilson, director and founder of Key Business Advisors loves to do best.

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