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Top tips when hiring a young person

By Sarina Russo

Hiring a young person has many advantages. From their understanding of new technology and preparedness to travel, to their high energy level. Often you’ll discover how much young people want to secure their independence, make money and get into the workforce to start experiencing adult-life. There are also financial incentives to hiring a young candidate registered with a job active provider.

Financial Incentives

Financial incentives are available when you hire a young candidate registered with a jobactive provider. A Federal Government incentive of $6,500 is available for eligible young jobseekers aged between 15-29 if they are employed for an average of 20 hours per week over six months.

The Queensland Government’s Back to Work program provides funding of $20,000 (for a full time employee) available under the Youth Boost initiative. The Youth Boost initiative is available for employers who hire an eligible jobseeker between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2018.

Hiring a young person

Below are my top tips to consider when hiring a young person.

Part 1: The application stage

Young people generally have limited work experience. Here are four areas to focus on when reviewing applications:

1. Grades at school or university:
Consistent grades indicate an ability to apply themselves to a task.
2. Extra-curricular activities:
Participation in extra-curricular activities suggests an ability to prioritise and multi-task.
3. Involvement in sport / team-based activity:
Team activities can be an indicator of discipline, focus and an ability to work in a team. If they have undertaken refereeing or umpiring activities, it may further indicate they have a level head, can make decisions and deal with conflict.
4. Part-time, casual, or voluntary work experience:
Prior work experience can indicate initiative, a good work ethic, customer service skills, forward thinking and planning.

Part 2: The interview stage

During the interview phase young people may be nervous. It’s easy to mistake a nervous candidate for one that is unprepared. Don’t overlook a candidate simply because they’re nervous. It’s important to remember that everyone gets nervous from time to time. During the interview you should consider:

1. Presentation:
A well-presented candidate offers insight into how they will act if employed. Look for neatly attired, polite and on time graduates.
2. Preparedness:
A well prepared candidate is someone who has researched your business and understands your needs, uses their initiative and is passionate about working for you.
3. Motivation:
A candidate who comes to the interview with a plan suggests that they know what they want and how a job can kick-start their career.

Once you’ve made the decision to employ a young person the next important step is to create a workplace where young people are treated as learners as well as workers so everyone benefits.

By Sarina Russo, Managing Director, Sarina Russo Job Access

> Next - read Transform your workplace into a learning workplace


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