Many lament about how difficult it can be to find great workers, but we have found a way to get great people at a fair price. We spend a good amount of time volunteering with our church youth group. Through this, we get to know some teenagers fairly well. Often, there are a couple of teens that begin to stand out in our minds as trustworthy and quality individuals. We usually have an abundance of work that needs done, particularly in the summer. So this lends itself to us asking several of the teens we know if they might be interested in working part time for us in the summer. It could be jobs such as mowing lawns, cleaning, or painting. Here are some tips to keep in mind when hiring young people:
Hire more than one and have them work together.
This accomplishes several things. First, the teens don’t get bored and it makes it more fun for them to work with a friend or two. It makes their job more enjoyable. Second, it cuts down on laziness. I rarely have one teen working alone at this point. I have found that having a group of responsible young people working together makes them work faster and better as they push each other to get the work done. Often, we will have a couple of our more experienced workers working alongside a new one. This gives us an opportunity to see how the new person will do, and the teens we’ve had for a while will give us honest feedback.
Work with them as often as you can.
When we can, we try to work side by side with the teens that we hire. We can show them exactly how we want things done, and prevent mistakes. This not only prevents slacking, but helps us to get to know them better and vice versa. We’ve spent time painting with teens and helping them figure out what they want to do “when they grow up”. We not only pay them for the work they do, but hopefully help them with their life’s direction.
Start them off with small simple tasks and be extremely specific.
You may know all of the work that needs to get done, but they don’t. It is much easier for your workers if you give them one very specific task at a time. For example, you can tell them to rip all of the carpet out of a room including the padding and take it outside to the truck. When that task is complete, then they can pull out all of the carpet staples. Then, when that’s done, they can go with you in the truck to take everything to the dump. Just give them extremely specific tasks and they are less likely to make mistakes. Later on, you can always give more detailed work and responsibility to your more experienced workers.
We started bringing food to our workers not long ago. Every time your workers leave the job site, you are losing a lot of time. A “quick run” to the drive through could end up taking an hour, and by the time they get back they forgot what they were working on before they left. I’ve found it’s much better for me to go out and pick up food, and bring it back. This gives them a break and still keeps them relatively on task. It’s also a nice thing to do and makes them feel appreciated and they are usually more apt to do a good job for you if you treat them well.