Hiring very young or inexperienced employees is often a challenge for startups both large and small. On the one hand you may see brilliance and potential in a young candidate but you also wince wondering about the basics like if they’ll stick to their allowed time for lunch. They’re completely at ease in the digital universe although they express an irrational sense of entitlement. Sound familiar?
Well, there are a number of things startups can do with new hires that exhibit these characteristics, so don’t worry just yet! Whether they’re recent college grads or simply in their first high-stakes business context, leaders can follow these simple hiring tips in order to avoid hair pulling or desk kicking.
- Put in place a two to three month trial period with assessments every two weeks. By making evaluations frequent, crystal clear, and overall constructive, you could truly begin to polish that diamond in the rough!
- Keep company policy up to date and eliminate any customs or practices that simply don’t work anymore. Think about items such as flexible hours, working remotely, and dress codes. Are you ok with the board shorts and flip-flops or the mini-skirt? If so, great. If not, it’s better to do something about that sooner than later.
- Remember that you can’t assume that new employees, no matter how experienced they are, know what strategies are appropriate or even know how to get simple tasks accomplished. Your role is to be more patient than usual as well as to take the necessary time at the beginning showing them how to get the work you need done. If you’re not showing a new hire how to get things done, then congratulations, you’ve won!
- Startups should set high goals that employees are expected to achieve. Employee responsibility is imperative so remember to hold training regularly so that your new hires can achieve the goals you’ve set out for them! Training could include items that incorporate team work and a “getting to know you” for team members, trust based games, logic and problem solving games, or games which look for creative problem solving.
- From your end, remember to be open and receptive to suggestions. If you listen hard enough, you may just hear a suggestion you like that in fact may be brilliant. Imagine that! It makes sense though. You trusted your gut enough to hire them, so of course your picks are going to be brilliant!
Also, when it comes to the digital realm, listen carefully. Young people are growing up wired for tech in a way that most of us just can’t and won’t be able to understand. If you hear a suggestions that simply isn’t a good idea, then let them know why you don’t think it’s a good idea but be constructive in your assessment.
They may come at you with a “know it all” attitude sometimes, but it doesn’t always take a pain in the butt to show them the way. Sometimes, just being open and constructive can set young hires on the right path to success.