Are Younger Applicants Distressing You?

In speaking with many business owners over the years, one concern that is coming up is a particular attitude presented by “younger applicants.” We’re talking an age range of 18 to 25.

So, what’s the problem?

First of all (in the words of one or more of our Presidents) let me make one thing perfectly clear: This is definitely not a problem that can be attached to all applicants in this age range.

But a growing number of business owners are experiencing a “shift in attitude.” Instead of the applicant giving a good accounting of how he or she can help the business, the emphasis is shifting to what can the business do for the applicant?

When asked tough questions that focus on the applicant making a commitment to the new company, the answers back are often not making a compelling case for the applicant.

The easy answer to this is to keep looking, keep interviewing. But sometimes the position you have open attracts only a certain kind of applicant, and in your local area, that applicant is young and not particularly skilled.

So, what can you do?

Here’s one idea.

When your applicant has made his “demands” as to what he feels you should provide him and/or has given a less than lackluster commitment to you and your company, flip the tables.

“Well, Sally, you make good points. Let me ask you this, ‘why should I hire you?’”

Or…

“Well, Sally, you make good points. Let me ask you this, ‘if this were your company, and I came in and said the exact things you just said, would you hire me?’”

See if you can get the applicant to step back and examine his attitude a bit.

Perhaps this applicant doesn’t respect that people work very hard to put a company on the map and they come to the table believing they should be treated as your equal, regardless of their lack of skills and experience.

Some may have not worked very hard most (or even all) of their life and were essentially given the wherewithal to survive. Now they’re looking for a job with you and they still feel they should be given things, like a job, pay, perks, etc.

I’m speculating here, but I imagine this makes sense to some of you.

Getting your applicant to examine his attitude is of course no assurance that the attitude will undergo any dramatic change.

But, I think you will feel better having that kind of conversation and there’s a good shot your applicant will walk off wondering if maybe, just maybe, the world, outside of home and school, is not arranged the way it has been.



 

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