Recruiting Teenage Workers

Retailers are finding it hard to attract young, entry-level employees.

August 10, 2018

NEW YORK CITY – While the economy is doing well and unemployment is at 3.9%—a near record low—companies and retailers are having trouble attracting young, entry-level workers, The Marketing Insider reports. One such industry is construction, which has seen its share of under-25 workers drop by 20% since 2005.

How can industries such as construction and c-store retailing bring in younger workers? Here are some suggestions from columnist Aaron Paquette:

  • Connect the work to a higher purpose. “Millennial workers want to do work with great personal and social meaning, with psychic rewards beyond a paycheck,” he wrote. Companies could promote initiatives that link social causes to the industry, such as Habitat for Humanity, for example.
  • Sponsor vocational programs. “These can be in-person programs … [or] online courses that start with common, practical, everyday skills, and then progress to more complex professional skills,” Paquette said.
  • Summer internships and scholarships. “Many teen workers gravitate toward jobs in the service industries at businesses they frequent (restaurants, stores, movie theaters, etc.),” he noted.

College scholarships for high school students interested in a related field also can help generate interest in the business, while work-study programs assist students in paying for higher education. “Make sure to include a path back to your company once they earn their degree,” Paquette said.