Do you hire young people for summer jobs?

John G. Swanson
June 27, 2007


The Talk, Page 2...

Survey Results for 06/27/2007:

Do you hire young people for summer jobs?

Yes, every year.





No, training takes too long to make it worthwhile.





Yes, but usually employee relatives only.





Yes, but only in busy years.





No, it's just too complicated.





 There are many good reasons to hire young people in the summer. For some companies, demand increases and the extra hands can be very helpful. Others may appreciate use the workforce supplement to help fill in holes left by vacationing workers.

There are downsides too, of course, and I know them. At Window & Door, we’ve had several interns over the years. They’ve been great, coming in eager and ready to work. But they also require a great deal of handholding to make them productive. And the sad truth is, once they’ve gotten up-to-speed and started to really do good work, it’s been time for them to go back to school.

So I’m very sympathetic to the 30 percent of you out there who responded that your companies don’t hire young people in the summer because it takes too long to train them. Not being a big fan of paperwork, I also understand the other 11 percent who admit, “it’s just too complicated.”

Hiring young people is not necessarily an easy thing to do, so I’m pleased that close to a third of our respondents do bring in young people for summer jobs every year. Another 15 percent reported that their companies do, but generally limit it to employee family members, and finally another 12 percent said their companies will hire young people in busy years.

All those approaches are to be applauded I think. There are practical reasons for hiring young people in the summer, but the reason for applause is the benefits summer jobs provide young people. They not only get a paycheck, but real-world experience that will benefit them later on.

And speaking of later on, the investment we make in these young people will pay dividends for our companies and the industry as a whole. Exposure to our business is a great way to encourage more young people to consider windows and doors as a career. For most of our companies, a steady influx of new talented people is key to long-term success. The same is true for our industry as a whole.

And there’s proof that young people who come in and work at a window and door company for the summer sometimes come back and stick around. One industry executive emailed me to tell me his son did an internship with a window manufacturer in high school. In college, he said he had no interest in the industry, but now he’s looking.

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