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Delighting your workers

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Recruitment Trends

Give Young Talent a Chance

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Olivia Hardie-Neil - 03 May, 2021

Content Creator

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COVID, HR, Gig economy,

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Why Students and Young People Are Perfect Temporary Employees

By October 7th 2020, the entirety of New Zealand had moved back down to Alert Level One. With the only restriction now being use of the Covid Tracer app, life for New Zealanders is almost back to normal - with the exception of international guests. That means that Kiwi events are back up and running, but with visitors heavily restricted, who are the best gig workers to choose, and how do you find them?

Regardless of where you are in New Zealand, there are events happening that will need temp staff. The annual Auckland Food Show will be held at the ASB Showgrounds from November 19th-22nd, the popular Beervana festival in Wellington will be held on the 21st and 22nd of November, as well as four food shows in December and sixteen in January, are all confirmed and getting ready. It’s not just food shows, either - the superb Sleeping Beauty ballet will be held in all the major cities, and with December comes, Christmas events will too, including parades, shows, comedies, festivals, parties and more. In fact, according to Eventfinda, there are over 6,000 events from Invercargill to Kaitaia, coming up from November to February. With events, come a need for workers - presenters, speakers, vendors, builders, security and safety workers, sound/audio/visual experts, ground staff, packers, and movers, along with many others, are all roles that need short-term talent, often at short notice.

So, who should you be looking for to fill these short term, short notice roles? Students are your best bet, being local, capable, and easy to find. There are a lot of advantages to hiring them, too. The main thing is that of course, they cost less than what you might be paying for someone with more experience, or an older one-off worker from overseas. This isn’t unfair, either - students and young people usually don’t have nearly as high living costs, and generally aren’t supporting a family. They also have less experience, which naturally comes with being a younger age. But these types of roles benefit them too - they get work experience for their CV, which can be immensely helpful for finding a job later. Aside from the money aspect, young people pick up things exceptionally quickly, as they’re used to the extremely fast paced environments of late high school and university. Adaptability is an especially important skill to have for part-time jobs at events, as things change quickly and need to be learnt fast.

Students and young people aren’t only great to have as employees, but they also really want these jobs! The upcoming months are in the middle of summer, when all schools and universities are having holidays. Students want to work to save for Christmas and for the new year, and there’s no better way to make some money than by a job that they only have to commit to for a week or less. Events are particularly good, because it’s not great to find a job only to have to quit two months later, when school starts back up, it’s rare to find a job that’s flexible over an 8am-4pm school schedule. Getting paid for work at events is a win-win, as they get experience without rigid commitment. Moreover, there’s been a huge demand for jobs because of the losses after Covid. Even if it’s hard to find a permanent job, there’s tons of incentive to get a little extra cash for a role at an event.

But how can you, as a recruiter, find the perfect student or young person? A lot of the time, young people won’t engage with ads on Seek, Student Job Search, TradeMe, or any of the other ‘traditional’ sites. This can be for a range of reasons - the application process is too confusing, there doesn’t seem to be a need for a resume for a one-off job, or teenagers simply don’t know how to write a cover letter and resume yet, so are put off applying. The next best option for candidate engagement is to use Facebook ads, pages, Marketplace or JobSearch - using social media makes it far more likely for your target audience to not only see your opening, but also to engage with you. Sending a text, Direct Message (or ‘DM’), or email can be much less daunting than going through a formal application process. The other reason you’ll get more engagement with social media is that sometimes, the perfect candidate isn’t actively looking for a job. They might be busy, unable to find a job that works around school, or just don’t know where to start - in their case, an ad for a job that isn’t difficult to work around their schedule is perfect. This isn’t to say that young people are too lazy to go out and find a job, and don’t care enough to write a resume, but rather a suggestion of new ways to get in contact with them if you need to.

With Alert Level One comes a close semblance to ordinary life, pre-Covid, and along with this, a multitude of events that need workers. If you’re looking for a young person, consider that times are changing, and social media is becoming more and more intertwined with real life and employment. Where will you be looking next?

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