These are young adults between the ages of 15 to 23. I think sometimes I should write a book on what to look for, what to expect, and how to get the most out of this particular age group.
Beginning this month we will begin the process of hiring hundreds of part-time employees who are looking for summer jobs to make a little spending money, or to help pay for cars and car insurance. Over the years when hiring this group of young adults I have tried to put myself in their shoes when they are sitting across from us looking for their first job. Some are shy, some of them want desperately to have their parents in the job interview, even though on any other day their parents embarrass them. Some have a hard time making eye contact, some dress like they just got out of bed and have never heard of a comb, and some just tell us the only reason they are here is because their mom and dad want them doing something constructive for the summer.
You have to love the honesty of this particular age group.
The scary thing is that you are putting them in positions that are serious in nature. You have some that will be lifeguards and are expected to keep people safe in our public pools. You have some that will be day camp counselors and will be expected to watch and keeps little kids safe while moms and dads are at work. You have some who will work in our maintenance division using heavy equipment, and are expected to use this equipment in a safe manner while working in our parks around town.
These are big responsibilities, and as you are sitting there interviewing them you are praying inside that they understand the significance of the job they will be performing for the parks and recreation department. Some of the kids I have hired over the years have gone on to do wonderful things in our community, and I always like to think that we were a stepping stone gently teaching them how to be pillars in society.
We always tell them in employee orientation that if they are still working for us after seven years then we have done them a disservice. Get your high school or college degree, and go set the world on fire.
Parents, do us a favor, and remind them when they are interviewing this year with us to comb their hair, dress for success, make good eye contact, and be sure that they show up on time. Good luck and let the interviews begin.
Maierhofer is director of the Carrollton Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department.