Working with community partners to meet the needs of young adults

Young employees need a supportive environment to make mistakes, experiment with different career options, and find what work is meaningful to them. Photo: Shutterstock.

Many companies struggle to meet the needs of young adults in the workforce. While fresh talent is critical for a company’s growth and development, it can be difficult for many to find and cultivate talent in a supportive environment. The needs of young adults differ drastically from experienced employees and may not be met in workplaces that are unwilling to change. 

Young adults struggle in their first few years in the workforce as they find their place in the world. After high school, most do not know where they want to take their careers. These young employees need a supportive environment to make mistakes, experiment with different career options, and find what work is meaningful to them. 

One of the best ways to cultivate young talent is by working with community partners and educational institutions to recruit, encourage, and place young adults in jobs that best suit their skills and interests. You can help create these relationships by incorporating the following principles into your recruitment and community outreach programs: 

Believe in the capabilities of young workers

Many older and experienced professionals doubt the capabilities of young workers because they lack the training and real-world experience necessary to thrive in many situations. However, that doesn’t mean that young workers can’t bring other valuable skills, such as creativity, a fresh education, and dedication to work free from the heavy responsibilities of later adulthood. Recognizing this value can help young workers feel seen and appreciated. 

Open the doors to communication.

Young workers are completely in sync with technology in a way that older professionals struggle to keep up with. However, by connecting with young adults online – in the space they feel most comfortable – you can find hidden talent in unexpected places. 

Understand the differing values of the next generation

Many professionals are hesitant to accept the differing workforce values of the younger generation. However, it’s crucial to recognize what is important to young professionals, including work-life balance and inclusive company culture. 

Increase educational opportunities after high school

Many young adults feel pressured to attend a four-year university, whether or not it is the best option for their intended career and life paths. However, trade schools, apprenticeships, and other forms of post-secondary education can be just as valuable to young adults looking for an alternate career path after high school. By shining the light on these options, you can open doors for more young adults to pursue meaningful and lucrative careers even without a college degree. 

Offer supportive environments to make mistakes and learn from them

Young adults are experimenting in the first few years of their careers to find the right fit for their long-term life goals. From the time someone is 18 until they turn 25, they will likely make several lateral career moves and make plenty of on-the-job mistakes along the way. However, by offering an environment where learning is encouraged, and mistakes are tolerated, you can better retain young talent and foster long-term success within your industry. 

Working with community partners like Eckerd Connects can help you cultivate lifelong careers in your industry and help you grow and innovate into tomorrow. Contact us to learn more about community partnership programs available in your region and industry. Want to learn more? Check out our workforce development programs here.