Celeste Frye presents the findings of the "Going Beyond the Bottom Line" report at the NYCETC Summit.

Celeste Frye presents the findings of the “Going Beyond the Bottom Line” report at the NYCETC Summit.

On December 14, 2012, Public Works Partners and JobsFirstNYC presented the findings of our report, Going Beyond the Bottom Line: Employer Perspectives on the Young Adult Workforce Development System in New York City, to a standing-room-only audience at the New York City Training and Employment Coalition’s annual Summit and Expo.

For this event, we assembled a panel of five hiring managers to give voice to the employer perspectives and findings of the report. The panelists spoke candidly on the unique challenges of working with young workers, such as overconfidence, high turnover, and lack of basic professionalism, communications, and interpersonal skills needed to succeed in a work environment.

They offered praise for many of the nonprofit organizations that they work with to meet their hiring needs, but also reported issues with inconsistent performance, particularly after an account manager leaves the organization and fails to transition the relationship and knowledge of the employer’s needs. They also noted that organizations seem to be preparing young people more for the interview than for on-the-job success. The recommendations of the report and the panelists emphasized the importance of learning employers’ needs and serving the employer as an equal and primary customers, while also addressing the unique needs of young workers through more on-the-job support and basic professionalism training.

GBBL_thumbnailTo help turn these recommendations into concrete tactics for providers, we facilitated a lively question-and-answer session between attendees and panelists and small group discussions for attendees. These interactions both highlighted gaps in perspectives between providers and employers as well as helped bridge those gaps through conversation and dialogue. We heard from providers a concern that the credentials they were helping young people achieve might not be recognized by employers; the panelists responded by emphasizing the importance of working directly with employers to determine the right credentials that make the difference in hiring decisions and at the workplace. The panelists also helped dispel some of the fears around online screening tools by emphasizing the importance of being able to answer simple questions with appropriate answers that show motivation and sincere interest in the job.

For more information, and to continue the conversation:

  • Read the Going Beyond the Bottom Line report
  • Visit the JobsFirstNYC website, where you can learn more about the work they do to advance the youth workforce development field.
  • Keep the discussion going: contact us by sending us an email or by leaving a comment below. We’d be happy to share additional thoughts on the report and ways that service providers can use its findings to improve their employer engagement practices.