We are currently building a project for a group of HR professionals looking to understand and hire the next generation of employees. Granted, this is a frustrated group of “adults” with what they see as a basic lack of social skills in the hiring pool. The top five complaints:
1) The candidate was too informal and showed virtually no respect for my department or me as the one hiring.
2) The potential candidate ate like a pig. (I hear and see this a lot.)
3) The potential candidate failed to acknowledge my time.
4) The candidate came to us with NO work for pay experience or even an appropriate internship.
5) The candidate had an air of entitlement.
Needless to say, I too see each of these as I mentor young adults. If you are a mentor, parent, or caring adult, please pay attention to some basics social skills of life. It is never too early to teach a child these life lessons. As a parent, it was very hard to stay on my children about these very issues. I believe that today this has paid off for each of them. It is never too late to consider implementing the following:
1) Teach your child a healthy respect for the adults in his world. “Whatever is not an appropriate response”.
2) No one wishes to be at a table and watch someone chew with their mouth wide open, stab their food, etc. Teach your child how to eat!
3) Ask your child to say thank you far more often. They have volunteers, teachers, clergy, that do care and are perhaps making time for them. Have them acknowledge this now and it will serve them well later. (p.s. a Text message or email written in TY language is infuriating).
4) At some point, insist your child work for pay or as a serious intern. As much as we love the volunteer programs our youth engage in, graduating college and having zero work experience just does not bode well.
5) Perhaps some young adults feel entitled because we have allowed them to by not considering number 1 through 4 above.
As we continue to work on this project, we understand how critical emotional intelligence is in the workplace. We recommend www.6seconds.org SEI profile as a tremendous resource for parents and corporations. If your workforce struggles with current employees or finding future ones, the issue may be a lack of emotionally intelligent candidates.