Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Americans Report Fewer Close Friends - How that applies to hiring seasonal staff...

Recent research published in the June 2006 issue of the journal American Sociological Review found that people in America have fewer close friends than they did twenty years ago. The amount of people who said they had no one to discuss personal important matters with doubled over that time period to 25%. The evidence also showed that because people have fewer close friends their relationships with their families are closer than they used to be. So how can we apply those findings to hiring seasonal staff?

An employer who has a small operation in a rural setting recently completed their hiring cycle and asked this question on their application: Why do you want to work for us? One word that came up with some consistency in the answers was 'family'...'family atmosphere, extended family, family outside of your own.' Other answers included, 'opportunity to get to know everyone, getting to know guests, camraderie, be a member of a team, work as a team.' What I take from this is that people are looking for relationship. Especially when one leaves what friends and family they do have behind - which is what seasonal workers do.

So, as an employer, if you have that to offer, if you have a core staff that is welcoming to new people, if you are looking for team players, if you encourage your staff to get to know your guests, if 'relationship' is part of your company culture, then highlight that in your job ads. Because, after all, aren't we all happy when we find a new friend and feel like we belong?

See: Americans Lose Touch, Report Fewer Close Friends for complete article.