Years of overseeing and hiring junior staff has seen a Traralgon woman put her passion into a cause.
Melissa Bowen’s family business, Bow’s Natural Icecream, has hired hundreds of junior staff in its long history of operation.
This year, Ms Bowen put together a website to link job seekers aged from 15 to 21 years with businesses looking to hire junior staff.
It has so far run for 11 weeks with more than 700 juniors signed up.
“I’ve got over 20 businesses on board, there’s been over 100 interviews sent and 40 kids hired locally,” Ms Bowen said.
“Predominantly they’ve been from Traralgon, Morwell and Sale.”
Ms Bowen’s website, Hire Me First, requires job seekers to enter their details including location, types of work they are seeking, availability and their resume.
“I’ve got kids who just want to work in retail and I’ve got kids who really want a job in fast food and hospitality and then I’ve got kids who are so keen for a job that they just pop it all down,” Ms Bowen said.
While businesses do pay a fee to use the website, Ms Bowen said she gained great satisfaction from linking junior workers to part-time employment.
“Look for me I think it’s very satisfying hearing of a business owner who’s found a fantastic worker through the website,” Ms Bowen said.
“I love hearing that feedback and I also love hearing that kids have got the work.”
While the website takes away the need for juniors to approach potential employers in person, Ms Bowen said it did not take away that need for them to have the confidence to face an employer.
Job seekers are still required to attend an interview after one has been requested by a business.
“I think it teaches them so many life skills; little things like counting money and interacting with customers. It’s so important to learn that at a young age,” Ms Bowen said.
“Having a part-time job really brings out their confidence levels.
“You learn team playing, even though you’re at school and they’ll take you on school camps and they’ll enforce that, having a job is ultimately real life.”