Vamos Career Services, a career coaching service from our member the Deaconess Foundation, recently invited two representatives of partner companies to discuss the challenges that many young people face when seeking a job.

Young people in challenging life situations often have very little or no work experience. Interrupted studies and long periods of inactivity are also common. The prevailing perception of recruitment is that weaknesses, differences, and special needs are not tolerated in the job search. Do such things affect recruitment, and if so, how? Is there a place for people with partial abilities or in a challenging life situation in today’s working life? Is it possible that recruitment rather emphasizes humanity, and motivation to get a job? These are some questions our member brought to the table.

Jan Surapha from McDonald’s Finland and Juha Honkavirta from Transval brought the employer’s perspective to the discussion. Both representatives agreed that in some vacancies, the CV has little relevance. According to Jan, it is only natural that the curricula vitae of young people are short or non-existent. Instead, attitude, social skills, and motivation, for example, are decisive. Transval’s views are also similar: a CV does not have to be perfect. A person’s own qualities and abilities are more relevant than the content of the CV.

Moreover, according to both guests, openness is important in the job search. For instance, if coping with full-time work makes you hesitate, it is often possible to start with shorter hours and tailor the work to suit the applicant’s needs. Jan emphasized that neither diabetes nor asthma prevents work – why would mental health challenges prevent it if they are under control?

Both guests also agreed on the importance of diversity in recruitment. If prejudices and attitudes influence the recruitment decision, they will certainly be reflected in the workplace as well. The colleagues from the Vamos Career Services were happy with the views and ideas expressed in the debate and found them to be encouraging and reassuring in terms of the situations of the young people in their context. In any case, they also inspire hope for the future – as our society becomes more diverse and attitudes change, it will hopefully be easier for everyone to find their place in the world of work.

To know more about the Vamos Career Services please visit our member’s website.