Talk is cheap when some bosses bash the newer breed of potential workers for their automotive service facilities.
Instead of just criticizing, take constructive steps to address the shortcomings you see in younger job applicants.
Repeatedly, I hear tire dealers and service shop owners complain about the attitudes and values of younger hires who are in the millennial category.
If you're so dissatisfied with the situation, budget the time and effort to address it.
This means that if you expect certain qualities in new employees, you may have to ingrain those traits yourself. This teaching task takes time and persistence.
Regular readers may recall that my work as a reporter and technical instructor keeps me hopping, crisscrossing the country on assignments.
Often it seems that I can't avoid discussions of the shortcomings of the cursed millennials. Of course, there's a reason for everything. Workers lacking essential social skills may have had little or no substantial parenting — that's hardly a new issue.
First of all, some people think it's trendy to call these shortcomings new and unique. I could not disagree more!
Let me offer a frame of reference here. I got my first job in a full-service service station in 1967. Back then, some bosses derided us, griping about a "generation gap" between us and them.
Later, I would hear our age group called Baby Boomers; the boss' contemporaries became the Greatest Generation.
During the service-station jobs in high school, I observed some contemporaries who adjusted to the working world well.
But others struggled with the basic discipline required to get a job and hold it.
For example, some fellows fought to arrive on time, let alone early to prepare for opening.
Some guys instinctively knew when to clam up, listen to the manager and take directions on performing jobs correctly.
Others seemed clueless to the concepts of listening and learning.
Those of us who made a comparatively smooth transition into the working world agreed that our parents already had been demanding the same things that the boss did — demanding them for years. What's more, we'd gradually learn that these traits weren't taught or expected in every household.
Furthermore, to no one's surprise, the guys who lacked this training continued to struggle at various jobs as we got older.
Second, recognize that the same situation I saw in the late 1960s still occurs today.
That is, a percentage of the younger job applicants already have an education in essential social skills and responsibilities.
Mind you, they may have learned those skills from parents, siblings, coaches, teachers or a combination of those.
Sadly, however, many younger job seekers are woefully ignorant of the social "skill set" required to fit into the working world.
Here, the causes are nearly a moot issue. The point is that you have to lay down the proverbial law: The skill set is a condition of employment — period.
Politely but firmly clarify to job seekers that the social skills will be part of their evaluation during their trial or probationary period.
Third, suppose that a youngster shows solid tactile skills and technical knowledge during a trial period. However, he or she lacks the social skills.
At some point, the owner and/or manager have to weigh the former skills against the latter.
Perhaps the agile hands and technical smarts are strong enough to warrant coaching the social skills. Only you and your managers can make that call.
It may be 1967 or 2017. But regardless of the era, new hires must be fundamentally decent human beings.
Ultimately, they have to respect and peacefully coexist with co-workers and managers alike.
The positive step is to require the skills and where necessary, teach them. Try grooming respect, courtesy and pride in workmanship.
It may amount to a wise investment in a capable, long-term employee.