Employers shoud review transcripts before hiring

Guest Columnist

  • Friday, October 3, 2008 4:24am
  • Opinion

When you were a kid, your parents would say, “Santa is making a


list and checking it twice.” Well, Santa isn’t the only one.


In an effort to find the best employees, employers are making


lists of which students are serious about school _ and they’re using high


school transcripts to do it. Transcripts tell a prospective employer if a student


had a good attendance record, took tough courses


and showed interest in a variety of subjects.


Students who demonstrate such commitment, enthusiasm


and intellectual curiosity in school are likely to


become excellent employees.


It is all part of an effort by Washington’s


Partnership for Learning to make high school transcripts a worthwhile document


to which students pay attention. The Partnership for Learning, in


conjunction with organizations such as the Association of Washington


Business (AWB), is working to build more accountability into the schools by


letting students and parents know that grades, attendance and good


behavior count.


It’s not unusual to hear some students say, “That subject is so


lame, I’ll never need that stuff when I get out of school.” So they skip


classes, flunk the course or act up in class while their fellow students try to


learn. But when job-hunting students discover that prospective employers


will review their transcripts, their attitude _ and their behavior _ changes


dramatically.


Case in point: In the early 1980s, I was part of a group of employers


in Port Angeles who worked with school officials to motivate students and


create better employees.


We agreed that employers, as part of the hiring process, should


know what a student’s attendance record was in high school. The


superintendent told us that the impact on students


was amazing. Word got around that if you wanted a job at the local bank or


in one of the two pulp mills, you’d better have a good attendance record.


It made attendance in school mean something.


The things that make someone a good student make them a good


employee: Are you willing to learn? Are you dependable? Do you stick


to something and finish what you started? Can you work as part of


a team?


Sounds simple, but you’d be amazed at how many young men


and women today just don’t get it.



Don Brunell is president of the Association of Washington


Business, Washington state’s chamber of commerce. Visit AWB on the web


at www.awb.org.


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