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Attracting Workers

June 16, 1988|DAVID WHARTON

Clothes, cars and college--most Valley teen-agers say they work because they want more of these things.

But when it comes to looking through the classifieds, young workers are apt to pass up a good salary for a lower-paying job that is challenging and that offers a chance to learn, according to a survey of Southern California teen-agers.

In a 1986 survey, 500 young workers at Knott's Berry Farm were asked to list factors they considered important in a job. Their top-10 list:

1--Challenging work. 2--Opportunity to use skills. 3--Opportunity to learn. 4--Variety of activities. 5--Competent and sociable co-workers. 6--Opportunity for advancement. 7--Salary. 8--Job security. 9--Location of company. 10--Fringe benefits.

Steve Tibbs conducted the survey and now works for Carl's Jr. The chain has asked him to train its managers in the complexities of the teen-age psyche.

Like other burger restaurants, Carl's Jr. relies on young workers to run counters and salt fries. It's a struggle to fill those positions.

Some McDonald's restaurants in the Valley have begun offering starting salaries above minimum wage. Carl's Jr. hopes its training will help restaurant managers hire and keep more young workers.

"It's hard to know what teen-agers' perceptions are," said Patty Beckmann, a Carl's Jr. spokeswoman. "If you can understand them, you can match their needs."

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