Cutting-Edge Practice

Near Peer Hiring Toolkit

State/Jurisdiction: Texas
Setting: Community Workplace
Population: Adolescents & Young Adults
Topic Area: Family & Youth Engagement Workforce Development

Hiring near peers, or young people who are close in age but older than your target youth population, builds an essential bridge between those you serve and the people serving them. Near peers inform the work done by the agency, they institutionalize youth voice and represent young people in staff settings, and they help translate across generational gaps. While they are an incredible asset, hiring part-time youth staff represents unique organizational challenges for agencies that typically hire only full-time staff or adult staff. Near peers are often college students or college-aged youth who have many demands on their time, requiring unique supervision and management processes. Additionally, HR departments can be unprepared to hire this unique type of position and may perceive risk in hiring youth. Our toolkit demonstrates strategies that support the near peer themselves, the staff that supervise and work with them, and adapting the agency policies that impact them.

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