Every year around this time, post-secondary and post-graduate students close the books on another school year and begin pounding the pavement in search of relevant, real-world work experience – in the form of the summer job. If your company has considered hiring summer students, now is an ideal time to find the right ones.
If executed strategically, recruiting a summer student can be a worthwhile endeavour with many benefits for both the employer and the employee. Additionally, working with a recruiting agency can ensure an efficient hiring process and a successful match, which is paramount given the short employment timeframe. With a deep pool of pre-screened applicants, a recruiter gives you access to a wealth of qualified summer students who can add tremendous value to your business over a short period of time.
Here’s how hiring summer students can benefit your company and how you can maximize the experience:
1. Seasonal hiring can help you tackle that perpetual to-do list
It’s not uncommon for businesses to have an ongoing list of projects that they would like to complete but never get around to as more pressing matters always seem to take precedence. While these projects may not make or break your business, they can certainly contribute to greater efficiencies, clearer communications, or more streamlined processes.
Hiring summer students with the right knowledge and skills to focus solely on completing these projects or tasks can help put you ahead strategically and financially. To maximize their time, be sure to create clear work plans and goals, provide sufficient training and support, and set realistic expectations for what you want to accomplish by the end of the summer.
2. Summer students can be added to your potential candidate pool
Although a summer student is a short-term hire, they may turn out to be someone with long-term potential. Perhaps they show great promise in their area of study, they have a strong work ethic, or they are a good fit with your company’s values and culture.
With fierce competition amongst businesses for quality candidates, it would be wise to cultivate a relationship with any seasonal hires that you envision as permanent employees. Whether they are in their second year or final year, at some point in the near future, they will be seeking full-time, permanent work. In addition, a summer student can easily fill in gaps during other periods when you may need to staff up, reducing the time and resources required for onboarding a brand new employee.
When hiring students for summer jobs or short-term positions, it’s important to think long-term. A recruiter can help you identify candidates with the skills, knowledge, and experience that you require immediately as well as in the future. And once you have a summer student onboard, treat them as though they are never leaving – engage them with meaningful work, offer constructive feedback and mentoring, and make them feel like part of the team.
If a student has a positive and memorable summer job experience, they will be more likely to consider a full-time offer from you versus a company that they have never worked for before.
3. Seasonal hiring can bring a fresh perspective to your team
Diversity of thought, experience, skills, culture, and age is beneficial to any work environment. Hiring summer students can bring a unique perspective to a challenge that your team has been grappling with or fresh ideas to improve company culture and boost morale. Even with them posing questions about the business, they can inspire you to look at the big picture through a different lens.
Be sure to include them in team meetings, brainstorming sessions, and informal discussions where they are invited to share their ideas and opinions as well as ask questions. They may be hesitant or feel intimidated at first but if you create a safe and open forum for discussion, they will likely jump right in.
4. Summer students have valuable employable skills
Even if a student has little or no work experience, being a post-secondary or post-graduate student demands that they have a number of important employable skills including critical thinking, effective communication, time management, multitasking, prioritizing, collaboration, and teamwork.
Take notice of their strengths and give them opportunities to hone them. If a student has exceptional verbal communication skills, allow them the chance to present in front of others or if they are highly organized, ask them to come up with alternative ways of filing or tracking information.
5. Summer jobs can be a two-way learning experience
In addition to the employable traits mentioned above, students also have valuable conceptual knowledge that they are eager to apply to the real world. Whether it be the fundamentals of supply chain management, physics, or human resource management, these important ideas and principles are still fresh in their minds compared to more seasoned employees. Going back to basics can often be an effective way to come up with new solutions to age-old challenges.
While a summer student will be learning more from you, be sure to take the time to listen to them as well. Ask them questions about what they’ve learned in school and encourage them to share how their academic knowledge applies to the work that they have been tasked.
6. You can help develop talent and prepare students for the workforce
When you hire a summer student today, you are investing in the workforce of tomorrow. By giving students valuable work experience, a sense of purpose and responsibility, and exposure to what it means to belong to an organization, you are helping to shape a future of doers, thinkers, innovators, problem-solvers, and leaders.
Students are eager to learn and make a contribution. Be sure to give them tasks that are relevant and allow them to see the results of their hard work. This will help to create a summer job experience that has a positive and motivating impact on their career development.
Ready to recruit a summer student?
If your company is looking for summer students to hire, contact Marberg and one of our experienced recruiters will provide you with efficient and reliable seasonal staffing solutions.
When hiring summer or seasonal help, you may qualify for wage subsidies and funding programs offered by the provincial and federal governments. These have been set up to stimulate youth employment by providing financial assistance to employers. Examples of these include Young Canada Works and Canada Summer Jobs. The Government of Canada also publishes a full list of federal, provincial, and territorial wage subsidy programs here.