Sometimes it can feel like internships are designed more for the benefit of the intern than for your company. As a recruiter or manager, it’s not rare to find yourself spending more time thinking up assignments and overseeing the work than actually learning from it. If this sounds familiar, it might be time to switch gears, focusing less on cookie-cutter internships and more on hiring students for paid, short-term, part-time projects.
While the benefits of adopting this practice are ample—for both you and the student—it can be hard to sell the idea to higher-ups who just see the dollar signs. To help, we’ve assembled four of the most pressing issues that can be easily solved with the help of student employees.
Four ways temporary student employees can contribute to your company
Though they may be young, students are at the forefront of many elements of the digital world (whether they realize it or not). Take social media for example. Today’s college students leverage these tools every day for reading the news, connecting with their university communities, and building professional relationships. They could easily slip into the same role for your business when it comes to building a customer base and rolling out promotional campaigns.
In addition to understanding how to take advantage of social media, students are part of a digital generation that does everything from checking grades to buying movie tickets online. They may have some great ideas when it comes to innovative ways to develop apps or otherwise make it easy for your target market to access your product.
Let’s say you have a great idea. You draw up a presentation and show it to the decision-makers. They say it sounds promising, but need to see real data that can back it up before they invest money and employee time in it. Thus begins the familiar cycle of wanting to prove your idea could work but lacking the time to gather concrete proof. This is where a hired student can make a huge difference.
Whether your idea requires Web development, collection of trial user data, or even initial design, a hired student can help you see it through. Firstly, their schedules are often flexible, allowing you to dictate exactly how much has to be accomplished by a certain date before they even begin. Secondly, they are motivated to work hard because they know they will be able to cite this valuable experience in bringing an idea to life when courting future job opportunities.
3. Seasonal surges
No matter your industry, you probably have various times of year when things get busier. Student help is an easy way to plug in any seasonal gaps you may be experiencing as a result. In addition to providing you with more bodies and minds, they can also serve as an inexpensive means to gather data regarding these seasonal changes and analyze them. This way, you have a basis to propose changes that can curb some of the more dramatic or unexpected shortages in staffing, product availability, or other issues that these cycles bring.
4. Turnover and short staffing
If you enter a simple Google search regarding turnover trends, you’ll find tons of articles that all say the same thing: today’s workforce is staying in one place for far fewer years than its predecessors. Gone are the eras of celebrating 20-year anniversaries with one company, at least on average. Chances are your company has not been immune to this trend. If so, look to student employees to help you ease through the unexpected.
Even if employees give you several weeks of notice, work can stall as you seek individuals to replace them. This is especially true at smaller companies where many employees wear several hats as the business grows. By having a roster of dependable student workers at the ready, you can fill in some of the responsibilities that the departing employee covered without wasting time. The same can be said when you face sudden short staffing, due to several employees requesting time off during the same month.
In short, student hires can solve many of your business’s most pressing issues and help you prepare for the unexpected. In the process, you may even develop a relationship that could result in a full-time hire after graduation! Start to develop a roster of reliable student helpers today by posting a position on HireOwl and watching the resumes roll in.