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Author: John Lidington

The Founders Series: Smart Hustle

The Founders Series: Smart Hustle

The Founders Series
: advice for entrepreneurs and students who are thinking of becoming entrepreneurs

With the Founders Series, we reach across multiple industries in order to get diverse perspectives on entrepreneurship. That’s why you see anything from startup law firms to mobile yoga studios sprinkled in alongside tech startups.

This week, we caught up with Ramon Ray, the Founder of Smart Hustle, a multimedia (online and print magazine) resource that offers valuable advice to entrepreneurs on most aspects of growing their businesses.

Tell us about Smart Hustle. What’s your vision for the company?

We aim to make Smart Hustle the leading national resource to educate and inspire small business entrepreneurs. We’re creating a community of small business entrepreneurs on the journey toward success. Smart Hustle Magazine is the rallying point for those who are using their smarts, creativity, and tenacity as they pursue the hustle–the smart hustle–on their way to even greater success. Smart Hustle Magazine is not just about those who have already succeeded, but those who are on the journey of small business entrepreneurial growth.

What inspired you to start your own company?

With Smart Hustle, I wanted to go beyond tech, which is the focus of my other company, SmallBiztechnology.com. I wanted to cover small business entrepreneurs in the HUSTLE/on their journey.

What was your first job after graduation? If in a different field, how did you make the transition from that to entrepreneurship?

I was working at the United Nations, managing an office. I started 3 companies while at the UN, then left the UN.

What is the most important trait for an entrepreneur to have?  

There is not just one important trait, but persistence, smart hustle, always learning, and being nice are a few.

What career advice would you give to current students who are considering joining a startup or starting their own company?

Be humble and get practical knowledge, not just MBA or BA knowledge. (HireOwl note: we couldn’t agree more that getting practical knowledge is critical!)

Where can people find out more about Smart Hustle?

smarthustle.com

How to Keep It Positive When Finding Jobs Takes Time

How to Keep It Positive When Finding Jobs Takes Time

As your college days are beginning to dwindle, receiving job rejections can take its toll on your psyche. It can feel like everyone around you has already signed a job contract while you’re the only one without prospects. And then when you finally do get an acceptance, it’s easy to rush into something that might not be the best fit in order to join the club, which can be short-lived if you decide to leave.

What to do when the process of finding jobs gets you down

Know your strengths

This, of course, is something that you should be doing before you even begin to write your first cover letter. But we encourage you to go beyond listing only that which sounds good to an employer. Take a good chunk of time to sit back and think about what makes you great, even outside of the business mindset. Maybe you’re a team player; what specific teams have you been a part of and what accomplishments did you achieve together? Or maybe you’re a good public speaker; when did you rouse a group of people to do something well? When did you perform in front of others—maybe with an instrument or in a theatrical event—to applause or acclaim?

When you create a resume, it’s usually the personal things like this that get shoved to the bottom or deleted in an effort to keep it to one page. But don’t just get rid of them entirely. Instead, write a new list that you get to keep for yourself. In addition to serving as an easy-access grab bag of conversation topics with recruiters—especially for those with whom you have something in common—this can be just what you need to stay positive.

Find your best fit

“Company culture” is a buzzy phrase that has permeated the business world. Some point to companies like Google and Facebook, which have brought the casual, perk-laden business environment to the forefront. Others point to the recession, which caused businesses to find other ways to retain employees than promotions and raises that they couldn’t afford. Whatever the source, company culture has become a mainstay.

Due to this, more businesses than ever are upfront about what defines their culture, especially because many of them have developed it after much trial, error, and research. This is why you can often find descriptions of company culture on the business’s own website as well as in its job postings and easily searchable Slideshares.

The reason we suggest that you spend a good amount of time understanding a company’s culture before you apply to join is because it gives you an idea of where you might fit best. You might not love the Google environment after all. Maybe you prefer to wear a suit and speak directly with clients. Or maybe you prefer to work on your own with minimal collaboration and don’t need all the community hoopla that other people prize. The point is that everyone’s different, and so is every company. Knowing yourself and precisely what you want will help you not only land a job, but also stay happy. And if you realize it wasn’t a good fit to begin with, you can keep your chin up and know that it wasn’t meant to be.

Be useful and productive

Just because you haven’t received a job offer yet doesn’t mean it’s time to sit back and do nothing. Find ways to fill your time and contribute to something. That could mean building your own blog to learn the ins and outs of site design and SEO. You could take advantage of short-term opportunities that help you build lasting relationships and potential references, even if it’s in a different field than you pictured yourself working in. Perhaps there’s a volunteering or freelance opportunity you’ve always wanted to try. The list goes on.

In addition to helping you feel productive and boosting your morale while you wait for an offer, these opportunities might even help you get a job in the future. You’ll be networking and expanding your interests, which might be the clincher that makes a recruiter take interest in you. Rejection is a necessary part of trying, so embrace the time it gives you and do something that helps you stand out.

Why Do I Want to Work for This Company? Attracting College Talent

Why Do I Want to Work for This Company? Attracting College Talent

The college recruitment game goes two ways. The truth is it can be just as daunting for a recruiter to attract top college talent as it is for a student to stand out from the crowd. How do you go about finding not just the best students, but the best students for your business? In this post we’ll discuss how to market your company to Millennials and ensure that you’re putting your best foot forward.

How to answer this question: Why do I want to work for this company?

Think about the modern, young applicant

We’ve entered a new age of employment where retaining employees for the long term is getting harder and harder. Today’s college graduates expect (and perhaps even look forward to) trying out several business environments before finally establishing their own businesses or settling at a company where they can make a big impact. And even that might not be permanent.

While this might not be optimal for you as a recruiter, whose best-case scenario is often to find someone who will thrive and stay in one place, it gives you an opportunity to market your business environment to young applicants. What about this job or this company can give them the edge as they experience career development? In other words, put yourself in their shoes and speak directly to what they want.

Prioritize culture above compensation

But what exactly do they want? An article in the Harvard Business Review shows results from a survey led by Collegefeed in 2014. The analysts asked 15,000 Millennials—60 percent of whom were still in college—what the top things were that they looked for when considering an employer. The results were very telling. People and culture fit, career potential, and work/life balance were the top three, while more traditional aspects such as compensation and market leadership trailed behind.

Thus perhaps the best thing you can do to boost your job applications is to take a step back and look at your company culture. How would you define it? What are the rules that everyone lives by to succeed? Do you provide any perks—free or otherwise? How do you reward good work? What about your team makes it elite in the business world? And be honest. If you misrepresent your company culture, you’re only going to get people who don’t fit well with the real thing, causing your retention rates to drop. There’s something out there for everyone, including your business.

But why wait until it’s time to fill a full-time position to convince students that your company is a great place to work? Learn-and-earn opportunities provide both you and them with a chance to test-drive a company, department, and position before they graduate. This gives your business a chance to speak for itself as the student gets a taste of your culture and priorities. If they line up, you have the chance to shrink your recruiting budget and find someone who will fit right in. And if they don’t, well that can be just as valuable for both sides.

Get ahead of the game by posting several short-term, part-time positions on HireOwl. The platform enables you to review resumes and take advantage of numerous other features, all the while keeping your part-time employees organized and easy to find if you’d like to reach out again. Get the ball rolling!

Best Practices in Asking for an Employment Reference

Best Practices in Asking for an Employment Reference

When it comes time to apply to a job, whether for the summer months or full-time after graduation, it’s easy to get nervous. Many of us have been programmed not to brag about our accomplishments, so it can be particularly intimidating to ask someone else to do it for us. But fear not. The truth is if you ask the right person and prepare them adequately, he or she might be honored to serve as a reference for you. In this post, we’ll delve into how and why.

How to set up a successful employment reference

Know who you’re asking

It might seem easy just to ask whoever seems the most important, but you really want to ask someone who can speak to you. Recruiters can spot a generic fill-in-the-blanks reference on paper a mile away, and it’s also pretty obvious to detect it over the phone as well. Worse yet, you could accidentally ask someone who gives you a bad reference, and it’s very difficult to bounce back from that. So before you march up to the CEO or someone else who might not know you that well, consider someone with whom you’ve made a meaningful, professional connection.

Think strategically

Different references serve different purposes. While there is some overlapping, an academic reference can speak to different aspects of your productivity than a supervisor or a peer. Who can give specific examples that point to your willingness to put in extra hours to get the job done? What about your skills as a presenter or salesperson? Or your writing proficiency? Or how you always meet a deadline? Or that time you led a team? Think about what the recruiter is looking for in someone to fill the job. If you know of someone who can cover all the bases in one phone call, great! But chances are you’ll need at least two people, and there’s nothing wrong with that either.

Ask and discuss

Ask first. This may sound like a no-brainer, but you’d probably be surprised how often people find themselves on the receiving end of an unexpected call for a reference. Not only is it rude and presumptive to give someone’s name and contact information without his or her permission, but it’s also unfair not to allow that person to prepare. A good reference will ask you if there’s anything in particular you’d like them to speak about. Take advantage of this opportunity!

Sit down and have a discussion with each of the people you’re asking. It’s silly to assume that other people are keeping track of each of your accomplishments—at least as well as you have—so provide them with a brief synopsis. This way you can mention anything you’d like them to speak to in particular. If this sounds like a conversation that would make you uncomfortable, you’re probably not picking the right person. We’ll also add that if you need to ask for discretion, this would be the time.

Follow up

Even if a reference phone call lasts five minutes, those are five minutes that someone has taken out of his or her day to help you. Besides, if you chose the right people, they likely spent some time preparing as well. Show your gratitude by writing a thank-you note and offering to take them out for coffee. You don’t have to go over the top, but some appreciation goes a long way. After all, you may want to ask this person for a reference again in the future. Being gracious can help maintain this relationship even after you leave the company.

If you do convince them to come out for a cup of coffee, use the opportunity to ask how it went and gauge the reaction. If they answer “Great!” and change the subject, they probably don’t want to review the little things. But if they give you some examples of things they highlighted, you can reinforce them during your next interview.

A great reference (or two) can be the key to getting your dream job, so start building them now! It’s never too early to prove yourself. Start with short-term, part-time opportunities you’ve found on the HireOwl platform. You’ll work on real projects that provide potential references with lots of chances to see how great you are.

Hiring College Students Makes Your Workforce More Self-Sufficient

Hiring College Students Makes Your Workforce More Self-Sufficient

Managing others in the workplace can be exhausting. It sometimes feels like you’re spending so much time overseeing, correcting, and eventually redoing projects that you’re not getting any of your own work done. Maybe you’ve gone so far as to fire one employee, only to find the same thing is true of the next one. On top of not getting work done, the frustration and micromanagement is enough to make you implode.

Rather than entering a never-ending firing and hiring cycle until you find the perfect person, why not take steps to make your workforce more self-sufficient to begin with? Here’s how:

How hiring college students boosts your employees’ self-sufficiency

Getting an early start

We’ve already provided you with the ways that hiring college students can shrink your recruiting budget. But there are added benefits to your workforce productivity as well.

Traditional internships have become less about helping you get work done and more about scrounging to find tasks that fill their time without handing over too much responsibility. While you may have found some stars, chances are you’ve encountered many interns who didn’t fit in at all, which is a shame because it means the internship was a waste of time for both of you.

Short-term, part-time positions while a student is still in college, however, can stop this from happening. If the worst happens and you realize it’s not a great fit, you can nix it quickly. And if you see a promising potential employee with an interest in what your company does and how it works, you can coach them from the get-go. Even better: You can teach them to complete a task your way, and not someone else’s.

Coaching > overseeing

College students today have the built-in (so to speak) benefits of being digital natives. They understand the application of mobile and digital technologies better than any generation before them because they grew up using them. They know how to reach customer bases, create brands, and hone a target audience without even having actual job experience. What we’re trying to point out here is that they’re already accustomed to thinking strategically from a business perspective.

In addition to benefiting your company’s promotional efforts, these skills can help you minimize oversight. The next time an issue arises or you find yourself not getting the work you expected, ask your student employees what they think of the process based on their expertise. In addition to getting them to think strategically about why they were supposed to get something done a certain way, you’re giving them the chance to feel ownership over it. And you might even learn something you didn’t know in the process!

If you’re overseeing employees in the same office, they have the benefit of being able to reach you whenever they need to, which can cause a dependency that might not be beneficial to you. This usually isn’t the case with student freelancers, since they’re physically not in the same place as you and are often busy with classwork and extracurriculars during your normal business hours. This isn’t a bad thing! Because they can’t reach you at any moment, they’re likely to have to come up with solutions on their own if questions arise. This problem-solving mentality can give them the confidence they need to think critically next time, making them more self-sufficient in the process. You might find a potential full-time employee out of it!

Making feedback more efficient

Feedback is one of those things that can get thrown by the wayside when you’re in crunch mode. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most important things when it comes to making your workforce more self-sufficient. Whereas internships can cover a vast array of projects that a student might touch only to a certain degree, a short-term project gives the student the chance to own it from A to Z, even if he or she has help along the way.

Because of this, your feedback can get a lot more specific. You can point to particular aspects of the project where the student went above and beyond and showed some potential interest for a future job. You can also point to other areas as concrete examples of skills on which they could improve. Specificity is always key when it comes to constructive criticism, so use real projects to your advantage!

We’re here to help. The HireOwl platform gives you a space to post jobs, communicate with students, browse video profiles and e-portfolios, and check references all in one spot. Get started today!

The Benefits of Being Digital Natives in an Evolving Workforce

The Benefits of Being Digital Natives in an Evolving Workforce

Calling all college students! We have great news: You know more than you think you do.

No, really.

We know that entering the world of job applications and post-graduate planning can be intimidating, especially in a market that seems more competitive than ever. How on earth do you stand a chance next to the girl who built her own digital-marketing platform at age 17? Or the guy who serves as co-president of four different career-based extracurriculars? You’ve probably had people tell you that it’s ok not to be 100 percent certain of what you want to do while you’re still in school, but sometimes it can feel like all evidence points to the contrary.

What digital natives bring to the workforce

We’re going to expand on that good news we gave you earlier: Not only do you know more than you think you do, but you also know more than many of your recruiters when it comes to digital business applications.

You have grown up curating your interests on social media, finding services that are relevant to you on mobile apps, and knowing how to operate a digital camera. You’ve shared your experiences—personal or otherwise—on your blogs and built a place to showcase them with the help of blogging platforms (or maybe even on your own hosted site). You understand the various benefits of Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, and why you might choose one over the other for a particular type of post.

What you may not realize is that there is so much baked into these accomplishments that recruiters are seeking. Even if your impetus was just blogging for fun, you were developing skills that you can leverage at any job. In building up your social media accounts, you were creating a brand and demonstrating your ability to gather and engage followers. In posting regularly to your blog, you showed an ability to meet deadlines and think of new and interesting ways to discuss a certain topic. In doing even a little bit of SEO, you were becoming accustomed to how Google ranks pages.

In other words, you have already demonstrated a host of abilities that many older employees lack. Just as learning a second language is easier when you are young, so too is understanding all the ins and outs of digital and mobile technologies—the two things that have moved many businesses forward while others lag far behind.

The next time you’re applying to a job and you feel like you don’t have enough experience to even be considered, sit back and take an inventory of what you have accomplished in the digital sphere. One of the best ways to leverage your skills in a way that translates easily to recruiters is to seek part-time, short-term employment while you’re still in school. Rather than traditional internships—where there’s no promise that you’ll actually be getting applicable experience—a learn-and-earn opportunity provides you with a concrete project that you can point to in your cover letters and resumes. You’ll be creating a networking base and gathering references while test-driving certain industries and company types, all without the restrictions of a full-time, long-term job. Check out HireOwl’s job postings today and give yourself the tools you need to grow your confidence. You deserve it!

Tips for Interviewing College Students for Part-Time Work

Tips for Interviewing College Students for Part-Time Work

Hiring college students part-time to help you get the job done is a wise decision. Just click any other post in this blog to understand the many reasons why! As you’re preparing to post a job and sift through resumes or e-portfolios, it’s important to consider the interview. You may be already practiced at interviewing college seniors for full-time jobs or more experienced candidates for part-time jobs. Even so, it’s likely that you’ll find interviewing college students for short-term projects has slightly different guidelines that you should follow.

Interviewing college students for part-time employment: what you need to know

Make your expectations clear before you meet

You have to remember that students are less practiced at the job-application process than other people you interview. You can probably bet that many college seniors have already looked ahead, spending time in the career center and polishing their resumes. But since your post is open to all students, regardless of class year, you may get a few great candidates who have less knowledge of what they are supposed to wear, bring, or prepare.

Many recruiters find success in keeping it casual. But if you know that you want to see a paper resume, say so! The candidates might not realize they need to bring one, and you shouldn’t treat it as some sort of test to see how prepared they are. The same goes for having writing samples or references ready, or even letting them know that they should come with questions for you as well. Help them help you!

Know what supplementary questions you need to ask

Let’s skip the questions that you’d ask to any potential employee, no matter their experience level. There are obviously certain things that you need to know in order to understand whether the candidate will do the job well, and those can differ for every position that needs filling. Instead, we’re going to focus on the questions that pertain specifically to college students working part time. These include:

What is your availability?

Students are already juggling classwork and extracurricular activities. Thus it’s important to understand whether they could meet your expectations regarding deadlines and how frequently you’d like them to check in with you. Taking the initiative to enroll in extra classes or balance three or four extracurriculars, including athletics, could look great on a resume for someone who’s gunning for a full-time job. But it might also mean they can’t handle your workload on top of their own (keyword: might). So make sure you discuss exactly what you need from them with respect to time requirements.

What about this project is interesting to you?

This question is a great way to strike up a conversation about what the student wants to do after graduation. While this seems like something that might not interest you if you’re just looking to get a job done quickly, think again. One of the perks of hiring students part time is the possibility to shrink your recruiting budget by “test-driving” a student before he or she graduates to see if there might be a great fit for your business.

Many, if not most, college students are still figuring what they want to do for a career, so rather than ask “Why do you want to work in marketing?” ask “What about this project is interesting to you?” or “What drew you to this post?” If the answer is simply a chance to make money, there you have it. But it’s possible you’ll find someone who really wants the chance to work with a startup or find a way to enter your industry, just to name a few examples.

What experience do you have that you feel is relevant?

Say you’re looking for someone to help you build and maintain the right audience on social media. Your candidates may not know anything about your industry, your buyer personas, or your competition, but chances are they probably have a lot of personal experience maintaining their own “brand” on social media. They know efficient ways to seek out other people with whom they’d like to have a social relationship. They know which platforms work best for which types of posts. They know how to collect data that shows you the most optimal time of day and week to post these types of posts. And they probably will have a lot of input as to the efficacy of your current campaigns to reach the people you want.

Little of this, however, would come through on a traditional resume. So make sure you’re incorporating personal experience into the interview and accepting it. College students are part of a generation of digital natives who understand the ins and outs of digital photography, app building, site design, and social promotion more than any others. Take advantage of it!
The easiest way to connect with these digital natives is on a digital platform. Post your positions on a platform that answers a lot of these questions for you and helps your candidates come prepared. HireOwl provides you not only with these tools, but also with built-in perks such as video profiles, references, e-portfolios, and in-app messaging. Sign up for free today and see for yourself!

Use HireOwl to Maintain Ethical Practices in Hiring College Students

Use HireOwl to Maintain Ethical Practices in Hiring College Students

If you’ve decided to branch out and test-drive student workers to help you get the job done, you’ve probably done a lot of research. In doing so you’ve likely seen all the shortcuts that student workers can provide to you, from helping you tackle seasonal projects to shrinking your recruiting budget.

It’s important to remember, however, that while student workers can help you create some shortcuts in your hiring processes, there are still guidelines you have to follow in order to remain ethically and seasonally sound. While we certainly advise you to talk to an attorney to ensure your hiring practices are sound, in this post we’ll demonstrate how the HireOwl platform does a lot of the work for you.

How the HireOwl platform helps you maintain ethical practices in hiring college students

If you know of a professor at a particular college who could help you identify the type of student you’re looking to hire, it makes sense that you’d want to ask her opinion. But while this may seem innocent enough, it opens you (and the professor) up to a common pitfall in hiring best practices. If you are only referred to a small number of students without having made the job opportunity accessible to all qualified students, your recruiting process may not be considered fair and equitable. This can open up the door for ethical scrutiny or even legal repercussions. And this can be easily amplified if all of the students listed were of the same gender, economic background, ethnicity, etc., even if it were coincidental.

By posting your positions on HireOwl, you’re easily accessing two ways that you can prevent this scrutiny from occurring. First, you’re posting your positions on a platform that is accessible to anyone with an active “.edu” email address. Because it’s free to sign up, you’re more likely to be posting the position in accordance with a fair and equitable recruiting process. In fact, this is only to your benefit! Because many of the positions commonly posted on HireOwl can be conducted remotely, you’ll see a much higher level of potential candidates than if you posted only at one school. More candidates mean that you’re more likely to find the perfect fit out of the bunch!

In addition, HireOwl has established direct relationships with the career centers of 43 universities, whose employees are practiced in helping companies maintain ethical hiring standards on campus. Thus by posting with us you’re automatically keeping to the same standards by which all other businesses must abide. To get an idea of the huge amount of talent available to you at the college level, sign up today and browse the platform. You’ll see that it comes with recommendations, e-portfolios, resumes, and video profiles of students all built-in, so you don’t have to go around chasing universities for additional information as you seek your best fit.

Four Problems Solved with Temporary Student Employees

Four Problems Solved with Temporary Student Employees

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

1. Specialisations

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.

2. Betas

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.

What to Look for in a College Hire

What to Look for in a College Hire

You’ve decided to leverage students to help you get the job done. Naturally, we think this a great decision! At the same time, we understand that it can be confusing to know what to look for in choosing the right student workers for your business. We’ve developed a quick guide to help you know what questions to ask and what documents to review in your quest to find the right fit.

How to choose the right college hire for your business

Just like for your full-time hires, judging a student’s potential fit at your company—even for a short-term or seasonal project—comes down to three things: experience, recommendations and individual abilities.

Experience

Yes, you should ask for a resume. But it’s very important not to put the same amount of stock in a college resume as you might from someone who graduated years ago. The resume of a current college student will not likely show experience that is directly related to the role that needs to be filled, or even to your business’s industry. But this doesn’t mean that you’re not finding the right person for the job.

Keep in mind that the student you hire doesn’t necessarily have to be the student who you want to spend the next 20 years working for you. Yes, that may be a best-case scenario. But so long as he or she is willing to work hard and help you get the job done there’s nothing wrong with the relationship existing solely for the duration of the task at hand. Instead, rely on recommendations.

Recommendations

By partnering with HireOwl, you’re given easy access to recommendations from other employers who have hired students for the same type of positions: part-time and short-term. Even if the student has handled other sorts of work that doesn’t relate to yours directly, recommendations can answer important questions such as whether the student was reliable in meeting deadlines, understanding the assignment quickly, and completing it satisfactorily.

Individual abilities

If the recommendations haven’t answered your questions, look for those students who are already practiced in multitasking and handling busy schedules. You might automatically want to consider the student who has a lot of time in his or her schedule—and that’s not necessarily a poor fit. But if you look at students who are already practiced in handling several responsibilities at once, from schoolwork to extracurriculars to other HireOwl jobs, you’re likely finding someone who you can rely on to get the job done.

Once the apprenticeship is finished, compare the student’s success with the standards of your recruitment rubric to know whether you’d like to extend another invitation to work with you. If not, your time was still worthy of the investment since you now have a finished project in hand! Sign up for HireOwl today to browse recommendations and peruse resumes. The right fit for your business is only a few clicks away.