Businessman shaking hands with woman besides people waiting for job interview in a modern office. Concept: How to Hire Students For Your Small Business
Moses Will
By: moseswill
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How to Hire Students For Your Small Business

Most of the times, if not all, hiring new employees is synonymous with business growth. And growth is the lifeline of any small business. As the owner (and the human resource manager of your business), a great option you should consider is to hire students.  This can be especially beneficial due to the following facts:

  • Most students are always eager to contribute
  • They are quick learners
  • They are very creative

Their zeal to succeed is one of the main reasons why it’s great to hire students.  

That’s why it’s important that, instead of managing them like any other employees, you keep a coaching mindset, this will result in high productivity in the working environment.  

This article will discuss more in-depth reasons why hiring students is a great idea, the right hiring process when it comes to students, either if they are minors in high schools, university students, or even the OPT students.

Advantages of Hiring Students in a Small Business

Some other benefits of hiring students include the following:

  • Affordability

Hiring students for your small business is considered another way of cutting costs as student employee’s wages are significantly lower than that of permanent staff. But be careful, this does not mean you should pay them less and ask to do too much: be fair when deciding the wage.

  • Fresh insights

Most students usually join their first-time jobs with great enthusiasm. They bring in a lot of creativity that leads to new perspectives for the businesses they work for. If you feel like your business needs new and out-of-the-box ideas, students are definitely what you should be looking for.

  • Return on investment

With new perspectives, skills, solutions, and ideas that students bring in to the mix, a small business is meant to thrive and grow in ways it wouldn’t have before. Students can represent a great investment.

  • Future employees

As a growing business, hiring students can pave a lee-way to know an employee beforehand.

Maybe the students just need a part-time job now, but when they graduate they’ll be looking for a full-time job, and if you’re happy with their work, you can keep them as employees.

  • Support during peak times

Student employees may come in handy during the peak season. They will provide relief to the permanent staff and will help everything go smoother.  

  • They are risk takers

Compared to the more mature staff who may have families, students and recent graduates are usually not held back by certain constraints. Their lives are more flexible and they can easily relocate or travel.

Is hiring students the same as an internship?

Hiring students is not only beneficial to small businesses, but it also helps students as it can help them grow and advance their careers and CV. Having a job helps them gain practical experience.

That sounded a lot like an internship, right?

And even though hiring students and having an internship program can be similar, there are some key differences.

InternshipsPaid work
  • They are usually temporary and last around one to three months.
  • They can be paid (small financial compensation) or voluntary.
  • They are usually part-time.
  • They are more teaching-focused.
  • There’s no time frame for when it happens.
  • Depending on the type of work and the age of the student, it can be a temporary job or more permanent.
  • They are always paid.
  • They can be part time or full time.
  • They are not as teaching-focused, they are more hands-on.
  • Depending on the age of the student, it can be just during the summer.

As you can see, even though they are very similar, they are fundamentally different.

If you know you’re not interested in starting an internship program, but hiring students as employees, well, we’ll share with you everything you need to know.

How to hire students, the essentials

  • Know the labor laws that govern student hirings (especially those involving underage students), such as minimum wages and overtime.
  • Know what you want to achieve by hiring students and how they will benefit.
  • Make sure that there is an elaborate job description so that the student knows what they will be doing.
  • Keep in mind that you’ll probably have to train the student before they start the job. It should not be an on-going training, but more of a boot camp before they start working.
  • Give feedback to the students by conducting work reviews to help them know the value of their contribution to the organization.

How to Hire Students: Step- to- Step Guide

1. Research laws and make sure you can hire students in your industry.

2. Establish the position for the student, make sure the position is in compliance with the FLSA and the Department of Labor.

3. Identify the source of funding for the position.

4. Make a decision on the criteria you’ll be using when hiring.

5. Evaluate and conduct an interview with the candidates.

6. Select the best-suited candidates for the job.

7. Pay them according to the hours worked.

How to Hire Students: High School and Underage

During the summer season, most teenagers take advantage of their vacations by temporarily joining the workforce arena.  

As a potential employer to high school students, one must be well-versed with the rules and regulations that govern the employment of the minors according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  

It is important to note that the Department of Labor (DOL), which passes its regulations through FLSA, also has measures that guide employers on the minimum wage and overtime payment to employees under 18 years.

In addition, the FLSA has regulations on what type of work minors can do, this to protect their rights. For example, the Act does not allow the employment of high-school students and minors in high risks jobs.

You should also note that some industries, such as explosive manufacturers and motor vehicle sectors have restrictions on employment when it comes to minors.

How to Hire Students: University and College

As a hiring manager or a business owner, you need to understand the biggest difference between hiring high-school students and college students (and no, surprisingly it’s not their age).

High school students have don’t have a schedule to work around during the summer (regardless of if they work full time or part time), whereas college students have class schedules, homework and research to do, they don’t really have full-time disponibility.

In short, college students are usually preoccupied with college and their schedules might be all over the place. Be aware of this during the hiring process. But it’s not all bad, because they are ruled by a schedule, they tend to have excellent time management.

Other guidelines to hire students that are in college include the following:

  1. Looking at their job history. Because they’re older, they might be able to provide more work references that can help you decide if they are a good fit for the job you’re offering.
  2. Try to have a flexible schedule with them as they are also engaged in school activities.
  3. It is advisable to hire students who take studying seriously as this indicates seriousness on the job as well.

If you want to hire students, there are various specialized platforms where you can find candidates. Some of the most popular websites are the likes of Hireowl and Barefoot.

How to Hire Students: OPT Students

What are OPT Students?

They are international students in the US that have an F visa, also called F-1 status (student visa). They can be undergraduate or graduate students.

What is OPT?

The Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a one year period in which these students are allowed to work to gain work experience and so that they can complement their knowledge. It is the responsibility of OPT students to only apply in their field of study.

It is worth noting that these students are granted the OPT whether they have or not an offer letter from an employer.

If an employer wants to keep an OPT student after the given period of a year in which they are allowed to work, the employer needs to start an H-1B Visa application for their employee.  

Hiring Students Benefits Both Parties

When you hire students you:

  • can receive the digital and technological knowledge that students can provide, such as social media expertise.
  • are able to complete projects in a more timely fashion, as you’ll have more employees.
  • gain brand ambassadors through the students who work at your premises.
  • are able to help students get real-life work experience.
  • help students get more knowledge.
  • get new perspectives from the students diversify the culture of the team.

Hiring students is a win-win for you and them as long as you do it right.

Now that you have this knowledge, what will you do with it? Grow?

No business should stop growing for lack of resources, and we’re here to give them to you. Our motto, “No Business Left Behind”, is witness to that.

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