Affordable Ways of Recruiting: The Benefits of Employing Students

Peninsula Team

July 01 2009

As a Peninsula client, we can advise you on all the required documentation associated with a student placement, including their contracts of employment. Just give the Advice Service a call on 0844 892 2772, and someone will be available to help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

We continue on the theme of ways to save money when employing staff this week by tapping into the education pool. Courses that offer an industrial placement year are increasing in popularity amongst student as they strive to come out of university and into the now highly competitive job market with some experience in their chosen field of work. The increase in demand has opened up the opportunity for companies to capitalise on emerging talent at a very reasonable cost.

The biggest advantage to a company when offering a placement is the cost saving. As the role that you are offering serves the purpose of developing education, you are not expected to pay the same salary to a student as you would to a fully trained applicant. The downside to the company of implementing a placement scheme is that you do have to spend time training the students and helping them adapt to the workplace environment.

Bringing a student into your business can help you benefit in a number of ways. They can help to bring fresh ideas and often have a more theoretical view of the processes involved in job roles; this can often produce some good points of development for a business. Furthermore, it is good to get the perspective of an outsider to your business looking in; this can help highlight areas whereby you may have become set in your ways’ and not using resources in the most productive way. The student benefits from gaining essential experience as well as advancement in their education. The monetary incentive won’t be unappreciated either!

So how do you go about finding students to gain work experience with you? Contact any local Universities either via e-mail or as a written letter, explaining a little about what your company does as well as providing details of any job roles that you have available. Agree with the University as to which degrees you find applicable to the roles and set out a job description. The University will then generally post this onto their Intranet for students to browse and apply.

Remember that placement students are there to learn and gain experience not to be appointed senior tea and coffee maker. As such you should be giving them genuine responsibility and making the most of any talents they may have that can benefit your business. Representatives of the University will normally visit to sit down and discuss the finer details before accepting your firm as a feeder business for its students. They will also look at the way in which the business is run, in particular how the proposed student would fit into the team. They will also want to see your health & safety conditions and the potential salary may also be a topic of conversation.

It is advisable to start the process as early as possible so that you are able to open up your position to a wider range of applicants. You need to create a job advertisement that appeals to students. You need to be clear and precise with what type of person you are looking for, as well the main duties of the job and the possible skills that they can hope to develop through the position. Also, state the salary that you will be offering; this is one of the first things they will look at! It is important to remain realistic about your expectations; they will still be developing their skills in the area.

Finally remember the student in question will become your employee, so draft up a contract of employment, employee handbook and adhere to all aspects of employment law and health & safety that are deemed relevant. They will become a regular member of your workforce and so their employee rights will be the same as that of your other full-time staff. Their only difference is that they will be on a fixed term contract.

The placement is a good opportunity for both parties to gain. You obtain a fresh perspective and hopefully an individual who is eager to learn and be shown the ropes whilst you are receiving a very high calibre of candidate for a lower price.

Remember, if you are a Peninsula client; contact us if you need any advice relating to a student placement. Our dedicated advisors are available to 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Just call 0844 892 2772.

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