With post-secondary students wrapping up their academic year and summer quickly approaching, May is a great time to begin putting together a recruitment strategy to onboard summer interns.
If your organization has never offered summer co-op or intern opportunities, you may be missing out on the many benefits that come along with student support, including:
Short term benefits
Through the summer months, organizations can see immediate benefits through the support of entry-level or administrative tasks. Additionally, eager students often bring enthusiasm and motivation which can increase overall organizational engagement and morale.
Long term benefits
Hiring students allows your organization to develop a pool of skilled talent that may potentially turn into long-term employees once they’ve graduated from their programs. These students will already have an understanding of your organization’s culture, internal processes and have established social connections allowing them to hit the ground running in a full-time position.
Students also bring a set of fresh, new ideas and viewpoints that can keep your organization innovative. This can be especially valuable for organizations that are looking to innovate or improve their processes.
Recruiting summer students can also support diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts by providing an opportunity to attract, develop and retain talent from equity-deserving communities.
Some additional ROIs your organization may benefit from include:
Lower training and recruitment costs – there are many post-secondary students eager to gain work experience. The wide pool of candidates paired with the short-term contracts and narrow job descriptions will make recruitment and training activities less time-consuming for recruiters and managers.
Increased productivity – summer students are often looking to gain hands-on experience and are excited to deliver on their assignments. This also provides valuable output at a reduced cost (compared to what a tenured employee would cost to complete the same tasks)
Potential for future recruitment – hiring summer students can be a great way for companies to identify potential future full-time employees. By hiring students who are studying in relevant fields or have skills that are valuable to the company, businesses can develop relationships with potential recruits early on.
To provide a meaningful experience for your students and set them up for success, we’ve compiled some best practice tips to consider:
- Provide a “buddy” – an existing employee that can be the student’s go-to and can help them integrate into the company culture.
- Create a training plan and schedule training & orientation sessions. Check out ECO Canada’s training courses.
- Check in frequently and provide positive and constructive feedback.
- Encourage and provide opportunities for connection with the team and other employees.
- Be available to support and answer questions.
- Don’t overwhelm or pile on too much work.
- Set clear, achievable goals.
Finally, to find the right students, we recommend posting your job description on multiple post-secondary job boards and considering building relationships with co-op coordinators at schools near you. Be open to hiring students with minimal to no prior work experience and instead focus on their studies, professional skills, and career goals. ECO Canada offers a job board with over 10,000 uploaded resumes to help you get started!
Did you also know that ECO Canada works with institutions and employers across Canada to fund work placements for students to gain real-world experience in the environment while they are still in school?
We provide 50% of a wage up to a maximum of $5,000 to eligible employers who hire the brightest minds in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math (STEAM), and Business. Click here to learn more!
Looking for more employment programs? ECO Canada offers different types of wage funding for various environmental industries. Learn more here.