So you’re interested in hiring a college student to work for you? Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that hiring and working with a current college student is the same as when you were their age. One of the biggest mistakes an employer today can make is to underestimate current college students when recruiting them for a part-time, internship or seasonal job. How can that be? You remember being 17 to 22 years old and the process was pretty simple. You needed some money, you found a job, you did the work, and you got paid. While the process hasn’t changed, you’ll find that the students you’re trying to recruit and employ have changed and how you market your job opportunities to them will determine the success of your hiring campaign.
Affectionately referred to as the Millennial Generation, college students today are well educated, optimistic, open-minded, collaborative, well connected, service oriented and highly sought after. They have high expectations for the people they work for so recruiting them requires special attention. Gone are the days of putting up a “Help Wanted” sign and expecting the students to come waltzing in. Those employers who have had great success in recruiting students understand what the “recruits” are looking for in their job search. Using our 10 tips listed below will help you craft the perfect job announcement for reaching the Millennials.
- Use your personal voice – Students want to be able to connect with a potential employer and get a sense of your personality. They understand that most jobs are “work”, but they would like to know what type of person they will be working for and that you’re approachable. Drafting the description for a large business? No problem! You can still incorporate the personality of the company/office/store where they will be working into the description.
- Tell them how they can make a difference working for you – How is this student going to impact your business, family, community, etc? It’s not enough for a millennial to just “do” a job, they want to know how they fit into the big picture and make a difference. Keep in mind that you want to focus on meaningful work – students can quickly pick up on a “con” job. Also, BE SPECIFIC. Simply writing “Work for us and make a difference in our business,” won’t cut it.
- Emphasize work with peers – If there is any possibility that your job opportunity will allow them to work with and/or make friends, highlight it! Students are very comfortable working in teams and they naturally gravitate to jobs that allow them to interact with their peers.
- Don’t be afraid to set the bar high – Students are willing and able to work hard especially if the job is challenging and doable. They seek out opportunities that expand their abilities and push them to a new level. Also, communicate that you are looking for students that can demonstrate excellence with the skills you are interested in. Doing so provides the students a chance to prove that they are better than the competition.
- Highlight the use of technology – Current students live and breathe technology. If your job can make use of their technology skills, be sure to include it in the job description.
- Multitasking – Is multitasking part of the job you’re offering? If it is, be sure to provide it in your job description. While you might get nervous at the thought of trying to do too much at the same time, current students relish the opportunity to utilize their multitasking abilities.
- Make sure you’re competitive with the salary – Students want to be paid what they are worth and as long as they have job choices, they will opt for positions that are paying within the market.
- Highlight any perks available – This one often goes overlooked because employers don’t often think of perks from a student’s perspective. Free food, gas money, housing, a quiet place to study, scholarships, experience for their resume, discounts, clothing… What does your job offer in addition to money?
- Can you be flexible with the schedule? – Face it, students are busy – both with school and their social life. Any flexibility you have in scheduling their work hours will work in your favor.
- Location, Location, Location! – While you may have some luck advertising your job in print, you will have much greater success with online avenues, especially those that target your specific industry or need.