Wondering if you should consider hiring a co-op student? Read on to learn about the benefits that these temporary employees can bring to the work place.
January 30th, 2015
By Katlynd Poulton
As an employer, you probably have a lot of questions about hiring co-op students for short-term contracts and that's understandable! What you should know right away is that there's a lot to gain from employing co-op students from post-secondary institutions! As society continues to grow, so do our work places and the work becomes more demanding as we flourish… but co-op students can help us manage these additional tasks and temporary projects. Since we can't always afford to hire a new employee for full time hours and promise long-term employment, it's nice to have accessibility to co-op students who are only looking for short-term job experience. Not only is this great for you as an employer because you can take advantage of an extra set of hands for a limited time but you also provide valuable work and networking experience to the prospects of your industry.
Here's a few quick reason why you should consider hiring a co-op student:
1. They're ambitious and eager to please
Entry-level professionals are looking for opportunities all the time, whether they are fresh out of College or University or still completing their studies at a post-secondary institution. It is very important you consider hiring these individuals because they're motivated and they have up-to-date knowledge. Think about it... students have just spent somewhere between 2 - 4 years studying a particular field in order to obtain a job in your field, why wouldn't you consider them? Job roles are becoming more and more demanding as we evolve as a society and luckily co-op students bring fresh skills and new innovative knowledge to the job - this means you'll have the tools to stay current. These individuals are truly looking to obtain valuable work experience, get excited - you should be proud that they've considered your organization!
2. They add a youthful perspective to your workforce
Young prospects bring a certain level of positive energy to the workplace that can be refreshing as well as inspiring to other employees. We always think of the young learning from the old but the truth is that many young professionals can teach us a lot, especially about recent trends and technologies that more senior employees might not have been exposed to. Having a youthful perspective or a students' insight can be very beneficial for organizations trying to create strategies or reach certain goals. Hiring a co-op student allows an employer access to the most up-to-date knowledge in their field and access to well-rounded industry prospects and graduates.
3. You get an extra set of hands at a reasonable cost
Co-op students can be very cost-effective and are hired at a very reasonable pay rate. Obviously, every industry is different but you can save your organization a lot of money by hiring temporary employees during your peak seasons rather than a long-term, full-time employee. You have the opportunity to explore different job roles and plan for future succession. Co-op students can help you accomplish temporary projects, complete urgent tasks and relieve other employee's of their work load. Best of all, co-op students are available year round and are well prepared for the workforce.
4. They're looking to work, not play...
Sometimes, when we get comfortable at our place of employment we begin to over-break or socialize a little more than what our bosses would like. However, a co-op student isn't likely to fall into this routine because they are constantly trying to absorb as much on-the-job knowledge as possible while still trying to impress the employer. Don't forget, some work terms are only four months long and literally feel like they've gone by in the blink of an eye, for both the student and the employer. Co-op students usually take on a fairly impressive work load and do their best to satisfy their employer - it is likely the hardest these individuals have ever worked and it's nice knowing that it's because they wanted to.
5. They go above the 'Call of Duty'
When your co-op student is assigned a task, they go above and beyond the call of duty; these students are known for showing initiative and going the extra mile within their job roles. Every year since 1994, The Canadian Associate for Cooperative Education (CAFCE) has recognized a Canadian student as Co-op Student of the Year, a title any co-op student would be honoured to have. There are tons of great stories from past winners and nominee's demonstrating how efficient co-op students are and how grateful employers are for the efforts demonstrated by the student. At the end of their contract, if anything students are hoping you'll offer them a great reference or even a potential employment opportunity with your organization!
...And at the end of the day when you realize you have 10 less things on your 'To-Do List' because your co-op student is ultimately a rock star, the only thing that you'll be able to say is...