9 Tips for Hiring Students
If your store needs extra help during the summer or holidays, students are a great choice. They’ll have free time when they’re out of classes for a few weeks, and they often won’t expect you to keep them on when school starts back up. Hiring a student can be a little different than hiring a seasoned worker. Check out these nine tips for finding someone who would be an excellent fit for your company.
1. Know child labor laws
If you’re hiring high school students, make sure you know the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) child labor laws, including how many hours a minor can work. For example, children between 14 and 15 can’t work more than three hours on a school day or more than eight hours on a non-school day. During the school year, they can only work 18 hours per week, and they cannot work more than 40 hours per week during breaks. They also can’t work before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. during most of the year. They can work until 9 p.m. between June 1 and Labor Day.
The FLSA also regulates what industries minors can work in, their minimum wage, and the type of work they’re allowed to perform.
2. Partner with your local schools
Work with schools in your area to find the right student workers for your company. Some high schools and most colleges have a career center, where you can post job openings. You can also form relationships with specific departments or teachers to get recommendations.
Read also: Where to Post a Job Ad
3. Give clear instructions during their interview
Many potential student workers haven’t had much interview practice. So, when you meet with them, be clear about the process. For example, tell them to share specific examples from classes or previous jobs when answering or questions. They’ll likely be nervous, so you may have to remind them a few times throughout the interview.
4. Ask about skills that don’t require on-the-job experience
For many of your candidates, this may be their first time looking for a job. Since they don’t have any on-the-job experience, ask them about skills that they should have learned during school. For example, ask them about their time management skills. When you ask them how they organize their day, look for indications that they consider everything they have to do before prioritizing those tasks. You might also ask them about problem-solving and teamwork by asking them about issues encountered during group projects.
5. Ask how their teachers would describe them
Since they may not have previous bosses or coworkers, ask them how their favorite and least favorite teachers would describe them. When talking about their favorite teacher, watch out for anything that sounds too good to be true. When talking about their least favorite teacher, watch out for anything that puts the blame entirely on the teacher.
6. Show applicants what it’s like working for your company
Your potential student workers are on social media all the time, so use that to your advantage. Share pictures of your employees having fun and show how your company gives back to the community.
7. Set clear expectations
Once you’ve hired your student worker, set very clear expectations. If this is their first job, they might not understand the importance of showing up on time, so set clear tardiness policies. And include lots of training. Your new team member probably doesn’t have a lot of experience running a cash register, so have them work with a seasoned staff member until they’re comfortable working on their own.
8. Be flexible
Even during the summer, students have full schedules. For example, they probably won’t have a choice about going on a family vacation. Or, they might take summer classes or be studying for standardized tests. To accommodate their busy lives, try to be as flexible as possible so that they have a pleasant experience with you.
9. Stay in touch
If you decide to let a student worker go when school starts, keep them in mind for the next break. Then, keep in touch and let them know whether you would like them to come back.