This summer, we took on our second ever work experience student. At the age of 16, he’s studying graphic design and was eager to learn more about web design.
There’s tons of great benefits for young people to do work experience, but why should you, as an employer, take on work experience students?
1. Grow and improve your company’s management
Taking on someone with little or no experience of working in your industry is a great way to test your company’s management. How well are your project managers able to communicate tasks to the student? Does the student feel comfortable asking for help and who do they ask when they’re stuck?
Tip: Observe how your work experience student communicates with senior team members and see if there are any areas of management you can improve.
2. Support your local community
As a business, it’s always good to show that you care, be it about the environment, a particular charity or helping out in your local community. After all, you’ve built up a successful business and now you’re in a position where you can give something back.
Work experience is a great way to support your community, helping local young people understand more about their future career prospects and giving you that warm and fuzzy feeling that comes with being a do-gooder.
Tip: Share your experiences on social media and in blog posts of taking on a work experience student and improve your public profile.
3. Get a fresh perspective
Chances are you have one or two long running projects that you’ve been working on for as long as you can remember. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get an enthusiastic outsider to take a look and give some feedback? Well, with a work experience student, that’s exactly what you’ll get.
Tip: Don’t make your work experience student make tea and coffee all week. Get them involved in projects and give them plenty of chances to pitch their ideas, you never know what they’ll come up with!
There’s always a chance that your work experience students could be exactly what you’re looking for in new hires. They may not be ready to hire yet but they could have the right attitude and drive to join your organisation in the future.
Tip: If you see potential in your work experience students, ask them to stay in touch after their placement. Maybe tell them to send over a CV once they’ve finished school, or apply for a role in the company they may already be qualified for.
Work experience students have a lot to offer your company and your company has a lot to offer them, so next time you’re asked to take on a student for a week or two, give some serious thoughts to the benefits this could have for your company.
Share your stories of work experience placements in the comments.