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May 2017 Newsletter
In This Issue
  • Thanks for Joining Us!
  • How Summer Students Can Boost Your Organization
  • Best Practices for Hiring Summer Students and Interns
  • Quick Reference: How Does Summer Employment Benefit Students and Interns?
  • Quick Reference: Supervising Summer Students
  • Quick Reference: Clarify Your Expectations
  • Coach's Corner: When SHOULDN'T You Hire an Intern or Summer Student?
May 2017
Volume 4, Number 5

Thanks for Joining Us!

May is here and as the Victoria Day weekend approaches, everyone is already looking ahead to summer vacations and making plans for time away from work. Smart leaders will ensure that productivity remains consistent during the season and one of the best ways to do so is to hire summer students. 

This month we provide information on the benefits of hiring summer students and interns, and best practices for ensuring success. Keep reading to learn more.


How Summer Students Can Boost Your Organization

While it's true that many post-secondary students have a shortage of work experience, that's not a reason to turn them away. In fact it may be one of the reasons why you should hire them!

Students Increase Productivity
Many of the projects that you may have been putting off can be assigned to a summer student. Instead of letting them sit on the back burner for another six months, you can get those small projects out of the way this summer. Often, you'll find that those seemingly unimportant projects can greatly improve your company's success once they've been completed.

Having a summer student on board will makes things easier not only on those employees who are not on vacation, but also to those who are. If they can come back from their holiday to an empty inbox, they'll be able to turn their freshly recharged energies toward the most current projects, instead of toward catching up on the backlog that developed while they were gone.

Students Re-invigorate Your Organization
One of the less obvious benefits of hiring a summer student is the vitality and energy that they can bring to your organization. When hiring a permanent employee, experience is generally considered an asset. The same can be true when hiring a temporary employee. However, one of the great things about a summer student is that, despite their inexperience, there is a good chance that they want to have a future in your industry. This desire will usually show up in the form of passion and excitement for the job.

This is where inexperience can become an advantage. Because they haven't spent years in the industry learning the "right way" to do things, inexperienced summer students may surprise you with new ways of thinking about the problems your company faces on a daily basis.

Students aren't constrained by a “this is the way it has always been done” mentality.
Students' unbiased viewpoint may help you discover a more efficient or effective way of doing things. Make the most out of your intern’s inquisitive nature by encouraging them to analyze processes and policies — then challenge them to improve those they think fall short.

Sometimes the idea will be so simple that you'll wonder why you didn't think of it yourself. That's the benefit of having someone who can view your industry through fresh eyes.

Students can Work on Special Projects
We all have projects we wish we had time for, and an intern can help you get yours off the ground. For example, maybe you’ve been meaning to increase your company’s social media presence. For small businesses in particular interns can offer expertise in areas where a business may be lacking, and can provide assistance with social media launch and/or development, digital marketing, and website design and development. Hand over the job to a technically proficient intern and ask them to present you with a recommendation.

Summer should be stress free for everyone.
Contact Wendy Ellen Inc. to develop your strategy!


Best Practices for Hiring Summer Students
and Interns

Provide Students and Interns with Real Work Projects
Providing interns with real work is number one to ensuring your program’s success. Interns should be doing work related to their major, that is challenging, that is recognized by the organization as valuable, and that fills the entire work term.

Create a Welcoming Environment
Introduce your student employee to all of the staff, including full-time staff, other student workers, faculty and management. This gives the student a sense of belonging and is common courtesy for any person starting a new job with new co-workers.

Explain all Departmental Procedures
Provide helpful handouts if there are numerous details to
grasp immediately, including how to answer the phone,
who handles what types of calls, what forms are needed,
frequently asked questions, staff member phone extensions, important names or codes to remember and computer procedures for special systems. Be sure to define what is
acceptable for student workers in terms of attendance, punctuality, appropriate attire, breaks and other basic aspects of your departmental work environment.

Give the Student a Tour of Your Workspace
Point out where things are, such as supplies, restrooms, vending machines, copiers and fax machines. Impress upon the student worker that his or her contributions as a member of the team are important to the success of the overall department. 

Hold Orientation Sessions for Everyone Involved
It’s important that everyone is on the same page. Make this happen by holding an orientation session for managers and mentors as well as a session for students. Orientations ensure that everyone starts with the same expectations and role definitions. This is time well spent—the effort you put into these sessions will pay off throughout the program.

Contact Wendy Ellen Inc. for assistance today!


Quick Reference: How Does Summer Employment Benefit Students and Interns?

Though this section describes the advantages an intern might gain from their placement, it’s worthwhile for you (as the employer) to understand what they are hoping to achieve as well.

Work experience – Any learned skills and expertise gained in the intern’s field of study can be extremely attractive to a potential employer – definitely a plus on their CV.

Future career opportunities – Not only does the intern have a 33% better chance of finding employment after they graduate, but their exposure to various positions and paths within the industry is invaluable.

Contacts and networks – Connecting with your talented employees and providers allows the intern to bond with others in their field (relationships it might take years to develop on their own).

Quick Reference: Supervising Summer Students 

As an intern supervisor, you use all the skills necessary in any effective supervisory relationship:

* Providing leadership
* Motivating
* Delegating
* Communicating
* Developing and training
* Evaluating

Additionally, the students will look to you as a mentor who will assist their transition from the classroom to the work environment. Since summer work for students is an extension of the learning process, you should provide opportunities to bridge the two experiences.

Meet with your students regularly to provide feedback concerning their performance. During these meetings, the students can:

* ask questions
* report on the status of a project 
* learn how their work is contributing to the organization
* participate in an evaluation of their strengths
* discuss areas needing growth and development
* get a sense of what kind of work lies ahead

At the same time you will have an opportunity to coach, counsel and reinforce positive attitudes and performance.

If the student is receiving credit through the school, you should anticipate that you may have some interaction with your students' internship coordinator through telephone calls, on-site visits, and written evaluations. Such persons will help you find a solution if difficulties occur (intern attendance or punctuality problems, low motivation, unsatisfactory work, or personal conflicts).


Quick Reference: Clarify Your Expectations

While inexperience can prove to be an advantageous trait in a summer hire, it doesn't come without its downsides. For many college students, working for your company may be the first time they've worked in an office environment. Things that seem like second nature to you—like when to take a break, and when to get back to work—might not be as obvious to them.

If you make your expectations clear from the outset, these problems can usually be avoided. The best way to do this is to set your expectations down in writing, either in an employment offer letter before you officially hire a candidate, or in the employee contract at the time of hiring. 

About Wendy Ellen Inc.
Wendy Ellen Inc. specializes in providing human resource and benefits management skills to small to mid-sized companies on an as-needed basis. From recruitment, Human Resource policy development and legislative compliance, employee retention and engagement, individual advisor/coaching, succession planning to employee development and performance, Wendy Ellen Inc. will help you protect your most valuable resource, your people.
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