It’s always been a Catch 22 situation for both the employer and the applicant when it comes to employing students and young people. Employers commonly complain that they can’t find suitable candidates with the relevant work or life skills to fill their vacancies and, in turn, students and young people complain about the fact that they can’t find work because employers reject their applications due to lack of experience. How can they get relevant experience, they argue, if they aren’t given that opening chance to prove themselves in the workplace?
So with both employer and applicant feeling less than fulfilled by the situation, what are the steps that can be taken in order to not only get young people, students and graduates into the workplace, but to get them into the workplace and making a valuable contribution to the future success of companies? The government are making attempts to address the situation by introducing traineeships and apprenticeships as both a way to get young people into work and to provide a structure that employers can add to their recruitment strategy.
Depending on the type of company it is, one way that can help to ease this situation is by taking on students and young people for holiday jobs or other seasonal work. In doing this, employers could both benefit their firm and and the future employability of the staff they employ for carrying out seasonal work. Students often look for employment as a way to both fund their studies and gain work experience and holiday jobs, especially summer jobs, are one of the ways they look to gain employment.
Why Offer Holiday Jobs And Seasonal Work?
It’s not a case of employers having to choose one strategy over the other when it comes to recruitment and staff retention. Using a variety of strategies means employers could recruit and come into contact with some of the country’s best young talent and hopefully harness that for the future. Young people and students are increasingly choosing different paths into employment and career development so employers need to be able to attract talent via a variety of routes.
Summer jobs opportunity to give students and young people a chance to prove themselves
Many summer jobs and seasonal roles exist because that’s when a company is at its busiest. Most of these roles tend to be entry level jobs where staff are recruited to roles that they can begin work with a minimal amount of previous training or experience. So, in this sense, offering summer jobs can give students and young people with little or no previous work experience the break they might be looking for. In turn, the employer and the company get to fill temporary vacancies with keen young people and students who are looking for holiday jobs.
Investing in seasonal staff can pay dividends for the company
Some companies may only operate seasonally – summer activity camps, for example – while others operate throughout the year but require extra staff at certain busy times such as summer or Christmas. Investing in staff who are employed on a seasonal basis by treating them as a valued part of the company and training them effectively means students and young people develop workplace skills that can be built upon in the future. Investment in seasonal staff pays dividends for the company because it can also improve staff retention. Students and young people who do summer holiday work for the firm and who feel valued are more likely to return when temporary staff are once more required and this can benefit the company in a number of different ways.
- It can reduce recruitment costs for companies when theses companies have a bank of reliable young people and students to draw on. They can be invited back to cover the busy periods such as Christmas or summer.
- In turn, this can increase productivity for the firm because returning staff are already familiar with the company layout, routines and they know what is expected of them. Little or no induction is necessary and returning staff can just get on with the job in hand and work effectively.
- Employing students and young people in summer jobs and other seasonal roles can be a valuable talent spotting exercise. Many companies who recruit students and other seasonal staff go on to offer full time, permanent positions to the most talented staff. This can be in the form of apprenticeships, graduate programmes or other positions such as team leaders or supervisors. Again, this is a cost saving and time saving exercise in recruiting the best staff and it can be good for staff retention because the employee already knows the company and has accepted the role because they want to work there. In this sense, there is an opportunity for the employer to build up a sense of loyalty to the company by offering summer jobs and other seasonal work to students and young people.
Does your company’s recruitment strategy for getting young people and students into summer jobs and seasonal work ensure you are not potentially missing out on the best young talent?
When it comes to getting young people and students into summer holiday jobs or temporary roles, a more hand in hand approach in offering roles might mean a company can spot and, more importantly, retain students on a more permanent basis after graduation, developing them to suit the company’s needs and increasing success. While this obviously requires a strong application and show of commitment from students and young people, could there be more room in your company’s recruitment strategy or could tweaks be made to make sure you get those people. While larger companies tend to have a robust and well established recruitment strategy, small and medium sized enterprises could really tap into this pool of young people out there who are struggling to land seasonal jobs.
For example, a student blogger recently wrote this piece in the Guardian about how she was finding it impossible to get summer jobs. While she is searching for vacancies and applying for roles, she says she is constantly knocked back (or in some cases, she has received no reply or feedback, at all) for summer jobs because she has a lack of experience. There are lots of young people and students out there who could possibly fill temporary roles and really shine in the company.
Offering summer holiday jobs or other temporary roles to students and young people gives them many transferrable skills that they can then add to their CVs and use to develop their career. Whether this is developing basic skills by offering entry level jobs or offering more specialised temporary roles to students who might be studying relevant subjects at university, job offers can really boost the morale of young people which in turn can benefit the workplace.
Offering summer jobs to students means they could increase their chance of really boosting their salary when they go on to forge a graduate career. Much of this post has considered staff retention as a possible benefit of summer jobs but many companies obviously only require temporary staff. Students are ideal for these roles. They get to work their summer, the company gets to fill their vacancy and the students gain real experience for their CV.
Even offering entry level summer jobs in any type of role means students and young people can start to grasp a firm knowledge and awareness of the working world. This can be the most basic of skills such as when to take breaks and how long for, an awareness of appropriate clothing for the job they are doing, how to answer phone calls, how to address seniors within the company and how to manage their time, both within the workplace and outside.
Practical skills in the workplace are key to young people’s and students’ future development when it comes to employment. Summer jobs and other temporary work is ideal for this so they can boost their confidence, boost their self-esteem (especially if they have been trying to find summer jobs for some time and have received many rejections), learn how to work as part of a team and even develop leadership qualities.
These news skills can either benefit the company for the temporary period of employment or, they can be developed later if permanent roles are offered within the firm. There are many other benefits for companies in employing students and young people in temporary or part time roles. If you are keen to tap into this type of recruitment, take a look at our reasons for giving job opportunities to students and young people.