The importance and benefits of hiring new employees are not hidden from any knowledgeable business owner, especially one operating in the service industry. Whether you own a coffee shop or an ice cream parlor, a restaurant or a dessert bar, seeking fresh talent and making new people a part of your team is crucial for serving a growing clientele. With that being said, the process is far from a walk in the park.
No matter the kind of business you run, hiring undergraduates is often considered both a blessing and a curse. Since they are juggling both extensive studies and work at the same time, their commitment is divided within both aspects – mostly on an equal basis. On the other hand, the cost of hiring new talent in the form of students is far more affordable than picking fresh graduates from campus.
Given that it’s a tricky process, I am here to outline a few things for you to keep in mind while hiring college students. Knowing them would help you make informed decisions about adding undergrads to your team, and help you put together a workforce that helps your business scale according to expectations.
1. Finding Candidates is Not That Difficult
A common misconception is to think that undergrads are focused more on their studies than work. This could be refuted by the very fact that approximately 43 percent of full-time college students are active in the labor market, with 81 percent of part-time undergrads also working in various sectors.
This alludes to how much attention college students actually pay to hold a steady job. To some, it is about meeting crucial expenses. To others, it is about earning extra income and credits along the way. That is why, while the percentage of working college students has fluctuated in the past few years, they are still a very big part of the corporate culture.
The key to finding candidates is about understanding what they expect out of an employment opportunity. According to research referenced through Harvard Business Review, the top 3 factors college students look for in a job is people and culture; career potential; and work/life balance. Make sure that you are paying attention to these aspects while hiring college students, and you would be able to attract applicants who are more than willing to work with your business.
Finding motivated college students to work isn’t difficult, but sometimes keeping your staff motivated is the key. Check out “How to Motivate an Employee Who’s Underperforming in Your Café” for techniques on motivating you staff to work to their full potential.
2. Don’t Look at Them as a Statistic
While hiring college students, it is easier to get tempted by overachievers and prodigies. After all, nabbing someone who has a track record for sky-high grades sounds more than appealing. The first thought that comes to mind is how valuable such a person could be to your team. But here, you need to remember that undergrads are more than their test scores.
In fact, even some of the world’s largest companies make sure not to judge candidates by their grades but their overall skills, motivation, and drive to learn. According to a Google executive, the company assesses its candidates on a variety of factors than their on-paper performance alone. This makes sure that the candidate isn’t being judged solely on their academic performance, but what they bring to the table in terms of other aspects.
Keeping this in mind, make sure that you are not rejecting applicants right off the bat by taking a look at their high school grades. Instead, ensure to warrant as many interviews as you can and meet shortlisted candidates personally. That would ensure that you are assessing applicants as more than a statistic, which would eventually lead you to find people who fit perfectly within your business culture.
Be sure to check out “Tools For Tracking Employee Performance at Your Cafe” for a look at tools you can use at your business to keep your staff organized.
3. Focus on Candidates With a Long Term Plan
To most students, holding a job during college isn’t just about making a paycheck. It’s about learning different skills, even if they remain exclusively interpersonal, and applying them in their later careers.
This is not only motivational talk for them. It has been noted that students who hold jobs and gain work experience during college earn higher paychecks later in life. Undergrads with a long term plan are more than willing to put their best foot forward at work. If only they are given a chance.
Considering this, make sure that you are hiring college students with a long term plan in mind. Assessing this quality could be easy during a well-planned interview. This practice would help you find and hire undergrads who are in it for the long run. They would be willing to contribute to your business by doing way more than the bare minimum.
Hiring undergraduates could be very tricky. Understand that these individuals provide you with a highly driven and motivated workforce. They only need a little help and support to make you appreciate their role in the modern workplace. For businesses in the service industry, their self-motivation and drive to succeed translates to better job performance. This would eventually help your business achieve its goals for growth effectively.
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