Tips to get the most out of your summer student

Business man with tie on his ipad

Do you plan to hire temporary staff to cover for team members on holiday this summer? Or will you benefit from the more quiet months to manage the backlog in administration or to finish some ongoing projects?  

Students can bring new life and energy into your project and can provide relief to your current employees. The summer period is an excellent occasion to hire students, but the season also has it's pitfalls. with low staff and management presense, it may negatively affect the effectiveness of your temporary employee.

Alison Siperius, Consultant at Walters People Belgium, lets us in on 5 tips to welcome and ensure you get the most out of your temporary summer support.
"Especially because a summer student is only present for a few weeks, it is important that he or she quickly feels at ease and becomes productive."

1.    Prepare the first day 

Especially when someone is hired for only a short period of time, it is important he or she gets started as soon as possible. That means you need to ensure that all their required tools are available. For example, is there an admission badge, can the student log on to a computer, etc. Siperius: “Make sure a job description is available and that the temporary employee gets clear objectives. Be assured that someone is there to train the summer student, whether it is a manager or the person he or she will be replacing temporarily.”

2.     Keep an eye on their progress

“Employers sometimes believe performance meetings with temporary staff are unnecessary,” says Alison. “But explaining things only on the first day is not enough. By monitoring the progress of their projects on a weekly basis, you make sure they are working efficiently and constantly aware of what is expected from them.”

3.     Get the summer student involved 

Introduce all colleagues to the student, make sure he or she feels welcome and knows who to turn to with questions. “It might sound obvious, but invite your student out for lunch. A simple gesture can make a huge difference for a temporary employee.”

4.    Motivate your employee

Temporary assignments are often not the most challenging ones. Managing a backlog in administration for instance can be quite monotonous. However, there are different ways to add some variety to repetitive work. Siperius: “It can help to split a big project into separate parts, so that the student has several small projects to complete. Putting tasks in a wider perspective will help as well. If the employee understands how he or she contributes to the well being of the company, it is an extra motivation to get the job well done.”

5.    Leave a positive impression

Be aware that each employee is an ambassador for your company, even after a temporary assignment. “90% of applicants share a bad working experience with their friends. Make sure to take good care of your temporary employee and finish the cooperation in a way that they leave your company feeling content.”

Would you like to hire a summer student or a temporary employee?

Contact one of our offices today.