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Student Employment
We know that hiring, training, developing and supervising student employees is a big job! Whether you are an off campus business or an on campus department, OSU Career Services wants to make your job a little easier. We want to help you with the tools and resources you need to help your department or business be a success. (while helping your student, too!)

Recruiting OSU student talent for your part-time jobs can be challenging. You must determine an ideal timeline for advertising, managing student schedules, and choosing key interview questions. Not to worry, Career Services offers many services to local employers and campus departments.

Take advantage of our FREE services to local employers and campus departments:

  1. Post your jobs (details here). This is a required step for OSU departments and strongly encouraged for local employers.

  2. Come to campus- OSU Career Services hosts a Part-Time and Volunteer Job Fair every August to help you hire (Register here)

  3. Consider hosting a table or offering to present/sponsor a student organization event

  4. Let students know you hire! Ask OSU Career Services for a window sticker to display at your office.

  5. Consider On Campus interviews – most times of the year, we can help you host interviews for your part-time jobs

  6. Browse resumes in the Hire System- once you have a job posted, you can search student resumes by major, GPA, and grad date to be more active in your search.

  7. Remember, it is important for students to know who you are, not just when you are hiring. Building a recruiting relationship will make hiring easier! We offer free consulting for strategies to make this possible.

Pro Tip: share with other campus departments: When searching for a student with a specific skillset, reach out to academic departments or other departments on campus to help spread the word about your job posting to qualified students. Remember, always post first. Asking faculty and staff to recommend or refer a student does not comply with Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) guidelines and is not in the best interest of all OSU students.

When to Hire Students?
Make sure to plan ahead for your hirring needs.
  • Hiring for the Fall: it is a good idea to plan ahead and start your search in April of the prior spring semester. July and August are also good times to hire students as well.

  • Hiring for the Spring: Start your search in November if you hope to have a student begin working at the beginning of the spring semester.

The Interview Process
Here are some quick and easy tips to guide your interviewing process:
  1. Ask all candidates the same set of questions.

  2. Establish clear criteria to assess interviewee responses.

  3. Ask situational and experience-based questions (i.e. what would you do if, what did you do when). Here are some sample interview questions to help you get started.

  4. Steer clear of any illegal interview questions related to race, national origin, citizenship, religion, sex, disability, age, or marital status.

Career Services Recommends:
  • Students work less than 20 hours per week

  • Be flexible with scheduling, as student availability will change with each semester

  • Recognize that student employees will likely leave Stillwater and the OSU campus during school breaks (winter break, summer, etc.)

Student employees who are engaged in their job will become better students and better employees. First impressions are vital and continued steps are needed to keep your student employees engaged. Remember these key factors when creating an engagement plan for your student employees.

Onboard for Success
Create a clear and organized schedule for your new student workers to start them on the path to success. This gives them with a sense of security that they are being supported and not just thrown into the role. Here are some topics and action items that should be included in your onboarding schedule:
  • Tour of the work facility and introduction of pertinent employees
  • Communication of any policies, procedures, and expectations
  • Training sessions (be sure to space the trainings out to avoid overloading your new employee)
  • Create a list of key tasks your new employee should complete in the first few days/weeks

Explain the Why
In addition to learning their job, students need to know why they are doing the job. They should be shown the big picture and how their job is key to the organization fulfilling its mission. This will help them to take ownership, pride, and a sense of purpose in their role.

Picture of a chart for My part-time job help me develop a sense of purpose*Taken from a 2019 survey of OSU student employees

Connect the Dots
Sometimes it is difficult for students to see the connection between their part-time job and chosen field of study or future career. Be sure to point this out when it is not always obvious that their job has a larger personal and professional impact than just a paycheck.

Be Flexible
Students number one priority should be academics but they should still be committed to their job. Just be flexible with them as much as possible so they can still be successful in school. In the end this will make for a more productive employee and will decrease turnover. Remember that students who are enrolled full-time should not be working over 20 hours a week.

At a certain point, student employees should be empowered to make more decisions on the job and be creative in their role. This will look different depending on the job but could mean:
  • Allowing them to supervise other student employees

  • Asking for input to improve processes

  • Provide greater autonomy to get the job done in a way that works best according to their work style and personality

Make it Personal
Students need to know that you care about them beyond their simple ability to get the job done. Take advantage of opportunities to ask how they are doing, how their semester is going, and about their hobbies and interests. In addition, create opportunities for them to connect with other student employees and full-time staff. Here are some ideas to increase the connectedness with student workers in your workplace:
  • Donut Day- provide breakfast once a month.

  • Finals Week Survival Kits- ask staff members to fill goodie bags for your student workers during finals week. Items could include granola bars, bottled water, energy bars, candy, etc.

  • Welcome Back signs/posters at the beginning of each semester or after a break.

  • Give a deserving student employee a special shout out in staff meetings.

  • Hand written thank you notes for a job well done.

  • Work parties at the beginning or end of the semester and holidays.

Picture of a chart for My part-time job help me feel more connected to campus/stillwater community*Taken from a 2019 survey of OSU student employees

Want to give your student employee opportunities to grow and develop skills that will stick with them throughout their career? These efforts often start with their part-time job.

There are 4 key foundations employers should consider incorporating into the student employment development experience.
  1. Offer Student Training
    Professional development opportunities can never start too early. Employees who recognize your investment in their abilities are more likely to go the extra mile for your department or company. Most employees begin their jobs with the basic “how to’s” such as how to operate the phone or copy machine, but do you provide continued learning? Below is a list of options to consider for your student employees:
    1. Time management

    2. Customer service

    3. Communication skills

    4. Social media

    5. Building your resume

    6. Conflict resolution

    7. Dealing with difficult people

    These trainings could be offered yearly, monthly, each semester, etc. They can be offered through online platforms, in person through a traditional training, or can be the first 10 minutes of your student staff meeting. The great news is YOU decide the best delivery method for your business/department and which topics to tackle. Investing in your student employee’s professional development benefits everyone! Below are a few resources to help you get started:
    • Student Employee Training Modules (requires OSU Student log in)

    • Student Employee Staff Training (Title VII and Title IX)

    Consider developing a Professional Development Program for your student workers. Incorporate trainings or activities that will be beneficial to them and help your department.

    Example of OSU Career Services Student Staff PDP.

    Whenever possible, provide financial incentives for completing professional development. This could be a one-time stipend, or a pay raise.

  2. Continued Career Skills
    Did you know there are a standard set of career competencies that all employers, year after year, seek in their full-time employee hires? The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), through yearly employer surveys, determines which competencies are most highly sought after in their future employees. OSU Career Services refers to these transferrable skills as Career Skills.

  3. Evaluate for Success
    Did you know students perform better in their job when regular, consistent and productive feedback is provided? Student evaluation is a great way to do just that. This can take the form of a monthly “touch base” meeting or a more formal end of semester review. Let your student employee know if they are doing a good job or if there are opportunities for improvement to help them grow as a professional. A form to better evaluate students is included in the resource library.

  4. Recognize and Reward your students
    Recognition is an important way to express appreciation for the valuable work student employees provide to your department or business. There are many ways to recognize your student employees - for little or no cost. Below are a few ideas:
    • Nominate a deserving student for the annual Student Employee Awards, hosted by OSU Career Services each spring. Nominations open each December-January. Contact Roberta Douglas for more information.

    • b. Incentives, stipends and/or raises are an ideal way to show your students they are doing a good job. This can be tied to their evaluation or contingent upon completion of your professional development programs.

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