Gone are the days when academia trumped all. Students with the highest employability rates today tend to be the ones who have already got real hands-on experience under their belts and are, as we say, ‘workplace savvy’.
In a recent survey, two thirds of employers stated that they look for graduates with relevant work experience because it helps them better prepare for work and develop strong business awareness. However, this only happens when employers take work experience seriously, and fully engage with the benefits it can bring both parties. Work experience should be mutually beneficial, raising a business’ profile as well as a candidate’s employability rate in one.
It’s time to move work experience away from the cuppa’ making and last-minute post runs, and into the art of the possible.
Here we share our top 6 reasons for why offering work experience to students is the key to boosting your business and making the world a better place!
1. It boosts your other employees – Having someone on a work experience placement means they need supervision, guidance and even a mentor. This helps to boost your team’s morale as it shows them that you trust them enough to be responsible. It also helps your employees develop their own supervisory skills which will help you and them should a senior position arise that they could be considered for.
2. It’s good PR – If you’ve got a really effective and organised work placement scheme that young people genuinely feel they can benefit from then they will soon be telling their friends. Word of mouth is one of the best forms of marketing out there – and it’s free. Your company’s reputation for investing in young people will be ranked quite highly so more people will want to come and work for you.
3. It doesn’t have to cost you – With a variety of grants and funding available, taking on work experience doesn’t have to be costly. That doesn’t mean you can take advantage of a free workforce however. At Geon we take this very seriously to ensure all young people undergoing work placements are treated with honesty, integrity and respect at all times.
4. It brings new ideas – Young people on work experience are known to bounce through the door on a daily basis with enthusiasm, positivity and brimming with new ideas. If you can provide opportunities for people who are fun, friendly and keen to work as a team then you’re really onto a winner!
5. It’s a great recruitment strategy – Save your recruitment fees and look closer to home! It’s far easier to spot talent when you can see them in your work place. If they are the right fit for your company, demonstrating a personality that aligns well with your culture then there is nothing stopping you from offering them a permanent role. Most skills can be learned, but it’s difficult to train people on their personality.
6. It develops young people – The majority of people on work experience have had very little exposure to the world of work with much of their knowledge being classroom-based or something they’ve read on the internet or social media. By helping young individuals to gain insight into the variety of careers available within your business and industry sector, you can not only help to mature them but you are able to guide them in making more informed choices about their future career.