Hiring students virtually is new for a lot of businesses. Here are some tips you can follow for your new Career Ready tech-trained student to make sure you have an onboarding process that works. This will help alleviate any stress or questions the student may have and help streamline their focus, learning, and projects.
- Prepare yourself by taking LaunchPad’s online modules for employers. Courses like “Successful Onboarding”, “Enhancing the Student Work Placement Experience” and “Effective Mentorship” can help you support your new employee.
- Connect with IT well in advance of your student’s first day to make sure the student will have access to all the hardware and systems they need to succeed.
- Ensure the student is aware of any technology you will be providing them with and arrange for its delivery via courier (if necessary, arrange for the student to pick up the technology at the office in a safe manner).
- Prepare a checklist to send your student with everything they will complete during the on-boarding process (this can also include tasks to complete before their first day).
- Make sure the student has the appropriate software downloaded and any privacy measures for online i.e.) a password keeper that the whole company uses.
- Make a warm first impression. Send a welcome email one week before your student’s first day, expressing your enthusiasm for having the student join your team followed by a schedule for the first day. Include links to employee the handbook, checklist and website.
- Connect with your student via LinkedIn (and encourage the rest of your team to do the same), so your student feels welcome and starts to get to know the team, before the start of the work-term or placement.
MAKE YOURSELF AVAILABLE
- Offer assistance and help the student get up to speed by being available to answer quick questions using a digital chat option such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, etc. Be sure to provide a contact name should your student require any IT assistance.
- On the first day connect with your student and provide the same on-boarding overview that you would if they were working with you in-person. Get to know their learning style by asking questions like: What does being supported at work look like for you? What excites you the most about this position? What concerns do you have?
REINFORCE TEAM CULTURE
- Set up virtual meetings for the student to meet with other key members of the team and key employees.
- Provide a way for the student to converse with the entire team to build comradery and improve job satisfaction. This may be a digital chat option as outlined above or scheduling team building time.
- Outline clear expectations and goals for your student and refer back to them in future meetings.
- Provide subtle and timely virtual nudges if you are concerned about work pace.
- Be open and watch for warning signs including missing deadlines or being unavailable for conference calls. Use these opportunities to reinforce expectations and address any concerns you or the student may have while working remotely.
- Check in with your student at the start and end of each day for at least the first two weeks.
- If that schedule works, continue it daily otherwise set-up a weekly or bi-weekly meeting that works for you.
“Making use of student talent has been an integral part of our company strategy and adds significantly to our company culture. Students bring academic knowledge combined with youthful enthusiasm and breathe fresh ideas into our organization.” – Kristin Poon, Harled Inc.
“Hiring my student through your program allowed our company, which has been affected due to COVID, to be able to use the fresh new approach by a student to market the business. It has been a great experience. Thank you so much for allowing this program to help all businesses.” – Katherine De Vita, Ocean Pointe Business Centre