If you’ve never hired a student for a work placement, you might be surprised to learn just how much your business can benefit from it. Whether students are helping to keep things running smoothly when staff are on vacation, driving stalled projects forward or bringing a new skillset to your organization, work placements provide a win-win experience.
Add in a wage subsidy program like TECHNATION’s Career Ready, and your business can add a new facet to your recruitment strategy. But don’t just take our word for it; we spoke with five employers about the positive impact that working with students through the Career Ready Program has made for their businesses.
Filling knowledge gaps in your company with Career Ready students is more than just beneficial for the duration of the work placement, there can also be long-term benefits for your business if you can encourage students to share their expertise with your team.
“Our student placements have been game-changers,” says Jamie Cameron, the Cape Breton franchisee for GetintheLoop, an app-based service that allows local restaurants, retailers and activity-based businesses to provide real-time offers to customers. “We were given the opportunity to add knowledge and a better understanding of today’s digital world, a better approach and clarity with social media, and staff that is tuned in to the ways our tech-savvy clients think and act!”
Career Ready students are eager to put their skills to use and try new things, and they can be a significant help to employers who are looking to bring in new talent to keep momentum moving forward on projects.
The Digital Kitchener Innovation Lab is a municipal initiative that explores the ways that digital technologies can be used to improve citizens’ lives in Kitchener. Hiring summer students through TECHNATION’s Career Ready Program gave the lab team additional resources to get work done, and the students brought an eagerness to their work placement. “Our team leverages many new and quickly evolving technologies,” explains Courtney Zinn, director of the lab. “Having access to student resources with some exposure and interest in exploring these tools is really helpful in rapidly moving projects forward.”
New talent brings a fresh viewpoint to an organization, but budgets and other concerns don’t always allow for a new full-time (or even part-time) employee. Hiring a student through the TECHNATION Career Ready program is a low-risk, low-cost way to introduce new people with fresh ideas.
Lena Trubnikova, director of operations and secretary to the board of Autism Speaks Canada, says the students she hired last summer benefited the charity greatly. “Students bring their newly acquired skills and a fresh perspective to the organization,” she explains. “They are also quite tech-savvy, and this contributes to our success.”
The pandemic has been very challenging for a lot of business owners, and a wage subsidy program like Career Ready offers employers a low-cost opportunity to weather lean times. “The TECHNATION Career Ready program has been absolutely wonderful, and very needed during this difficult time,” notes Katherine De Vita, owner of Ocean Pointe Business Centre and The Terrace at OPBC in Surrey, B.C.
De Vita hired a student for both the fall and winter terms in order to build a strong marketing and social media strategy. “It has been a great time of learning, and Nicholas has been providing solid information regarding social media and the marketing of my company. We got through fall 2020 with Nicholas’s help.”
In addition to accessing young tech talent to execute projects, the short-term nature of a student work placement gives employers a low-risk opportunity to build their talent pipeline for future hires. When book-development start-up Creative Connex was looking to build a website and a custom platform to automate processes and client engagement, the TECHNATION Career Ready Program was the affordable solution they needed.
“Without question, we would not have been able to develop the website, nor the custom software platform without the support of the TECHNATION Career Ready Program,” says Doug Daymond, co-founder and director of operations and strategic alliances. “The three software engineering students from Conestoga College were absolutely exceptional and professional in all regards.”
Creative Connex was so impressed with the students, they’ve kept all three on the team on a freelance basis. “It was a complete win-win relationship,” Daymond says.
Whether you run a tech company, or your organization needs support for a tech-immersive role, the Career Ready Program has a lot to offer. Hiring a student for the summer, fall or winter term—or even for a project with a set length—can help your business grow, stronger and faster.