Every business should offer work experience

It’s in any organisation’s best interest to offer placements to students, explains Simon Houlton

Every business should offer work experience

Having work experience under your belt is crucial to landing your dream job in today’s competitive job market. 80 per cent of employers say that having work experience on your CV is essential. And it makes sense: they want to know that you are serious about your chosen career path and that you have the motivation to seek out opportunities that will increase your chance of success. But having a student spend time at your business won’t just benefit them – it can be a positive move for your company too. Here are some of the ways offering work experience can help your business.

An outside perspective

Asking your work experience student for feedback on how your business is run or managed can be worthwhile. They will often highlight small changes that can be made and give you a better idea of how your team communicate. In return, giving the student feedback on their contribution will go a long way in helping to produce graduates who have a good idea of what is expected of them in the working world.

Freeing up your time

By passing along those smaller jobs that inevitably slide down your to-do list, you’ll be more productive and motivated to get on with bigger tasks. Alternatively, it can be beneficial – once the individual has a good understanding of the business – for them to be given more important tasks to test their skills. This can make them feel as though their contribution is valued. It can also be a good opportunity to look at which of your current employees takes the chance to pass on advice and guidance to the student.

Finding the right type of new talent

Work experience students can offer a fresh perspective and new vigour to your business, and allow you to see what qualities you are looking for in your next employee. It can be a good chance to get to know an employee and their work ethic. When you are next looking to take on a new member of staff, you will already know individuals who work well and have a vested interest in your business, which can help reduce staff turnover.

Pass on good habits

A student on work experience will likely have a very limited knowledge of the day-to-day workings of your business. This is your chance to pass on good working habits, show them what is expected and mould them into the type of person you want to employ.

Builds relationships with other organisations

It is important for businesses to create links with local schools, colleges and universities – their students represent your pool of future employees. By fostering good relationships with these institutions, they will be able to recommend candidates for jobs and in turn you can offer their students placements.

Simon Houlton is CEO of IScreenYouScreen