Types of Accommodations Students May Need In a Job
Recruiting and hiring college students in today’s fast-paced, technologically advanced society can be a very challenging proposition. The talent, knowledge, and passion of a student or recent graduate may seem like the perfect and much-needed piece to complete your company’s organizational structure.
Most students are looking for work right out of college or while they are still in college. However, recruiters must be aware of what students really need in the workplace environment so you can accommodate their needs and gain and sustain hard-working employees.
During the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring process, it is necessary to understand that while students want many of the same things as other students and as your current employees, they do have other needs that are specific to their stage of life or a condition they are facing. I will note some of those below.
Further, many students have a lot of questions they are often hesitant to ask. This hesitancy often stems from fear. Fear of asking the wrong question. Fear of being perceived a certain way. Fear of not getting the job. It is important to be aware of this before you delve into student recruiting.
Here are some things to think about in regards to accommodating students at your place of work:
It is a misnomer to think that all students care about is making money. Many students are more concerned about job satisfaction. They want to be engaged in work that is meaningful and that makes them feel as if they are contributing to something or someone other than themselves.
Numerous studies have found that there is a universal relationship between job satisfaction and professional efficacy, individual and group productivity, and personal achievement.
So, ensure that you are not promoting meaningless work to students. Of course, what you may consider meaningless can be far different from students’ expectations. Work that is creative, innovative, and has a social change or impact element is what gets students’ minds engaged.
Contrary to the impression many young people give off, we don’t know everything. Deep down, we want to learn and grow so we can do our best work. And we are willing to learn if you are willing to teach.
Keep this in mind when asking students what they know about a particular job, and don’t be quick to write off one student or another. Telling students that you have training available for them will make them more comfortable in asking questions and help to build their confidence that they can do the job.
It is important to make necessary accommodations for students who have disabilities. A necessary or reasonable accommodation in this regard is an adjustment in the hiring or working process for an individual who is equally qualified to perform the functions of the job.
Most students who have a disability do not want to be treated differently from their counterparts who do not have a disability. They appreciate equal treatment and often thrive in the same environments. In other words, they do not want you to make their disability a point of conversation or an excuse for special treatment.
So, if a student-candidate satisfies the skills, education, and experience needed for the job and can perform the essential job function, assure him or her they will receive equal consideration.
If you are looking to hire students who are still in school, be sure to take their school load into consideration. For example, a student who has three classes before noon each day should not be expected to arrive at work until after 1 p.m.
Students are able to work better when they know their supervisor or boss has taken them and their studies into consideration. You can do this by learning to speak their language, seeking to understand the student and potential employee, and thinking like a student.
Words such as growth and learning will correlate with what the student is already doing. Yes, money and job culture still speak to students, but equally as important is decreasing the stress that comes with taking on a new position and making one’s own way in the world.
You do understand that a person who has been working for you for 20 years will have a totally different outlook and mindset than a newcomer who is a 20-year-old student. Workplace culture for the former will mean something entirely different than it will for the latter.
With that said, it is important to make sure that the environment and culture are conducive for young minds. This doesn’t mean turning full offices into cubicles, replacing straight-back chairs with couches or bean bags, or installing vending machines or snack rooms on every floor.
It does, however, mean that the overall environment should be encouraging and stimulating for students. The potential employee should be confident that he or she will be supported by the supervisor and the staff and that they will be able to learn, grow, and gain much-needed experience.
It is important to understand that young people will have ideas and suggestions that are very different from the status quo. The workplace environment should be open to allowing them to express their ideas and willing to implement those that would be helpful to the overall company.
It is nice to know that students want to work and are willing to learn, grow, and produce awesome results for companies who are willing to hire them.