2 Tips on Persuading Student Workers to Return After Summer

By Danielle Wirsansky on May 23, 2017

When summer comes around, college campuses and towns can seem like ghost towns. A majority of students go home for summer, which, depending on the school, can be around four months! That is a large chunk of time for a city to be depleted of residents.

The students also compromise a large part of a city’s working population. So when the students leave, a lot of businesses are left in the lurch and lose a lot of employees. For some businesses, this is okay — they have either come to expect it or do not need as many student workers when there are no student customers. Supply and demand, it all makes sense.

But many businesses struggle to lure their student workers back to their jobs even once the summer is over and that can make it hard for businesses to run. The end of summer brings with it waves and crowds of new and returning students, and a business needs 1) enough employees to keep the business going, and 2) employees that know what they are doing, not necessarily fresh student employees who are new to the job and less experienced.

The best way, as a business or job recruiter, to avoid these problems is to ensure and persuade your student workers to come back to work in the fall. Read on for two tips on keeping your student employees even after the summer break!

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Create a positive environment

A positive working environment provides many benefits. An article published by Chron, while discussing the book Happiness at Work: Maximizing Your Psychological Capital for Success by Jessica Pryce-Jones, said:

“The quality of our association with work depends on the quality of our relationships with colleagues, supervisors, and clients as well as company culture. When those relationships and the environment in which we interact are positive, we feel valued and respected. We take pride in what we do, perform better, and care about our employer’s future. We become engaged: connected to the organization, results, customers, and coworkers. Our professional contentment spills over to our personal lives.”

So if you can be sure to create a positive environment for your student workers before they leave for the summer and then welcome them back with open arms once the summer ends, why would they not want to come back to work for you? If the student worker has a positive environment that nurtures them, that does not make work feel like drudgery, that they can benefit from even if the work is not in their field — they will definitely return.

Why waste time applying for a slew of jobs in a very competitive work environment (so many students are looking for work) when they can return to one that they like just fine already?

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Give raises

According to Entrpreneur.com and the 2015 Jobvite Job Seeker Nation survey, it was revealed that 61 percent of job seekers choose to take a new job because of the amount it pays.

They go on to say the following.

“Employers have done a lot to ensure workers are maintaining a work-life balance by offering things such as flexible hours. But that’s not what’s really stressing out employees. In a 2015 report from the American Psychological Association, 72 percent of respondents reported feeling stressed about money and 22 percent said they experienced extreme stress over finances. Increasing the amount you pay your employees will not only alleviate their present stress, but also help them feel more secure about their futures.”

This is especially true for student employees! Students are inordinately stressed about their finances. This can be for several reasons, whether they are managing their finances on their own for the first time, they are getting no financial support from their family any longer, they have student loans to pay off, and more.

While students often need flexible hours in order to accommodate their class schedules, being able to make ends meet and not feeling like they are trapped in a morass of debt will make your students more productive — and more likely to return to the position after the summer is over. Why would they make an effort to find another job if you are paying them more than they might find by beginning an entry level job at a new location and enough not to be stressed out all the time?

You do not have to just throw raises at them either and certainly not at any employee. You want the best employees to return, not the mediocre ones usually. The raise does not even have to be substantial. It can be just enough to let the student know that you recognized their hard work and efforts in the spring. Sometimes a little bit of respect can go a long way.  

By Danielle Wirsansky

Uloop Writer
Florida State University
Danielle Wirsansky graduated from FSU with a BA in Theatre and a BA in Creative Writing with a minor in History. She is a second year graduate student in FSU's History department where she serves as the Communications Officer for the History Graduate Student Association and President of White Mouse Theatre Productions. She studied abroad in London, England for the Spring 2015 semester at FSU's study center for the Playwriting Program and interned for the English National Theatre of Israel in Summer of 2015. Her first musical, City of Light, opened as part of FSU's New Horizons Festival in Spring of 2016. She has also won the MRCE and URCAA Research grants from FSU. In the past, she served as the Marketing Director for the FSU Student Theatre Association, the intern for the Holocaust Education Resource Council, and the research assistant of Prof. Nathan Stoltzfus. She has previously written for Context Florida (Contributing Writer), USA Today College (Contributing Writer), Sheroes of History (Contributing Blogger), No(le)Reservations (Contributing Blogger), Female, Reloaded (Arts/Entertainment Editor) , I Want a Buzz Magazine (intern), Mandarin Newsline (youth arts update columnist), Distink Designs (Guest blogger), whatscheaper.com (associate editor), escapewizard.com (associate editor), Spark TLH (Contributor), the Tallahassee Democrat (contributor), Elan Literary Magazine (Head of Marketing), and the Improviser Newspaper (Opinions Editor).

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