How to successfully hire and manage Waterloo co-op students
Startup companies have unique needs – and we get that. Your company is young and growing. You need to attract and hire the right co-op students to get the job done. We understand the needs of young companies.
Your job description is absolutely vital in finding the right student
- The job must appeal to students - how you describe it is critical. We’ve seen what works (and what doesn’t). We’ve put together a list of best practices for writing appealing job descriptions.
- Explain why the position matters – show how it’s important within the organization
- List the real main responsibilities
- Don’t use acronyms or industry jargon
- Describe what’s in it for them – skills they may gain, professional connections they may make, etc.
- Ask for the true minimum requirements – otherwise you may scare qualified applicants
- Define essential skills – you can also add a separate category with “nice to have” skills, if you’d like
- Share the fun stuff – mention any creative benefits, such as flexible hours or team social events
You could be eligible for up to $10K in federal and/or provincial funding
- Student Work-Integrated Learning Program ($5-$7K)
- Co-operative Education Tax Credit ($3K)
- NSERC Experience Award
- Canada Summer Jobs Program
- And more funding opportunities
The hiring process is free and easy
For a full overview of our simple hiring process, take a look at our step-by-step guide.
You’ve hired a student – congratulations!
Now it’s time to reach out to the student with a formal offer letter and contract. Share information they’ll need to know immediately, such as:
- Start and end date of the job
- Where and when they should show up on the first day of work
- Other info relevant to your organization, such as the work environment or dress code
Your service team is here to help
If you have any questions or concerns, now or during the work term, you can connect with your service team members. Your service team will provide support to both the employer and the student. To find the contact info for your service team, log into WaterlooWorks; your service team is listed on the right side of your dashboard.
Mentorship is key for co-op student success
Remember, the employment relationship is a partnership between you and a student.
- create an atmosphere where students are free to ask questions, gain clarity, and solve problems with the appropriate balance of autonomy and guidance
- set expectations at the beginning of the work term to set the tone for a great work term; it is important to discuss work hours, how you’ll interact and work together, and mutually agreed upon goals
Waterloo co-op students:
- are excited to contribute to your organization, putting the knowledge they have gained from their studies into practice
- want jobs where they will both learn from and contribute to the success of your organization
The work term
From day one, it’s your job to guide your co-op student throughout their work term. Here are a few things to remember at key points during the term.
The first week:
- Give your co-op student an orientation to your organization to help them transition into the job and adapt to their new working environment
- Set goals together with your student so they have something to work on achieving
- Ensure your student is aware of your expectations and deadlines
- Meet with your co-op student 1:1 on a regular basis to provide feedback and check on the progress of the goals you’ve set together, making adjustments as necessary
- It is important for students to know where they stand with their performance so they can make improvements in a timely manner
- Complete a midterm review using Waterloo’s performance evaluation form - this form is an excellent tool for providing clear feedback.
The last week:
Complete and submit the final performance evaluation - your service team will send you an email reminder with a direct link to the form.
Contact us anytime
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