If you have projects to complete, but not enough work to justify hiring staff, you might consider using college students as freelancers. It’s a great way for a small or growing business to meet their staffing needs, and you may find that you can offer students some great opportunities as well. Check out these nine reasons to hire college students to complete your next freelance projects.
Students Are Eager And Motivated
College students crave opportunity and work experience. They are eager to pick up new skills. Anything relevant, a marketable skill they can add to their resume is a blessing to them. As long as they are being productive and learning, you may find that there is little a college student won’t do. If you treat them well and offer them the opportunity to work on interesting projects, you will hear little complaining when you ask them to do a bit of grunt work.
You Can Offer Them Opportunities That Traditional Jobs Cannot
A student can gain something valuable from any job. Fast food can teach them organization and hard work. Working in retail is a great way to learn customer service skills. Still, there are opportunities that you can provide students as a freelancer that they simply cannot get elsewhere.
First, you give them the chance to flex their entrepreneurial muscles. As a freelancer, they can learn to negotiate pay, use software to track and bill hours, and learn to track their own pay and taxes. They can also use technologies and other tools in ways that they likely would not be able to in other jobs.
Most importantly, by working as a freelancer, they get to experience being treated as a professional in their field. This means presenting and defending ideas, being responsible for deliverables, and being held accountable for their role in project outcomes.
Students Often Have Flexible Schedules
Do you need someone who can sit on a conference call with a client across the ocean at 3 in the morning? What about someone to come in on a Saturday to tie up a few loose ends. Maybe you need someone with early evening availability.
Ask someone who is well past college, and you might get a refusal. The older people get, the less flexible their schedules are. That time fills up with activities, family time, or simply time to rest.
College students, on the other hand, are frequently available in the evenings and on the weekends. This is great if you have staffing gaps you need to fill in. Just remember that most college students will appreciate some flexibility in return. They have classes to attend, activities, and studying to do.
They Are Pros at Tech And Social
As a whole, college students tend to have a line on what is trending when it comes to tech. They own the latest gadgets and devices. Not only that, many of them also know a variety of tips and techniques to hack those technologies. If you need a coder, gadget guru, or another tech wiz, a college student may be your ideal go to for your next project.
Students are also social media pros. Many students have been developing their own personal brands since prior to high school. If you need to increase engagement and attract more followers, find a college student. If you are still exploring your social media options, and aren’t sure of how to best use each to reach out to your audience, there are many college students who can help you to understand SnapChat, Twitter, and a host of other social platforms and messaging apps.
Students Flex Their Mental Muscles Daily
Whether they are researching Organic chemistry or dissertation writing services, college students use their brains in ways that many people have not in years. They are constantly learning new things, experimenting in labs, debating ideas, and being challenged. That’s a lot of neural connections being made.
All of this intellectual stimulation and academic challenge can be beneficial to you. If you need someone who can problem solve, who isn’t overly sensitive to critique and is likely to work well in groups, many college students fit this bill perfectly. What a great way to add fresh insights and views to a struggling project or stale team.
A Student Freelancer Today: A Full-Time Employee Tomorrow
Your growing business may not need a full-time employee today, but that can change in the future. By working with student freelancers today, you can help to create networking connections with potential employees in the future.
Don’t just bring students on to freelance. Connect with them. Reach out to them on LinkedIn and other sites. If they do good work, write glowing letters of recommendations for them. If they are entrepreneurial themselves, act as a mentor. You never know when nurturing up and coming talent can help you in the long run. If nothing else, you will have given some students an amazing work opportunity.
You Can Save Money (But Not Too Much!)
Another beautiful thing about hiring student freelancers is that many of them are willing to work at lower rates than more seasoned freelancers. While there’s nothing wrong with trying to save money on these expenses, be careful about how you are perceived. Students are savvy enough to know the going rates for the work they are doing. They are also aware that they won’t get very far if they are willing to ‘work for experience and exposure’.
Remember that just like any other working demographic, you will attract a better class of worker if you offer attractive wages and perks. You’re going to be asking more of your freelancers than you would a minimum wage employee. Compensate them accordingly.
A Student is a Pro at Deadlines And High Pressure
All night work sessions? Deadlines that are right around the corner? Saving projects from the brink of failure? These are all things that are part of a college student’s regular experience. When others are ready to pack it in, college students are often the first to grab an energy drink, brew a pot of coffee and dig in. That’s some great energy for any team.
Students Love to Tackle Many Roles
The more people become entrenched in their professions and roles they play, the more strictly they tend to adhere to job descriptions. Students are often different. They are high energy and crave being kept occupied. As freelancers, they are glad to take on different roles and challenges. Unless you assign a task that is true drudgery, you’ll rarely hear complaints that something isn’t in a student’s job description. A student designing your logo today is likely to be willing to jump headfirst into a writing project tomorrow. If you need to cross-train your freelancers, check in with a few college students.
If you are fortunate enough to own a business near a college campus, you may be able to find some great freelancing talent. College students are flexible, trainable, tech-savvy, and eager for opportunities. Offer them an attractive opportunity to work and learn some new skills, and you may be surprised at the kind of work you can get out of them.