By hiring students, your small business can begin building a partnership with local schools and establish a valuable presence in your community.

Some small businesses are hiring students for part-time work or during school holiday breaks. But did you know that by hiring students, your small business can actually begin building a partnership with local schools? A partnership like this can benefit both your business and your community.

Small Businesses and Local Schools

Local schools are a community's lifeblood. From educating future generations to the camaraderie of cheering at a high school football game, schools matter greatly. Small-business owners are usually local residents who may be personally invested in the local schools — with children or grandchildren attending — and their businesses may be able to give back. By doing so, you make it easy for other local residents to get behind your efforts and, ultimately, build goodwill for your business.

Building a Bridge

Whether you have a personal connection to local schools or not, as a business owner, you can start building connections easily. Here are three ideas for getting started.

  1. Hire students. Many businesses need part-time help, and many local students need part-time jobs. If you can use help after school hours or on weekends, talk to school counselors about your needs and see if they can recommend students who might be a good fit. In addition, consider using students to shore up your staffing during the holiday season or the summer months, when more students will be available to work. You can provide them with valuable work experience and they can bring fresh perspectives — and possibly new customers — to your business. Just be sure to remain compliant with all relevant child labor laws. There are restrictions on how many hours minors can work and what industries they can be employed in.
  2. Offer career exploration opportunities. Secondary schools across the country are seeking to draw stronger connections between the classroom and the workplace. Consider offering your services as a business owner for students who are interested in entrepreneurship. You might serve as a mentor for students, allow students to job shadow at your place of business or speak to classes about your work and how you got to your current position.
  3. Support school events. Every school needs extra funds, so why not build a bridge to your local schools by offering fundraising opportunities? You could serve as a sponsor for a team or event by simply writing a check, or you could host a school spirit event at your place of business, giving back a portion of the day's profits to the school. You could provide food or drinks for a special school event or host a field trip at your place of business. Consider talking to local school principals about other ways you can offer support.

By getting involved in local schools or finding ways to support them, business owners can help guarantee a strong future workforce. In the meantime, small businesses will also create lasting connections with vital community institutions that will translate into goodwill among other community members and a valuable position in the area.

Tags: Hiring