If it’s hiring season at your business – it could be time to consider hiring a co-op student. Co-op students are a great way to fulfill temporary positions within your organization, bring a fresh set of ideas and new perspective, and scout for long-term talent in your organization.

Here are five benefits of hiring a co-op student:

    1. Tax Credits: If you operate in Canada, you receive a tax credit up to 30% of wage expenditure per work term for hiring a co-op student. Essentially, their wages are subsidized by the government as an incentive to hire them. This is a great way to save money if your industry is more affected by taxes.
    2. Talent Scouting: Using co-op placements to scout for long-term talent is a great strategy for businesses. Although co-op placements are temporary, you may decide you want to offer them full-time employment after their graduation. A co-op work-term essentially allows your business to get a trial run of a potential hire, which is beneficial to avoid making costly hiring mistakes.  Given that you are finding them early in the career developmental process, you can mentor them early to prepare them for work in your industry.
    3. Eager to Learn: While this trait isn’t unique to co-op students specifically, this is likely your co-op’s first or second case of experience in your industry. This means they’ll be passionate and excited to learn new skills and abilities, and feel a sense of contribution. Generally, students who opt to do a co-op work-term are high performing and like to seek out new challenges. Additionally, they are evaluated by a supervisor in their related academic program, so they are further incentivized to perform their best.
    4. Exposure and Marketing: Getting your company posted on a university job board is great marketing for your business. Many students will research your firm, and although you won’t be able to hire them all – it provides a mental anchor for potential future hires and business. Becoming a co-op program partner means you may be featured on ads, be able to set up displays on campus, and more.
    5. Bring New Perspective: Given that co-op students spend a lot of time researching and learning, they may possess fresh ideas and insights that have not been considered by your business. Anytime a business or industry brings in an outsider, it can be beneficial to inject new ways of thinking that may have been hindered by company hierarchy or stale culture.

These are the high-level benefits of hiring a co-op student, developing a long-term relationship can prove to be beneficial to your business.