Hiring a student? A few things to consider

What problem or project will I have them working on?

Breaking down your needs into defined and desired objectives makes it easier for students to see where they can slot into your company. These can take the form of:

  • actions (i.e. whether something needs to be improved, changed, refined etc.)
  • metrics (contact x number of customers, create x blog posts)
  • results (what it will look like - website, report, CRM)
  • timeframes (what it will reasonably take to complete the task/s)
  • constraints (such as budgets, resources).
  • role (will they be working with a team, remotely or independently?)

What am I offering them in return?

Think in terms of:

  • mentoring
  • industry networking
  • training
  • references
  • skills and specific experiences that they can leverage in the future
  • potential for ongoing employment.

Also, while we’re on the topic of offerings, this brings us to the next question…

Will I need to pay them?

Generally, yes. While unis offer Work Integrated Learning programs (course related work experience), the criteria is strict and varied across faculties.

Ribit’s stance on paid vs unpaid roles aligns with Fair Work Australia, which emphasises that productive work (as opposed to observation), is more likely to mean an employment relationship i.e. a minimum wage, National Employment Standards and a registered agreement.

It’s also worth considering that paid jobs always receive more quality applications.

What is the minimum wage?

Most students will (at least at the start) be classed as part time or casual employees which means that they are covered by the national minimum wage. Currently, this is $17.70 / hour for full time or part-time positions, and $17.70 / hour + 25% casual loading ($22.13 / hour) for casual roles.

Fair Work Australia has published a guide for small businesses which includes a section on calculating pay rates. 

What should I consider when hiring an international student?

Working conditions for student visa holders include the following rules:

·        A student visa holder cannot work until they have commenced their course in Australia.

·        Once their course has commenced, the student is permitted to work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight when their course is in session, and unlimited hours when their course is not in session.

·        Excluded from this 40 hours per fortnight is any work that is undertaken as part of a course (for instance, work which counts towards a course credit).

More information is available via the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website.

Can’t find your specific question here? Get in touch with us at admin@ribit.net