How to Hire a Co‑op Student
Follow these steps to secure your co-op student.
Step 1: Plan your co-op opportunity
Identifying co-op roles within your organization
Identify your organizational needs to determine potential co-op roles:
- Special projects
- Staff relief
- Daily operations
Consider your desired outcomes for these co-op roles:
- Increased productivity
- Short or long-term recruitment
- Corporate social responsibility
When to recruit
Work Terms are generally four-months (at least 14 weeks in duration) with a minimum of 35 hours per week (or equivalent), and take place during the fall (Sept. – Dec.), winter (Jan. – Apr.) and summer (May – Aug.) semesters. To recruit for these work terms, post your job and begin the hiring process by the beginning of the semester before your intended start date.
For student availability, view the Programs Available section.
Responsibilities during the work term
Review Employer Responsibilities to understand your responsibilities during the work term.
As professionals in training, co-op students seek fair and competitive wages. Co-op student wages are set by the employer and vary based on the student skill level and employer resources. For help determining wages, view our co-op discipline information or contact a Co-op Employer Development Team member.
Employers must provide 4% vacation pay or time off in lieu during the student's work term under the terms of a Collective Agreement or the Employment Standards Act. Employers may consider granting other benefits such as training, relocation assistance, travel expenses, housing / accommodations or access to company fitness facilities.
Housing and Relocation Assistance
Students normally bear the cost of housing and relocation, but some employers make their job postings more competitive by offering assistance ranging from subsidized housing to covering travel costs.
Funding and Subsidies
Various funding and subsidy programs are available for co-op employers.
Step 2: Create your job posting
Strong job descriptions get more student applications, and balance brevity with detail. We recommend this format:
- Company overview: 1-2 lines about the company and a link to your website.
- Job title and location
- Job description: describe the purpose of the role, who they will report to, and key tasks.
- Qualifications desired
- Types of knowledge (industry, technical, legal, etc.)
- Specific skills (both technical and non-technical)
- Professional qualifications
- Personal attributes
- What the student will learn, experience and contribute
- Wage and benefits
- How to apply and specific documents to include
Submit your job posting
Once submitted, our office reviews the job posting to ensure it aligns with the available co-op disciplines. It is then made viewable to students in relevant disciplines.
For assistance with your job posting, contact us at 902-494-4353 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Step 3: Review applications and interview candidates
Co-op students typically have three days to apply through myCareer. Once the deadline passes, the applications are emailed directly to you. If an application is incomplete or missing requested documents, you may screen out incomplete applications or contact us to prompt the student submit the missing documents.
Interviewing your Candidates
Once your candidates are selected, contact us to arrange interviews. To schedule interviews, simply tell us your dates, times and the candidate's names and let us do the rest. We will confirm the schedule in advance of your arrival.
You may also send your request via our Interview Request Form.
Student availability varies based on course load and concurrent interviews. Please allow for some flexibility as we aim to find convenient interview times for both employers and students.
On-campus interviews are generally held at our office locations. Limited interview rooms are reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis, and may not be "block-booked.” We encourage employers to schedule early to secure a room. We welcome employers to interview on-campus at any time during the term except Exam Week, and recommend employers avoid Study Breaks in February and November.
Telephone interviews: we accommodate telephone interviews through our office.
Video conferencing / Skype: if you have access to facilities in your organization. Video conferencing costs are not covered by the Co-op Office. Please contact us for details.
Step 4: Rank Applicants / Make a Job Offer
Rounds 1 and 2: Rank & Match
During Rank & Match rounds, no direct job offers are made to students. Instead, employers and students participate in Rank and Match:
- Employers post jobs, interview, and rank interviewees by the ranking deadline.
- Once employers have submitted rankings, students then rank all the jobs they have interviewed for. Students can see whether an employer has ranked them #1, ranked them something other than #1 or not ranked them.
- Employer and student rankings are combined to create matches, with the goal of filling a position with the match that yields the lowest score. For example, Imagine an employer interviews three students.
Student 'A' Rank #2 + Employer rank #1 = 3
Student 'B' Rank #1 + Employer rank #3 = 4
Student 'C' Rank #3 + Employer Rank #2 = 5
In this scenario, the employer is matched with Student A, because the sum of their rankings is the lowest of the three scores.
Make Rank & Match work for you
There are several ways you can improve your odds of being matched with a student during Rank & Match.
- Interview and rank as many students as possible;
- Rank in order of preference, not sequentially: Rank & Match allows you to rank only one student #1, but other students can be ranked evenly. This means if you interview four candidates and find them to be equally strong, pick one as #1 and rank the remainder all as #2 (essentially, they're in a tie). This makes it easier to end up with a lower combined score and therefore be matched.
Ranking = job offer
- Only rank candidates that you would hire; ranking a student is considered a job offer. If uninterested in a candidate, do not rank that student.
- If you are uncertain about the funding of a position, do not submit rankings.
- Before the match, please do not make job offers, and avoid discussing rankings with students.
- Almost all candidates remain available until Round 1 ends on Match Day, granting all employers equal access.
Round 3: Recruit in real-time
Round 3 recruiting operates on a first-come, first-serve basis; post your job, review applicants, then contact us to help set up interviews and extend job offers.
If you decide not to rank any students, or do not fill your position during Round 1, your job can be posted again during Round 2 or 3.
If you have questions about the job competition, please contact your Co-op Employer Team member.
Rehiring a student
If you are rehiring a co-op student for a subsequent work term in the same position, simply make your offer of employment and notify us of your intentions. We can also communicate the offer on your behalf if you provide us with details.