Student Unions are an untapped channel for student recruiters
Student Unions play a vital role in employability, but student recruiters often overlook them. Here’s why you shouldn’t.
Student Unions are registered charities that offer independent advice and support, represent students academically and provide social activities through clubs, societies and events.
While there are more than 650 of them representing over seven million students in higher and further education they operate independently. Each Student Union is very different, reflecting the needs of their students as well as the personality and culture of their institution.
Ensuring that students receive a high quality education experience virtually and safely is a priority at the moment, and so is employability. As such, they offer a myriad of ways for students to develop and are a hotbed of talent for student recruiters.
Developing new skills
Student societies are the lifeblood of Student Unions. Lauren Huxley, a former Leeds University Union Officer recently took part in the ISE Webinar on ‘how to work with student societies and unions virtually’.
She explains: “Student Unions offer an abundance of opportunities for students that not only enhance their uni experience, but develop incredibly valuable skills such as leadership, communication, team working and problem solving.
“For many students, coming to university is a chance they take to try new things and push themselves outside of their comfort zone, and we all know that’s when we learn most.
“The commitment and work ethic it shows to then also choose to take on additional responsibilities, such as rep roles or as a society committee member, really cannot be underestimated.
“University is challenging at the best of times and to volunteer your time to improve the experience of others not only develops many different skills but shows strong values, a commitment to others and a willingness to grow.”
Leeds University Student Union employs around 400 students in any given year. As well as retail and hospitality roles there are also positions in highly skilled areas from creating digital content and running social media channels for Chinese students to managerial roles.
Antonia Frezza, Director of People & Culture at Leeds University Union joined Lauren in the ISE webinar. She says:
“Directing a musical watched by hundreds of people, live streaming commentary on election night, editing a weekly newspaper and hosting an action-packed robot wars tournament are all things that you’ll find students doing every day at their Students’ Union. Not just to grow their CV or become more employable, but because they’re driven to make friends, have fun, and dive into their passions.
“Students are leading others, solving problems, managing projects, and driving change on a small and large scale. They might not realise it, but they already have access to the most sought after skills to set them up for success. Don’t underestimate the value of working with Student Unions to find the brightest talent for your organisation.”