Hiring and Supporting Student Employees
Open student positions must be posted in Handshake for a minimum of three business days. If you have questions, visit Handshake FAQ page, email us at email@example.com or call us at (269) 387-2745.
Individual units determine their employment needs, job descriptions, and pay rates (within university guidelines). Campus units commit to pay, train, monitor, and supervise student employees.
- Sample documents and interview questions
Post jobs and interview students
1. Review helpful resources to hire efficiently and ethically:
- WMU Student Employee Work Hour Policy and Breaks
- Quick Guide to Work Study
- Americans with Disabilities Act
2. Create a job description and post in Handshake
- Use the WMU job description template.
- Review campus pay rates and determine a fair hourly wage based on work to be performed and experience required.
- Post the position in Handshake for a minimum of three weekdays.
3. Interview candidates
- Tips to conducting successful interviews
- Be sure to ask questions that are legal. View samples of illegal and poorly-chosen interview questions.
- Use behavioral questions (Tell me about a time when...) or situational questions (How would you handle...) for best indicators of performance.
- View sample competency-based interview questions.
1. Offer position to student
- Offers should be made via phone call and followed up with an emailed letter
- Sample offer and rejection templates
- Resources from HR
- Confidentiality statement to be signed by student employees
- Complete the WMU Student Employment Eligibility Form with the student
2. Enter student in Workflow
- When a student is hired, staff from the hiring department must input student record in Workflow. To get access to Workflow, go to PeopleSoft Access and Reporting.
- Once approved you may enter new student employee via GoWMU. When hiring an international student has not yet received a social security number, use 99911222 in Workflow.
- Once the student employee receives official social security number, make the change in Student Employment Online Transactions.
- Employees can complete their I-9 and direct deposit through GoWMU, under the Employee Self-Service link.
- If direct deposit is not set up, employee with be issued a debit card by Payroll.
- New hires must provide required I-9 documents to Human Resources located in Seibert Administration Building within 72 hours of starting a job.
Training and support
Make sure employee complies with the WMU Student Hour Policy set forth by the university.
Online training on transferable skills for student employees
Online training on transferable skills such as communication, conflict, problem solving, time management, diversity and inclusion, positive attitude, initiative, work ethic, and others.
Ongoing training and support:
Employing department is responsible for providing training and support to their student employees.
On the first day:
Provide a job description, direct supervisor and space for belongings.
Identify job duties, samples, directions or others supporting documents.
Set expectations for work hours, professionalism, confidentiality, dress, etc.
Share WMU Telephone and Voice Mail Procedures with your students if pertinent to their position.
During the first week:
Pair the new hire with a peer for on-the-job training, develop a department specific training guide for new hires, and schedule blocks of time with supervisor for training.
Encourage student feedback; ask for input and expect to provide the same.
The need for special accommodations, due to disabilities or other reasons, must be reported to the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE). OIE will help determine what accommodations can be provided.
On a recurring basis:
Evaluate the student's performance 1-2 times per year using competency-based performance evaluation. (Fillable pdf version of the competency-based performance evaluation.)
Provide a safe, inclusive environment for the student to perform at their best.
Lunch schedules may vary by department and can be adjusted to meet departmental needs. A lunch period of 30 minutes or more is non-paid time. Student staff lunch break is optional, but not required. Lunch break may be accommodated at departments discretion. A lunch break is required for full time employees.
Supervisors are expected to provide appropriate recognition for work well done by students and regularly provide feedback when work falls below expectations.
The campus celebrates the work of student employees annually during Student Employment Appreciation Week in February. Supervisors may nominate individual students for the annual Student Employee of the Year recognition.
- A performance evaluation should be administered at least once a year to review the student employee's performance, offer direction for improvement, and note exemplary work. The evaluation is based on the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) career readiness competencies.
- Student employees must perform as expected by the supervisor. Explicit expectations should be provided to the student upon hire and reinforced on a regular basis. Students need to be given clear direction on changes needed to improve performance. When action is needed, supervisors follow these levels of direct action: provide a verbal warning, a written warning, and - if necessary - dismissal or termination. For details, review the Employee Conduct and Disciplinary Action section on HR website.
- Supervisor support for this process is available through Career and Student Employment Services or Human Resources. Supervisors are encouraged to address problems when they occur to reduce escalation.
- To address issues, you can use this form to have written documentation.
- Students are afforded due process and can protest a termination. This is done by contacting Career and Student Employment Services. Depending on the situation, a meeting between the parties may be needed. Student employees (with the exception of teaching assistants) are not represented by a union.
- Additional resources for supervisors and students are Office of Ombudsman, Human Resources, Office of Institutional Equity, or Student Conduct.
Support for non-work issues
Referral process for faculty/staff concerned about a student
- Talk to the student to share your concerns; attempt to help the student understand that they could benefit from help.
- Inform the student that you will be referring them for help.
- Complete the online Concern Form or follow the link in GoWMU. The completed form will be reviewed by the case manager, who will follow up with the student and person has submitted the concern.
Self-referral process for a student
- Complete the online Student Concern Form or follow the link in GoWMU.
- The completed for will be reviewed by the case manager who will follow up with you to determine the next steps.
If you suspect that any employee could harm others, themselves or have an emergency, contact WMU Department of Public Safety at (269) 387-5555 or 911.
Terminating student employment
- To terminate a student employee, the hiring agent should use the Student Employee Online Transaction form.
- Upon leaving employment, whether employee-initiated or termination, employees should complete an exit interview. This process can help improve employment for students by providing helpful feedback about supervisors, work load, and the department.