A guide for host companies
1. Make a commitment
The placement period should give the placementee the opportunity to strut their stuff, and this takes a little time. Try to work with them for two to six months.
2. Be clear from the beginning
Placements shouldn’t replace a selection process for upcoming roles. Before the placement starts, explain whether there is the chance of a job at the end, or if there is not. Similarly, let them know what they will be learning and doing, and stick to it.
3. Choose fairly
Use a transparent system for selection and be able to explain to anyone how you choose those who will get a placement.
4. Pay them and treat them right, and expect the same in return
We mean at least minimum wage. This is about investing in the best emerging talent to secure the longevity of a world-class industry, and that's got to be worth more than a bus fare. The number of hours worked by a placement in any week should not exceed 50 and they should not replace a requirement for a paid member of staff. It works two ways. Work is a place of business and you should be able to expect that the placementee will behave appropriately.
5. More than just a great cuppa
The placementee should be given the opportunity to cut their teeth on a real brief and become part of the live action. If they are not learning, there is no reciprocity in the agreement.
6. Show them the bigger picture
The placement should be given an induction and introduction to the structure of the company and a tour of the premises. They need to know the nature of your business. Allow them to sit in on meetings, pitches and presentations if relevant and possible.
7. Inspire and connect with them
It's all about the people. Assign your placementee a dedicated mentor in the form of a Design or Creative Director. Have regular (weekly) catch ups to nip any problems in the bud and make the most of skills and opportunities. A mentor should help with their long-term development, as well as the day to day. You may want to consider how you can help them in both a personal and professional sense through developing goals, demonstration, learning objectives, inspiring confidence, personal development, responding to feedback, encouragement.
8. Evaluate their performance and guide them forwards
Employ them or give them an exit interview. If you're not employing them offer constructive feedback and a portfolio review. Share your contacts - if you're not actively recruiting, flag them up to others you know who are.
9. Know that this is a two way process
Professional development, management experience, skills in articulating and selecting ideas, guidance, inspiration, a fresh perspective; you should get as much out of this process as the person on the placement, so enjoy.
10. And finally. Let us know how you both get on
Keep us posted and share any thoughts on things that worked and things that didn’t