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Ready to hire some college kids for the summer?

You could probably use the help, so I’ll tell you how to get them aware that you’re hiring, as well as what characteristics to look for.

I’m Ron Ramsden, a DYB coach and a painting contractor in Massachusetts.

Every year, we hire 2 or 3 college kids.

I want to share with you how we get them and what we look for in our hires.

Friends and Family

We ask around and people always share with us if they know someone that’s looking for a job.

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We also ask our networking groups.

Typically, college kids are ready to start work around May 15th.

They have to leave around August 20th.

When you hire, keep in consideration that this is their vacation time during the summer, be flexible.

You have to look at it this way, they’ve gone to school all year long and this is actually their time to rest, or make money and to pay for college.

You should be a little flexible with their schedule, give them a day off on Fridays and Saturdays.

I usually ask about that in the beginning of the summer.

I ask them how is it going, when is their next vacation plan, etc.

Let’s get back to this, where do we find them?

We love college kids or high schoolers going to college, but we really like those college kids, 19 to 23 years old.

Like I said we ask Friends and family. People know that we hire.

After awhile you get a reputation of hiring college students in the summer.


We put videos out there on Facebook, as well as Facebook ads.

We make sure everybody knows that we are hiring college students.

Past and Present Employees

These are our go-to people.

Even if our employees don’t know any college kids reach out to your past college kids and ask them if they are coming back or if they have any friends that are looking

Christmas break, for us, is a very busy time of the year.

That week of Christmas, during Christmas, and New Year’s, we do a lot of commercial painting because the offices are closed down at that time of the year.

We actually reach out, way ahead of time, and ask the college guys or girls if they want to make some money during that week.

I always get in touch with them earlier in the year, around spring

I always ask them if they are coming back or what they are doing.

I touched base with a past college student employee and he said he wasn’t looking for work, but lucky for me he ended up having a buddy looking for a job.

Two thumbs up for my past and present employees!

Flyers at school

If you are around a local college, or close enough to it you can put out a yard sign that they can see when driving down the street every day.

You can actually go and ask the college if you can post flyers around the school.

There are also websites out there for college kids to find summer jobs, post it on there.

You never know.

They might start working for your summer job and decide that they love it so much and are not going back to college.

Now for the good stuff…

What do we look for in a college recruit for our summer help?

First things first, the characteristics.

One of the first questions I ask is, “do you play on a team?”

The reason is that if they play on a team, they are used to taking direction.

They are committed, that means they are going to show up.

Ready to play or work.

They work well with others.

One of the other things is that they are not an independent.

They are not a gamer who is sitting on the couch all day.

Although there is nothing wrong with that.

A lot of people make a living playing video games or working on video games.

Those tend not to be the person who wants to carry a 24-foot ladder around in 90° weather.

That’s a big plus for us is if they play on a team

One of our kids who is not coming back this year, worked for us for two years.

He played lacrosse and also taught lacrosse on weekends.

We didn’t get him on the weekends but he was an unbelievable team player during Mondays through Fridays.

He loved to work a lot of hours, loved to be outside, and was also very athletic.

One of the other guys who were on our team, he was a basketball player.

I think he’s about 6 feet tall.

He was great for those high spots, no ladder needed.

His name was Tim and he was with us, I think for 3 summers.

Also, do they have a job history?

I tend not to be the first job they’ve ever had in their life.

I want to know about their history, If they’ve worked at a local grocery store or whatever they did.

It’s not a bad sign that they’ve never worked for someone, but it tends to work out better through the history I have had with other college kids.

They have had a work history prior, because they know what to expect.

They are used to getting up and having that commitment of actually having to show up, punch in and work a job.

We want to make sure they have a spark.

What is a spark?

It’s when I am walking with them from the vehicle to the coffee shop, I want them along side of me, not 20 steps behind me, with their pants halfway down their butt.

I want them to have the enthusiasm, to be excited.

Those are a couple of things that I always look for.

Another thing to discuss is respnse rate.

Most college kids are all text savy, very rarely do they pick up a phone call.

I got a text today, regarding one of those college kids.

He started asking me questions and when I asked him something, he couldn’t reply back.

When I text someone back, to acknowledge or to ask a question, I want some quickness in their response.

I know they have things going on in their lives but I don’t want to wait 3 days to hear back from them.

This means he’s not really interested, it’s just something he’s got to do.

Discuss hours of availability

That’s a big thing.

Like I said, we encourage them to have some fun during the summer.

We also plan some fun things for the team to do.

I don’t want someone who is only available a couple days a week.

We’ve had that before and it just doesn’t work out for us.

Some of the guys and girls that we find want to make a lot of money or as much as they can.

We have had one of the guys go on to be an eye doctor.

He was with us for 3 or 4 years.

He came back last year for 3 weeks.

He called up and was like, “Hey I have 3 weeks in between an internship and school, do you have any work?”

We welcomed him with open arms.

He was great.

Steve! If you are out there reading this, If your eye thing doesn’t work out, we will hire you back.

These are the guys we are looking for. We love that spark.

If a past employee can give us a month’s worth of work, we usually have open arms for that.

I hope this helped you out.

We are in the middle of April and we already have our college kids lined up to work during the summer.

Get the word out and get some extra help for the summer, for the busy time.

I’m Ron Ramsden, you can contact me at

Find me on Facebook, I’d love to chat with you.

You can even pick up the phone and we can chat away.

You can also find out more about DYB, which I am a coach of;

Thanks for hanging out.

I hope this helped and I hope you actually have a successful and profitable summer.

Take care!

About the Author

Ron Ramsden is the owner of the successful Ramsden 1-800-PAINTING, who implemented the DYB SYSTEM, and crushed it in 2015, and now coaches other painting contractors around the nation to do the same.