To Hire an Intern or Not?

Why Hire An Intern?

With the ever increasing demand for the highest quality candidates, finding the best is like finding a needle in a haystack for many small businesses. With the big name corporations holding the competitive advantage, small businesses need to use alternative methods to bring in quality candidates. One solution is very simple: hire an intern. The intern position has many redeeming qualities that not only make business sense but also has the power to propel the productivity of your small business.

The Obvious Benefits of Hiring an Intern

The role of the intern can prove to be an extremely valuable asset to your company. On the surface level, hiring an intern enables you to bring in a new employee who works diligently for little or no money. Interns possess this mindset because they are looking for any opportunity to showcase their talents and hopefully jumpstart their careers. As a result, hiring an intern greatly increases the productivity of your company because you are able to get more work done everyday without denting your budget. However, herein lies a very common pitfall for many businesses that hire interns.

The golden rule of the intern position from a managerial perspective should be “never abuse thy intern.” With all of the positive benefits an intern can bring to a company, many organizations hire an intern to simply perform all the tasks no one else wants to do. These responsibilities, which tend to be tedious and time consuming, easily lead to a disgruntled intern. Now, a disgruntled intern may not sound very frightening and may not have an adverse effect on a large corporation, but for a small business it can be very harmful.

If your intern is unhappy, he or she will either quit or not perform well. This results in you having to do twice the work and it slows down your productivity. Also, this fall out throws a wrench into your system, especially if you made plans for the future based on the work of your intern being completed. As a result, listed below are several tips to ensure your intern is happy:

  • Make him or her feel like part of the team
  • Emphasize the importance of his or her work
  • Give tasks that differ from time to time
  • Give them a task they can own and complete from beginning to end
  • Show how he or she is positively affecting the company
  • Give constant feedback

Following these tips helps you get the highest level of productivity out of your intern.

The Hidden Benefits of Hiring an Intern

In many ways, the primary reason for hiring an intern is to train a new full-time employee. As a small business, it can be difficult to compete with the big name companies in terms of attracting quality job candidates. However, if you hire an intern, you have control over the quality of your candidates. In this sense, the purpose of hiring an intern is to have a fully trained employee who is well versed in your company and available for any opening. This individual is significantly more qualified than the majority of candidates who may be applying from outside the company.

The More the Merrier

After you have made the decision to hire an intern, you may want to consider bringing on more than one. There are three primary reasons why multiple interns are good for your company. The first reason is because the interns are with people their age and adjust to the office setting much more smoothly. This holds especially true in a small business because odds are the employees are already a very closely knit group. Bringing in a single intern may result in that individual taking some time to fit in. Along with the camaraderie comes the second reason: competition. Hiring multiple interns results in them competing to be the best intern in the office, and you will be reaping all the benefits. The competition causes them to work harder and get more done for your company. The final reason is because you now have a choice when looking for a new full-time employee. This choice increases your odds of finding the best candidate for an open position with your company.

Experience is Priceless

If you cannot afford to pay your intern there is no reason to fear. College students these days will do almost anything to gain the experience that hopefully leads them to the job of their dreams. If you are unable to offer compensation for your intern, you have to be proactive in the attempt to build up a reputable name for your internship program. Because word travels fast around a college campus, if your intern tells a friend or two how great his internship is, you will soon have students knocking down your door for the opportunity. And if the younger students see the end result of your internship program is a full-time job you can plan on having every college student looking for an internship banging down your door.

Recruit the Head of the Class

Another proactive approach that enhances the reputation of your internship program is to work with colleges and universities to set up a Work-Study Co-op. Basically, this is a program that enables the students to easily juggle an internship and school simultaneously. Establishing this type of program increases the number of internship candidates, which in turn grants you the privilege of selecting the most qualified student. This choice results in finding the best fit for your company and proves to be extremely beneficial in the long run.

In the end, hiring an intern can easily result in a win-win situation for both your intern and your company. Your intern benefits from the experience and the opportunity to begin his or her career after college. Your company benefits because you increase your productivity and hopefully train your next full-time employee. If done right, the intern position is a beautiful thing.

Source- employer.careerbuilder

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