Because we have been so successful in hiring interns for our business and several of our clients have expressed interest in learning more about interns, we wanted to share the following:
Every employer knows how difficult hiring a new employee can be. The process can take months and in the end result in no good prospects or perhaps a new hire that just does not fit the position or the company. A better approach might be to hire an intern as a low-risk investment in finding a great new employee.
Sure, you have to train interns and they don’t have much—if any—real job experience, but after the internship is completed you can count on them being much more qualified than outside applicants. View the internship process as an extended interview, a preview of how the individual would work as a full-time employee within your company. Young workers are enthusiastic, highly motivated, and always looking to learn. If you respect and encourage your intern, he or she will provide you with fresh ideas, a new outlook, and possible increased productivity.
Seems like an easy enough option; hire an intern and your problems will be solved. Not so fast. There are requirements for a successful internship:1. A staff member willing to commit time into training/mentoring. 2. An hourly pay, but a much lower one than what you would pay full-time employees. There are tighter laws recently on unpaid internships, so pay at least minimum wage to avoid any problems. 3. A plan outlining what the intern will be getting out of the internship (projects, objectives, goals, resume-building experiences). 4. Work assignments an intern can actually learn from (other than filing, making coffee, etc.). 5. Detailed guidelines and a routine or schedule. You don’t need to baby your intern, but some sort of guidance is definitely needed. 6. Clear communication: Exactly what you want from them as well as constructive feedback on the work they have done.
Ways to find great interns:1. Contact local college/university career centers. There are many eager and educated students looking for internships. 2. Stay in contact with department heads/chairs at schools. If you plan on having a continual internship program, get to know professors at local schools. They will promote your internship to other professors and students. 3. Post your internship opportunity on online internship searches. -Check here for a list of some of the best sites: http://internships.about.com/od/internsites/tp/internsites.htm -And some others: InternshipPrograms.com, InternJobs.com, Internweb.com, Idealist.org
We at FBD2 have always benefiting from the interns who have worked with us. Our greatest tool for finding distinguished interns has been the University at Buffalo’s Career Resource Center. Whenever we are looking for a new intern, we contact the CRC and post the opening on the internship opportunities site. This is a great resource if your business is located in WNY, but if not, check out your local universities for similar resources.
Tell us about your experience with interns!