Many companies set up both paid and unpaid internship programs that bring college students into the office to complete specific tasks. There are benefits associated with an internship program for both the intern and the company. While the company is able to get entry-level tasks completed at little to no cost, the intern is able to gain valuable work experience and even develop some business relationships in his or her field. If you are thinking about hiring an intern soon, understand what is required and what you should expect from the process.
You Need a Job Description
The last thing you and your team need is an idle college intern sitting around the office staring blankly into space. You need to have a professional job description prepared that outlines internship duties and responsibilities. This will help prospective candidates determine if this is an internship they want to apply for, and it will also help a self-starter stay busy each day.
You Should Have Specific Projects in Mind
While a job description is a veritable necessity, you should also think about specific projects you would like this individual to complete. This should be something that will give the intern valuable experience, and simply filing papers away day after day in a filing cabinet is not ideal. On the other hand, assisting a busy executive with his or her workload in various ways may sound far more appealing to the intern.
The Work Schedule Should Be Flexible
Interns are typically college students, and most students take a full load of classes each semester. In addition, if your position is not paid and is simply providing the intern with experience and references, the individual may also have a secondary job to help pay the bills. Your position should therefore have flexible work hours. You should not expect an intern to be available for work more than ten hours per week in most cases.
You Should Write an Ad That Sells the Description
When preparing to hire an intern, you should approach the process in the same way you approach the standard hiring process for a salaried employee. This begins by preparing an ad that will likely be disbursed to the local colleges in your area. The ad should sell the prospective intern on why the internship is beneficial to him or her, such as by elaborating on the type of work experience he or she will gain. It should also list responsibilities, duties or projects that the intern will be responsible for.
You Should Prepare for a Professional Interview
You should plan to interview several candidates for the internship position. The interview process should be conducted in the same fashion as any normal hiring process. This is beneficial for the intern because it gives him or her the opportunity to develop or refine their interview skills. It also helps to ensure that you bring the right individual into your team.
You Can Outsource the Hiring Process
You may not think about outsourcing the internship hiring process for your business, but RPO (recruitment process outsourcing) can save you a substantial amount of time and energy with the hiring process. Just as you would outsource the review of resumes, the initial screening process and more to a third party with salaried positions, you can do the same for your internship positions.
You Should Be Prepared for Creativity and Ingenuity
Today’s college students can be a valuable addition to any organization. This is a generation that is very advanced technologically. Their unique insight and approach to business can enhance your organization through creativity and ingenuity, so plan to be receptive to their approach to tackling tasks.
Some businesses will hire one intern per semester, and others may hire a team of interns to work collectively. Regardless of your approach, a successful internship program can enrich your business in many ways. Be sure to handle any administrative issues as well in order to develop a successful internship program. You will want to think about things such as your small business insurance plan, a successful HR management and payment outline, as well as a quality mentorship program. As you delve deeper into the possibility of bringing interns into your office environment, keep these points in mind.
About the Author: Rick DelGado is a successful professional turned successful freelance writer. While his niche is in new technologies and how they benefit us and our planet, Rick's prior expereince in the workforce makes him an expert on all things professional development and corporate growth.