To Hire or Not to Hire an Intern

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Why you must hire an Intern

Qualified interns are a tremendous asset to companies. They are not free or cheap labour: they are contributors who bring a wealth of knowledge, skills and enthusiasm into the office. 

 

  • Resources.Interns have the whole university at their disposal. They can access databases and information that I couldn’t without a subscription, and they can hit up a professor for help if they need to. In that environment, they’re used to learning, to digging, to finding answers and they have (or the university does) the resources to do so.
  • Fresh Perspective.Anytime you talk business with someone outside of your industry, team, or day-to-day operations, you’re often surprisingly inspired by what you learn. The same goes for an internship program. By bringing in students who aren’t inside your company every day, they can offer a fresh perspective on your business, strategies, and plans.
  • Mentorship Opportunities. Many employees look to mentor young people. An internship program provides an opportunity for your current employees to connect with these college students, meet with them, speak with them, and ultimately – mentor them. This mentorship program will be helpful for your business’s culture as well as the student’s well-being and continued learning.
  • Good interns turn out to be some of the best full-time employees.Again, this point may be obvious but it is important. Internships are not just a way of attracting full-time candidates; they’re a way of finding and hiring new full-time employees who are very familiar with your corporate culture. Our former interns tend to stay with our company longer because they were able to learn about the company before accepting full-time.

However, don’t hire an intern (or several) for any of these reasons below:

  • You need the “free labour.” An internship isn’t something to take lightly—you need to provide mentorship and training for the student or young professional in order for them to learn something. An intern should not be a replacement for a paid employee; however, they should have real goals and leave the opportunity with additional skills for their career.
  • You don’t have any clear goals in mind for the program. Just because you need additional help does not mean you should hire interns. Instead, you can consider hiring temporary employees or contractors to help with your workload. If you do want to bring on interns, consider what goals you’d like them to reach by the end of the internship period.

 

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