Internship programs, when done properly, can provide a great amount of value to both the intern and the company hiring them.
If both parties go into an internship with the right attitude, lifelong relationships can be forged to the benefit of everyone involved.
If you find yourself wondering, “Should I hire an intern?” then ask yourself these three (3) questions:
1. Why do I want to hire an intern?
If you are just pondering the idea of hiring an intern because you think it seems like a good way to get cheap or free labor, you might want to reconsider. Neither you, nor your intern are going to have a positive experience if you go into the process with this attitude.
Some good reasons to want to hire an intern include wanting to bring fresh perspectives into your business, grooming potential future employees and cultivating good PR by providing valuable opportunities in your community. Always make sure you are starting down this path with the right reasons at heart.
2. What do I have to offer an intern?
If the only answer you have to this question is work experience, then you just need to hire a paid employee. There are plenty of opportunities for new graduates to acquire work experience, you need to offer something more if you want to attract great interns.
Are you able to offer personal coaching from yourself or another top employee? Will your intern be able to play an active role in company projects that they wouldn’t have access to as an entry-level employee?
An internship should provide opportunities that truly make it beneficial to the intern and the company.
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3. Do I have a job to offer an intern?
While it is not absolutely crucial to have a job to offer an intern who impresses you during their internship, you should at least understand that this is the hope of just about every possible intern you will come across.
In other words, if employment at the end of the program is not an option, the responsible decision would be to let them know this upfront.
Not every intern is going to be a fit for your company, but you may want to consider making room for one who is if you start an internship at your business.
If you really don’t have the ability to open another paid permission, consider reaching out to contacts who may be interested in hiring a vetted intern who has impressed you.
This was originally published on the Genesis HR Solutions blog.