Internships can be wonderful things for both your business and the interns themselves. As an intern, you expect to gain valuable experience and use this opportunity to explore your career options, and as a business you hope to get some extra help, a fresh perspective and perhaps, in the long run, a star permanent employee.
Internships can be wonderful things for both your business and the interns themselves. As an intern, you expect to gain valuable experience and use this opportunity to explore your career options, and as a business you hope to get some extra help, a fresh perspective and perhaps, in the long run, a star permanent employee. Essentially, an internship is designed to be mutually beneficial for all parties involved. This, however, is only true when interns are utilised in the correct manner. If you’re considering adding some interns into the mix, make sure you consider these important points.
Guide your interns
It’s all good and well hiring a bunch of fresh-faced, smart and eager interns, but if you leave them to figure things out on their own, you’ll be losing out. Interns require guidance and a set plan they can follow. It’s a good idea to get a list together that clearly explains all their responsibilities as well as your expectations as a business. A developmental plan should be mapped out before your interns start and presented to them on their first day – that way, they can know right from the start what the internship will entail. Pairing interns up with people in higher positions is also an excellent idea – having someone to mentor them can help interns perform at their best. It’s important that the mentor not only provides guidance, but also delivers feedback and constructive criticism on a regular basis. An intern can only expect to improve and grow within the business if he’s aware of how he’s faring on a daily basis.
Use their minds
Interns not only bring renewed energy and zest to a business, but they very often also arrive full of exciting ideas and armed with knowledge that can only benefit the company. Whilst interns will invariably be asked to do certain mundane tasks, their minds shouldn’t be wasted. Their youth, eagerness and willingness to learn should never be underestimated. Including an intern in things such as brainstorming sessions and creative projects can often result in their fresh perspectives giving rise to brilliant ideas. Young people are more often than not very in the know when it comes to the latest trends and developments, so you shouldn’t be afraid to use their minds as your next great campaign or popular product could be courtesy of them. Encourage interns to share their ideas and make suggestions whenever possible.
When it comes to hiring interns, treat the process as if you were hiring a permanent employee. Think of it as filling potential full-time roles within your business – that way you’ll be more inclined to pick the very best of the best. This approach could end up paying off in the long run because if an intern really proves himself and impresses everyone, you may very well end up extending his contract, or better yet, offering him a permanent position. It’s also important to bear in mind that experience isn’t always necessarily everything – sometimes hiring someone based on their personality and fit with the company proves to be more advantageous for everyone concerned. Experience helps, but sometimes it’s a person’s charisma and magnetism that will serve your company in the long run.
It’s great to include your interns on the serious side of things, but it’s also a good idea to include them in organisation events. This will give them an opportunity to meet people in a more relaxed and fun setting and will expose them to the extended culture of the business. It’s a clever way for you to see if your interns are a good fit for your company as well. Making interns feel a part of things can only add to their confidence levels which in turn can only lead to them to produce excellent work.
Give them work that you can inspect
The best litmus test for how an intern is performing is to give him work that you can easily inspect. If the quality of the results can be easily deciphered, then you’ll be able to tell very easily whether or not a particular intern is competing tasks at the desired level. Think carefully about the job you assign to your intern and whether or not the results will allow you to assess their capabilities and the quality of their work.
It’s a privilege and a responsibility to take on interns so before you do, make sure your company is ready to expand in this way and most importantly, ensure you have solid structures in place that will help with the smooth-running of your internship programme.
Financial reimbursement of interns is a must. Manage your interns’ payroll with the help of Sage One Payroll.
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