Hiring Interns

Posted by Heba Asaad Brittany Eppich on August 17, 2016

Can We Guess Your Role in HR?

As of 2015 around 51.2% of eligible interns turned into full time hires. (http://www.naceweb.org/internships/outcomes-returning-vs-nonreturning-interns.aspx) So what makes up the 51.2% that do get hired and the remaining who don’t? Let’s delve into the benefits of hiring interns and when a company should avoid hiring them.

  1. The Prospect of Training a Future Employee
  2. How an Intern can help grow the Company Culture
  3. Expanding the Employee Retention Rate
  4. Compensation: Low-Cost Labor

A successful internship program looks like this: start by setting up interviews just like you would for a new employee. Ask questions and evaluate them to see how well they are at blending into the company culture. It is key to make sure that you have an ongoing pipeline of interns to look at because they can become an ongoing pipeline of new hires for you to tap into.

From there start training them and build what a realistic overview for them to partake in. Set up projects and tasks that are meaningful to the job role. I.e. if they are a finance intern, look into budgets or sheets that they can help partake it. Don’t hand off menial administration tasks that creates your intern to spend more time on their phone and social media. By having tasks that give a realistic portrayal of the job role that they could eventually go into it gives them the responsibilities and respect that they search for when going into the work force.

Having interns participate in the jobs daily tasks also means participating in different events that take place such as Team Building or Team Lunches. Giving that sense of a warm company culture will help create a sense of belonging for them and are most likely going to want a job post school in an environment they already enjoy.

And this can all be done at a lower cost. Some of the perks on interns besides training future employees, creating an employee retention program out of them, is that interns have lower salaries than fulltime employees. With these fresh applicants they possess a high drive, and easily encouraged to do their job and get the most out of learning from the internship experience.

There are reasons to not hire interns and those have to do with you and your company.

  1. If you are not ready to be a GOOD intern supervisor. This means providing your interns with the necessary training and mentorship, having a guideline of what they should hopefully accomplish, so they come out with good skill sets.
  2. Replacing them for a paid/full time employee because they are cheap labor.

A well planned and organized recruitment process is key for hiring the right people to the right jobs. Internship programs should be treated the same. At the end of the internship program conduct an exit interview. Some talking points should be about what goals each individual had for the internship and if they saw them met. This can give companies access to some ways they can improve not only their internship program but the company environment as well. When conducting an internship program, be mindful of the long term benefits this initial short term hire has because your most future qualified workers stem from these interns which will result in your company’s revenue.