5 things employers should know about hiring interns

Hiring interns is a great way to diversify your workforce, get an influx of new ideas, and play a role in advancing the education of a hard-worker, but there are a few things every employer must know before they decide an internship program is the right choice. Let’s take a look at five of the most essential things to know.

1. Interns Are Not Free Labor

It’s not uncommon for companies to misunderstand the role of an intern, and to not realize that if you’re not paying an intern, then you are legally required to provide an educational experience for them. There are specific guidelines that must be followed. For example, an intern cannot take the place of a regular employee and must work under close supervision of the existing staff. The experience must benefit the intern, and it must be clear up front that they’re entitled to an educational experience – but no pay.

2. Interns Aren’t There Just to Get Your Coffee

Remember that interns are there to learn. Getting coffee and lunch for the office could certainly be a valuable learning experience, after all, many entry-level jobs they may get would require doing just that, but it shouldn’t be the entirety of their experience. They’re there to learn an array of valuable skills that could benefit them once they join the workforce full time.

3. Paid Interns Should Be Treated as Regular Employees in a Number of Ways

Some companies do provide payment to their interns. Remember that if you choose to do so, then your interns should have the benefits that come along with being paid employees. Look at the employee rights in your state to discover what rights a paid intern has.

4. Interns May Not Fit the Mold You Think

When many companies think of interns, they think of college students with little to no work experience. In reality, this isn’t always the case. Some interns are unemployed adults who are looking to gain experience in a new field, or women entering the workforce after staying at home with their children for many years. As you cast the net for interns, and think about how interns can fit into your business, don’t just think about the stereotypical college interns. You may find an intern with a wealth of professional experience who can add more than you imagined to your workplace.

5. Hiring Interns is a Great Way to Get a Unique Perspective

There are many advantages to working with interns, but one of the big ones is their unique perspective on your business. While the primary purpose of their internship is to learn about your industry and business, don’t be so focused on teaching that you forget you may have a thing or two to learn. For example, when a company’s been working on a particular project for a year or more, they may be so focused on the research and time they have already put into it that they forget to look at other perspectives. An intern may not have a ton of professional experience in your field, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be a valuable resource that helps instill new energy and ideas into your company.

As you can see, there’s a lot to learn about hiring interns. The good news is that the information you need is available to you and once you begin the process you’ll likely find that the benefits far outweigh the learning curve. Start searching for your intern at www.bridge.jobs today by opening a free account. 

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About bridge.jobs

Bridge is a program that focuses on connecting employers and students in Rhode Island. The goal of Bridge is to match Rhode Island employers with talented students looking to gain valuable professional experience. Applying knowledge and skills acquired in college to a professional setting is a vital component of a student’s college education. Students who gain relevant internship experience are better prepared for full-time employment after graduation. By hiring interns, employers gain qualified, career-driven young professionals as employees. Student bring with them exposure to cutting edge practices and technology, new insights and philosophies, flexibility and a thirst for knowledge. bRIdge has a particular focus on connecting students and employers from specialized fields such as Business, Science, IT, Technology, Health, Design, Engineering and Manufacturing. The bRIdge website allows employers to post paid or unpaid internships online and directly reach out to a vast and talented pool of students. College students and recent graduates can sign up and start looking for an appropriate professional learning opportunity in minutes. bRIdge is a program of the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) and RISLA’s College Planning Center of Rhode Island. RISLA has joined up with Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Rhode Island (AICURI), the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education (RIBGHE) and the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce to bring together academia, business and community. If you have any questions about this program or if you need any assistance, please feel free to contact us.

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