Telecommuting is a normal employment practice for much of the working world – here are the reasons it can benefit both you and your interns:
Increase your applicant pool
Internships aren’t just restricted by location when they work virtually. You’re limited to students with transportation and flexible scheduling. Broaden your search for interesting, qualified students and you may be impressed! Offering an open-ended schedule means students can work at night, between classes, or even on weekends. Just make sure you offer enough hours to draw candidates who need to fulfill academic requirements.
Save space and resources
Virtual interns don’t require desks, computers, or building access. They’ll also need a pretty tight web-based training schedule, which means less time during your work day devoted to answering questions. It’s not that you don’t want to help – it’s that help is time, and time is, after all, money.
For most modern college students, video conferencing, email, and instant messaging are comfortable and familiar methods of communication. If anything, you’re going to be the one who needs to adjust! It’s true that in-person communication is an important part of learning professionalism, and that teaching professionalism is your role if you’re going to supervise interns. But modern offices use electronic communication, and young people use it almost exclusively. If most of your conversations with your new intern involve typing and hitting “send,” they are still conversations!
If you’re on the fence, consider how many of your daily tasks – including the tasks you would likely allocate to an intern – are completed via computer, with no additional resources necessary?
Telecommuting is the future of much employment. Hire a virtual intern and get in sync with the way the world does business – even internships! Post your internship opportunity on Bridge.jobs and see how many more applicants you get when you mention “virtual intern.”