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. 

7 Things Interns Want

As interns look for an internship, they are dealing with the highly competitive application and interview processes. However, the reverse is also true – as your business looks for an intern, you’re competing for the best interns with other companies who may have more resources and a stronger draw than you. In order to draw the best interns possible, you must first ask what interns want. Take a look at these seven key factors you can focus on to attract quality talent.

1. A Good Fit for Their Program

An intern who’s studying economics is more likely to look for an internship in a bank than an advertising agency. Many companies think they don’t have any control over this, but it’s all in how you sell it. If you’re looking for talent in a particular area, then make sure your posting makes it clear that you have something to offer in that area. That ad agency may initially seem like a poor choice for an economics major, but when it’s framed correctly the intern could easily see that there’s plenty of money exchanging hands, a business plan in place, and it might be a great opportunity to learn about economics after all.

2. A True Learning Experience

When it comes down to what interns want, the reality is that they are there to learn. Show them they will have a meaningful educational experience with your company or organization and they’ll be much more likely to be excited about the position and snatch it up when it’s offered.

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3. Inclusion

You do want to think about what interns want, but you also want to think about what they don’t want. They don’t want to be coffee-runners who aren’t involved in the day to day activities of your business. Reach out and ask for their opinion on that new marketing plan, or for ideas on how your company can diversify their goods or services. Sometimes the newest voice is the freshest and most inspiring.

4. Clear Job Duties

For many interns, the number one complaint about their experience was that it wasn’t clear what they were there to do. Before you even begin the hiring process, sit down and outline the specific duties and goals of your intern position. During the interview process, be clear about what will be expected. This will not only entice the right type of intern, but it’ll weed out those who won’t be willing or able to complete the tasks you have in mind.

5. Evaluations

What interns want is to do good work and to learn. This is best accomplished when a specific evaluation process is in place. This evaluation could be done once at the end of the internship, or several times throughout. Either way, it should closely mirror a real employee evaluation and give specific feedback on the intern’s strengths and weaknesses.

6. Perks

This could be as simple as donuts on Friday or as lavish as company-paid dinners or half-day Fridays in the summer. If your company offers perks like these to employees, then they should be offered to your interns – and you should be sure your posting mentions it.

7. Their Own Space

Many companies don’t consider where the intern will be working or what tool’s they’ll have at their disposal, but an intern with their own desk and computer is likely to be much happier than an intern who is forced to flutter around looking for open workspace.