Thu 20 Nov 2008
Hiring Interns: a Win-Win!
Bringing a college intern into the office is a great decision for many small businesses. If you choose the interns wisely, it can benefit to both the college student and your small business.
Most colleges require that soon-to-be grads complete some type of internship as a requirement for graduation. Some internships are paid, and some are not.
It is completely up to you to decide whether or not to offer monetary compensation for the internship. Some small business owners offer an hourly rate, while others offer a lump sum amount to go toward the intern's college expenses.
For the college students, it's a chance to work in the field for which they have spent the last few years studying. They get some real world experience as well as the college credits required to graduate.
But they aren't the only winners in the arrangement.
For small business owners, taking part in an internship program allows you access to some fresh talent. Many students find their first jobs through their internships. It's a good way for you to meet some of the people who will be looking for jobs upon graduation.
Lowering Your Expenses
It's also a way to supplement your workforce without having to hire additional employees.
For example, if your busy graphic designer is always begging for an assistant designer, bringing in an intern or two could be a perfect low-cost solution.
Some companies take advantage of the program and use the interns only for running errands and making copies. If this is your plan, you need to make that clear to the potential intern before they start.
The point of the program is for the intern to get an idea about what working in their chosen field will be like - not to serve as coffee runners.
That isn't to say you should put them in charge of a project, and it's fine to have them do some administrative work. But, they should also be given the chance to work in their fields.
This will give them the experience they need, and it will give you a chance to observe their performance.