Is Your Company Actually Fit for Interns?

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Have you ever considered hiring students for your company? Hiring an intern or having an internship program could probably be the next big move for your company. Students can bring fresh, new ideas to the table and their constant energy will definitely be welcome in a busy office. However, there are a couple of things you will need to take into consideration before deciding to hire interns in your company.

In order to help you make up your mind, we have gathered both the reasons why you should hire an intern and the reasons why you shouldn’t.

When should you hire an intern?

You’re willing to mentor and teach them: Interns will need someone to look up to and this is where you’ll come into play. If you love sharing your knowledge, this is the perfect opportunity to do so; you will be able to shape someone’s future with your experience. Doesn’t that sound lovely?
You’re committed to their real-world training: Your regular training probably won’t do when it comes to interns. Remember these graduates have had little to no experience at all working in an office, so it’s important to show them the ropes of the professional world (e.g. teaching them the right terms and procedures).
You have the time to evaluate them: Training is not the only responsibility when you have interns, they expect feedback, and lots of it. You will need to sit them down, go point by point, explain what they did wrong and why, as well as congratulating them for a job well done. This is where your mentoring skills will also come in handy.
You’re open to new and fresh ideas, often from another perspective: Being encouraged to have their own opinions and being so connected with others—as well as technologically savvy—has made this generation very straight-forward, so take advantage of that and take what they have to say into consideration. Who knows? They might even solve an old problem with a fresh new approach.
You’re willing to give them real and meaningful tasks/responsibilities: Interns are not your personal assistants. They’re there for a reason and fetching your coffee is not one of them. Let them shadow you and learn from you, but also give them some responsibility, that way, they will know they can be trusted and put more effort into their job.
You’re willing to eventually hire them: If you’re hiring interns, you need to think about the possibilities of offering them a full-time job after the internship is over. That’s probably what they’ll be expecting, especially if you have more than one in the competition.

When shouldn’t you hire an intern?

You don’t have the time or the resources to train them properly: Having interns requires a lot of patience and effort. Remember they’re not your typical already-trained employee. They’ve probably never worked in an actual office before and lack the usual skills you expect from a regular employee. So, you’ll definitely need to take the time to properly mentor them. It’s all or nothing when it comes to having interns. So, if you feel your managers—or you—aren’t up for the challenge, then an internship program is not for your company.
You only need a person to fulfill clerical duties: If you’re looking for a personal assistant or a secretary, then an intern is definitely not the solution for you. They’re not only there to learn the basics of an office, they’re also hired to help in a specific department in order to put what they learned in the classroom into practice.
You don’t have money to hire a full-time employee: If the only reason you have to hire an intern is that you don’t have enough budget to hire a part-time or full-time employee, then having one is definitely a mistake. Running an internship program is not about having employees that work for free. It’s about having very capable and educated graduates working for you in exchange of good quality experience.
You like things done in a certain way and aren’t open to change: If you aren’t willing to listen to what interns have to say and think they’re freshly acquired knowledge can’t compete with your experience in the industry, clearly an internship program is not the best idea.

If in the end you decide to hire some interns, don’t just focus on their education, but also make sure they have developed some soft skills (leadership, communication, critical thinking, etc.), that way, they’ll find it easier to adapt to an office environment.

Remember something very important, if interns have a good experience in the company, they will share their experience with their close ones, building the company brand. On the other hand, if they have a terrible experience, they will also make sure everybody knows about it.

Are you ready to put the advantages and disadvantages on a scale to decide whether or not you should hire interns? Having an internship program can greatly benefit both the intern and the company. If you’re not willing to put in the time and effort, then why hire an intern at all?

Vanessa Fardi
Digital Copy Editor