Top 5 Tips for Hiring and Managing Interns for Your Business

Fri, Jul 13, 2012


One of the absolute best things that any employer can ever do for his/her company is to hire some interns. It’s a great form of community service because it prepares people who are interested in your particular field of work. It can help your business budget because, by hiring qualified interns, you are able to get a considerable amount of work done at a nominal (if not totally free) price. And, it mentors staff members that you already have when it comes to training them on how to work with interns; possibly so that your staff can be promoted to supervisor and management positions within the company.

Yet, as with all things, hiring internships to be a part of your company is definitely a process; one that requires a lot of strategic planning and order. If you’re preparing to hire a few interns and you would like some tips on hiring and managing them, here are five really good ones.

Develop a relationship with local institutions. Before you formally hire an intern, you first have to interview them. There are a lot of people who would like to gain the experience, but there are still certain skills and abilities that they need even before taking on an intern position. One productive way to find out which ones will be a good fit is to develop a relationship with various departments on the college campuses within your area. That way, you can speak directly with administrators about coming up with a list of potential interns that will be worth the time and effort when it comes to the initial interviewing process.

Be specific about your needs. Some internships end up being a pretty disappointing experience for both the employer and employee because both people went into the internship with their own set of expectations. If you’re looking for an intern to work, say, in a marketing company, go a step beyond posting “Hiring a marketing intern” on your website. Be sure to list a full job description along with the title. And, during the interview, don’t hesitate to give the interviewees a couple of tests to get a handle on their proficiency level so that you can gain additional knowledge on their skills beforehand.

Assign someone to your intern. If you work in a very small office, then the “assignee” may be you. However, if you work in a larger setting, you may not have the time that is required to give the interns that you hire the amount of attention that they need in order to perform well during their time with you. So, make sure to assign them someone who can “shadow” their work and answer any questions that they may have.

Check in on them from time to time. It’s not uncommon that interns only see the person who hired them on the day of the interview and (maybe) on the day that they leave. Sure, interns need internships, but it’s still an act of courtesy to check in on them to see how things are going from time to time. Maybe take them to lunch at the middle point of their internship so that they can share with you their experiences thus far. By making the extra effort, they will feel valued and in turn, that will probably boost their confidence and cause them to excel even further as it relates to their job performance.

Give a thorough review upon completion. Say, you run a medical office and you have someone who is getting their masters degree in health administration working for you. They may have excellent administrative abilities, but their people skills could use a bit of work. Remember that an intern is not just in your office to lighten your load, but to earn viable experience so that they can get a job following graduation. You would be doing your interns a disservice to not send them off without a thorough job performance review, both verbally and in print. So, make sure to make the time to do that within the week that their internship comes to an end.

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