Generally, hiring an intern is a win-win situation for the intern and the organisation. At the basic level, interns gain experience and the company gets a larger workforce. But, an internship may not work for every organisation. If you are offering an internship programme, you should be able to give your interns real-world work experience and an employee to mentor and supervise them.
Hiring interns is usually a cost-effective venture for your business. A well structured internship programme can significantly improve the prodcutivity of your organisation. To get the best out of your interns, assign them real tasks that actually matter, and assign them a supervisor to train them and monitor their work.
Interns usually offer a fresh viewpoints to your business, strategies and plans. They challenge the already existing ways and bring new and exciting ideas and ways of doing things that may be better than the existing processes. They are usually full of energy and are enthusiastic about learning real life work issues, so they are willing to take on tasks and help out with projects all around the organisation. Internship programmes are a great way to bring in talented students to contribute to the organization’s goals.
Hiring interns also helps you easily evaluate temporary employees and is an invaluable source of short term employees. An internship can serve as a trial period for you to assess relevant skills and the work ethics of a potential employee. Organisations sometimes retain interns to work full time after an impressive intrening stint.
Test-driving talent is beneficial because the intern already has an understanding of both the organisation and its culture, and the job itself therefore little or no training would be required, as opposed to hiring a totally new person. Also, because this person has already worked with you as an intern, you know their abilities and limitations. This way, you can avoid the problem of hiring new employees, training them, and then realising they aren’t the best fit for your organisation.
While hiring interns costs less than hiring full time employees, it is not advisable to set out to start an internship programme as a means of getting free or cheap labour. Interns are not supposed to be substiutes for fulltime paid employees. Interns are also supposed to benefit from the programme.
Another benefit of hiring interns is that most new interns are more in touch with new technologies and are more adept at handling these new technologies. This can help boost the company’s online presence. Interns can provide useful feedback on how businesses can improve their social media presence. Also, with proper guidance and direction, they could create online marketing campaigns for your company.
One other reason to hire interns is that they often serve as brand ambassadors or advocates. This is especially beneficial if you are a new business or an SME. Whether or not they are enjoying their internship experience, interns will talk about it with their friends, peers and family members, thereby spreading the word about your organisation (which is another reason for you to treat your interns right).
For your organisation to get the most out of an internship programme, you need to be doing it for the right reasons. A well organised internship programme has great benefits for both interns and employers.