Hiring an intern for your business or organization is a brilliant idea!
ADVANTAGES OF INTERNS
Interns can be smart, motivated, quick learners (they’re already in school, right?), take instructions well, have limited expectations, and are eager, industrious, hard workers! They are grateful for the work experience, can be inexpensive, and want to impress.
An added benefit…interns don’t have years of jaded employment in the workforce with cranky supervisors telling them “You can’t do it that way!” As an employer, you end up with an out-of-the-box thinker who may come up with some pretty unique and productive ideas.
On the downside, interns may not be the most reliable folks, but you can determine that in the interview process.
Now, where to find an intern?
DO YOU HAVE A COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY NEARBY?
That would be the place to start looking. Contact the career placement office, or even the department for the type of intern you want (ie, want a marketing intern? Try the Marketing Department!). In addition, you can post to Craig’s List or on the campus website if allowed. Also, try asking for referrals from work associates, friends or family members who might know someone with a kid in college looking for an opportunity.
BE LIKE A BOY SCOUT AND BE PREPARED!
When your new intern starts, don’t assume she is going to know anything about what to do! Have some sort of “on-boarding” procedure, even something really simple and straightforward (ie, here’s the bathroom, eat your lunch there, get here by 9, etc.). Divide the intern’s tasks into bite-sized pieces, easily understandable, easily explainable, easy to evaluate if she’s done the job correctly. Always layout your expectations and ask her to repeat them back so you know she’s understood.
HATE TO USE THIS EXPRESSION, BUT IT’S A WIN-WIN SCENARIO
Intern gets at least one of the following: course credit, work experience, money, or sometimes even all three! Employer gets all of the discussed benefits, as well as the goodwill of the intern, his family, his school, the community in general! See, you’ve done a good thing!