Profit From The Power Of Interns


Finding and hiring effective employees is an ongoing challenge for growing companies. Running an internship program may help develop your team. However, before you establish one, keep in mind the realities and commitment for both the interns and the employer.

For an intern program to be worthwhile, you need to first decide what legitimate tasks an intern can perform. Be clear from the beginning what you expect. In turn, ask what the intern expects to gain. Experience in a specific industry? Skills in their craft? Interns typically look for tangible assets such as letters of recommendation or introductions to key industry contacts, too.

Right out of the gate an intern can be an asset. Millennials, for example, have grown up with social media and quickly evolving technology. They bring skills and insights your staff might not have. For skills specific to your industry, hiring interns while they’re still in college gives you time to groom them so that they’ll be a good match for permanent employment after they graduate. An advantage to that approach is displacing the cost of hiring as well as a training period. The newly hired previous intern will be ready to go right from the beginning of employment. Internships are an ideal way to ensure that you develop what you ultimately need in a competent employee.

ManpowerGroup has nearly 3,900 offices across 80 countries with 400,000 clients from small organizations to globally-renowned corporations. Its tenth annual Talent Shortage Survey shows that about one in five (19%) employers struggle to find candidates with applicable experience. Its infographic “The Talent Shortage Persists” highlights opportunities for both job seekers and needy employers. The deficit comes down to experience: the lack of technical competencies (hard skills) and workplace competencies (soft skills).

Vault is a resource for 2.5 million subscribers worldwide, matching thousands of employers (70 of the Fortune 100) to 6 million students and constituents. Interviewing 6,000 current and former students for its Top Internship Rankings for 2016, Vault found that approximately three-quarters of interns on average receive a full-time job offer from the employer after interning.

Lastly, understand your responsibility as a company recruiting interns. SkilledUp reports that the average hourly wage rate for a paid intern with a bachelor’s degree ranges from $15.05 to $17.94, depending on the applicant’s major. Unpaid internships are an option but you need to understand the law. SkilledUp’s blog post Recruiting For (And Through) Your Company Internship Program explains the “six prong test” as per the Fair Labor Standards Act. A key requirement is that an internship will not displace a regular employee.
Bottom line: Do your homework. The right intern program can save your company money while grooming an apprentice to be your ideal employee.
Image via NASA Goddard