We’ve all heard of the cliche about interns grabbing coffee and making photocopies. But an internship program can be so much more than just that. In fact, there are many internship benefits for employers. Here are a few:
Find future employees
An internship program is a great way to “test drive” potential employees. Instead of learning about a job candidate through his or her resume, a reference, or even an interview, you get to see them in action first-hand. As an employer, you get to see how the interns operate. You learn their strengths and weaknesses. You will find out if they can follow directions, work in a team, and do their jobs well. And you will know whether they fit into your company’s culture or not. Many large corporations hire full-time employees from their internship program for these reasons.
Interns don’t cost much in terms of money. You can offer unpaid internships in exchange for college credit (there are six legal criteria that must be satisfied in order for an internship to be unpaid). Even paid interns typically receive a lower wage than full-time employees. And you don’t have to offer medical coverage or retirement benefits to your interns.
You can reduce your own workload and focus on the most important work by delegating certain tasks and projects to interns. And since interns are low-cost compared to employees, you have the ability to hire multiple interns at the same time. This means higher productivity, the ability to work on more projects, and ultimately, better results.
Interns are teachable
Many interns participate in an internship program for the experience and are eager to learn. Since many interns have little prior experience, they are willing learn your company’s system and way of doing things. Less experience can mean fewer bad habits for interns to “unlearn.”
Interns grew up in a world far different from the one many of today’s employers grew up in. They see and understand the world differently. Even within a group of interns, each has his or her own unique set of experiences.This allows them share perspectives and ideas you may not have considered.
Understanding of technology and web 2.0
Although they might not have much professional experience, interns do have an understanding of technology and web 2.0. Today’s college students grew up using Google, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and MySpace (back when it was more popular). They connect with others through the web on a daily basis. Many also have technical skills in photo or video editing, web design, or programming.
You can create an internship program that will leverage the technological skills your interns already have. For example, an internship focused on social-media can greatly benefit your business.
Regardless of the size of your business or company, having an internship program can be advantageous to your success. It might take a little bit of time to train interns, but ultimately, the benefits far outweigh the cost.
If you would like to learn more, please read AD Publishing’s white paper on how to create a win-win internship program [pdf].